Those expecting the race for the Republican presidential nomination to change by Labor Day were wrong. Those who said we’d see a whole new contest by Halloween were wrong. So were those who saw Thanksgiving and Christmas as possible turning points.
As for those who said the new year would bring new results, the latest evidence offers more bad news. Here, for example, is the latest poll of Republican voters in the Granite State from CNN, WMUR, and the University of New Hampshire.
1. Donald Trump: 34% (up from 32% in early December)
2. Ted Cruz: 14% (up from 6%)
3. Jeb Bush: 10% (up from 8%)
3. Marco Rubio: 10% (down from 14%)
5. Chris Christie: 6% (down from 9%)
5. John Kasich: 6% (down from 7%)
5. Rand Paul: 6% (up from 2%)
The remaining candidates are each below 5%. Trump’s 34% backing is the strongest showing of any Republican candidate in any CNN poll in New Hampshire this cycle.
This is, of course, only one poll, but if it’s an accurate reflection of current attitudes, it suggests Cruz is making major gains in the state as the primary draws closer, while Christie and Kasich are starting to fade at the worst possible time. Rubio, meanwhile, is counting on a second-place finish in New Hampshire, but this survey suggests he’s moving in the wrong direction.
Perhaps the GOP’s anti-Trump contingent will find better news elsewhere? At least for now, no.
Monmouth released its newest results of Republicans nationally, and it showed the race shaping up this way:
1. Donald Trump 36% (down from 41% in mid-December)
2. Ted Cruz: 17% (up from 14%)
3. Marco Rubio: 11% (up from 10%)
4. Ben Carson: 8% (down from 9%)
5. Jeb Bush: 5% (up from 3%)
Trump’s five-point drop will raise eyebrows, but note that this is still his second strongest showing in any Monmouth poll this cycle, and his 36% support matches the backing for Cruz, Rubio, and Carson combined.
Meanwhile, Public Policy Polling released results yesterday showing how the North Carolina primary is shaping up.
1. Donald Trump 38% (up from 33% in December)
2. Ted Cruz: 16% (unchanged)
3. Marco Rubio: 11% (down from 14%)
4. Ben Carson: 8% (down from 14%)
5. Jeb Bush: 6% (up from 5%)
5. Mike Huckabee: 6% (up from 2%)
Note, North Carolina’s primary isn’t until March 15, at which point some of these candidates will likely no longer be in the race.