He’s having a good week.
Donald Trump continues to hold a wide lead among likely Republican primary voters in New Hampshire, according to a new CNN/WMUR tracking poll, with the pack vying for second place is beginning to break up.
Behind Trump’s field-leading 29% support, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio climbs to second place with 18% following his strong third place finish in Iowa, followed by Ted Cruz (13%) and John Kasich (12%) in a near-tie for third. Jeb Bush holds fifth place at 10%, a hair behind Cruz and Kasich, with Chris Christie and Carly Fiorina well behind at 4% each. The fight for second place between Cruz, Rubio and Kasich remains within the survey’s margin of sampling error.
The poll was conducted entirely after the Iowa caucuses.
Cruz has held steady compared with his pre-Iowa standing, while Kasich and Bush have each bumped up their share of the vote slightly, though within the margin of sampling error. Christie has lost some ground, dipping 4 points since a CNN/WMUR poll conducted before the Iowa caucuses.
Rubio’s seven-point uptick is the largest movement for any candidate in either direction in recent weeks. The Rubio camp continues to turn a third place finish into an overwhelming positive. Contrast that with Trump’s incessant whining about Cruz and “voter fraud” since yesterday.
Lemons…lemonade, you know the drill.
While there is still a tendency by his detractors to dismiss Rubio’s Iowa finish, the venerable Nate Silver sees it as almost doubling his chances to win the nomination.
If Kasich should finish a strong third in New Hampshire, he is probably going to hang around as it more than likely won’t fit his definition of getting “smoked”.
If Jeb! finishes fourth or fifth and still stays in the race, it will only be because his backers really don’t care about how much money they waste on this delusional folly.
Should Trump prevail, he will almost certainly tell the New Hampshire voters that he’s canceled plans to buy a farm in Iowa.