Republican presidential candidates argue during the Fox Business Network Republican presidential candidates debate in North Charleston, S.C., Jan 14, 2016.
Photo by Randall Hill/Reuters

Latest polls raise eyebrows throughout the political world

With six days remaining before the Iowa caucuses, and just two weeks until the New Hampshire primary, pollsters are releasing all kinds of new data to consider in the race for the Republican presidential nomination. Let’s take a minute to unwrap what we’re seeing this morning.
Let’s start with Iowa, where a new Quinnipiac poll shows four candidates above 5%.
1. Donald Trump: 31% (unchanged from early January)
2. Ted Cruz: 29% (unchanged)
3. Marco Rubio: 13% (down from 15%)
4. Ben Carson: 7% (unchanged)
Note, several recent polls show Trump with a much larger advantage in Iowa, but if the Quinnipiac survey is correct, it suggests the race for the top spot is still very competitive.
In New Hampshire, meanwhile, the latest Franklin Pierce/RKM/Boston Herald poll offered these results last night:
1. Donald Trump 33% (up from 26% in December)
2. Ted Cruz 14% (up from 12%)
3. John Kasich 12% (up from 8%)
4. Jeb Bush 9% (down from 10%)
5. Marco Rubio 8% (down from 12%)
6. Chris Christie 7% (down from 11%)
This is obviously just one poll, but if Kasich is advancing as the top mainstream GOP candidate in the Granite State, it will further complicate the Republican race in unexpected ways. Trump’s 33% support, meanwhile, is the strongest showing for any GOP candidate in this cycle from this pollster.
At the national level, two major new polls were released this morning. Let’s start with the latest Washington Post/ABC News results:
1. Donald Trump: 37% (down from 38% in December)
2. Ted Cruz: 21% (up from 15%)
3. Marco Rubio: 11% (down from 12%)
4. Ben Carson: 7% (down from 12%)
5. Jeb Bush 5% (unchanged)
Note, a 56% majority in this poll believes Trump is the most electable GOP candidate, up nine points from December. What’s more, 64% of Republicans now believe Trump will end up with the nomination, which is a rather stunning result.
And finally, there’s the new, national CNN poll.
1. Donald Trump: 41% (up from 38% in December)
2. Ted Cruz: 19% (up from 18%)
3. Marco Rubio: 8% (down from 10%)
4. Ben Carson: 6% (down from 10%)
5. Jeb Bush 5% (up from 3%)
For context, it’s worth remembering that very few polls all cycle have shown any candidate surpassing the 40% threshold, but this CNN survey has Trump at 41%. Not surprisingly, it’s the strongest showing of any Republican in any CNN poll to date in this race.
In each of the polls referenced above, GOP candidates polling below 5% have been excluded in the interest of space, but each of their names was included in the surveys themselves.