U.S. Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump pantomimes a candidate with low poll numbers as he address the audience at a campaign rally in Nashua, N.H., Jan. 29, 2016. 
Photo by Gretchen Ertl/Reuters

As Primary Day nears, latest polls show more competitive race

The New Hampshire primary is just four days away, and the results of this contest appear likely to have a powerful impact on the race for the Republican presidential nomination.
And while polls only offer hints about the state of the race, the latest survey results offer some important insights. Here, for example, is new NBC/WSJ/Marist poll of Granite State Republicans, conducted entirely after the Iowa caucuses.
1. Donald Trump: 30% (down from 31% before two weeks ago)
2. Marco Rubio: 17% (up from 11%)
3. Ted Cruz: 15% (up from 12%)
4. John Kasich: 10% (down from 11%)
5. Jeb Bush: 9% (up from 8%)
6. Chris Christie: 4% (down from 7%)
A new Suffolk University/Boston Globe poll, also conducted after Iowa, has the race shaping up this way:
1. Donald Trump: 29% 
2. Marco Rubio: 19%
3. John Kasich: 13%
4. Jeb Bush: 10%
5. Ted Cruz: 7%
6. Chris Christie: 5%
And then there’s the CNN/WMUR poll, also conducted after Iowa.
1. Donald Trump: 29% (down from 30% last week)
2. Marco Rubio: 18% (up from 11%)
3. Ted Cruz: 13% (up from 12%)
4. John Kasich: 12% (up from 9%)
5. Jeb Bush: 10% (up from 6%)
6. Chris Christie: 4% (down from 8%)
6. Carly Fiorina: 4% (unchanged)
Taken together, it’s hard not to notice Christie’s troubles. The New Jersey governor, whose progress in New Hampshire made him the target of attack ads from Rubio’s super PAC late last year, appears to have slipped badly from the progress he made in December, despite maintaining a near-constant presence in the first primary state.
Ted Cruz, meanwhile, will probably be satisfied with a third-place finish, but if the Suffolk University/Boston Globe poll is correct, the senator will likely face fierce media blowback if he finishes fifth.
At the top, of course, Trump’s support appears fairly stable, though Rubio, riding a wave of hype after finishing an expected third in Iowa, is obviously narrowing the gap.
Between now and the primary, there’s one additional debate – scheduled for tomorrow night and including each of the remaining candidates except Fiorina and Jim Gilmore – which will give the rivals one last shot at making a statewide impression before voting begins on Tuesday.