Tags: Donald Trump | John McCain | Marco Rubio | Ted Cruz | Caucuses | New Hampshire | Ohio

Trump Still in the Lead

Image: Trump Still in the Lead
(AP) 

By
Monday, 08 Feb 2016 08:26 AM Current | Bio | Archive

Two days after the last Republican presidential debate and hours before the start of voting in the New Hampshire primary, the dean of pollsters in the Granite State concluded that Donald Trump remains the strong front-runner and none of his rivals are in striking distance of the outspoken billionaire.

“No one emerged in the debate last night as the anti-Trump,” Richard Bennett, head of the venerable American Research Group poll in Manchester, N.H., told me on Sunday afternoon, “and Trump didn’t make a major mistake in the last debate.”


Bennett, who has been polling New Hampshire voters since 1976, previously said that the Saturday night debate hosted by ABC-TV would be critical for any potentially strong opponent to longtime primary front-runner Trump.

In his tracking after the debate, however, Bennett found that Trump still lead the field with 30 percent among likely voters. This is slightly down from the 31 percent he held in the American Research Group poll just before the debate and the 34 per cent he had a week ago.

American Research Group also found Marco Rubio and John Kasich tied for second place with 16 percent each — reflecting very little change for both in the poll’s tracking over the last week. Ted Cruz was fourth with 10 per cent and Jeb Bush at 9 per cent, the same survey found.

Any momentum that Florida Sen. Rubio was gaining after his strong showing in the Iowa caucuses Feb. 1, Bennett said, “stopped with the debate. Rubio was clearly hurt by his confrontation with [New Jersey Gov. Chris] Christie.”

The pollster also pointed out that Rubio has been running a battery of commercials since his Iowa performance “but they are more his life story than about any positions he’s taken.

"And he hasn’t done any really hard retail campaigning here such as the ‘town halls’ that New Hampshire voters like. Christie pointed this out effectively in their exchange.”

Bennett also felt that, during the debate, Texas Sen. Cruz “was hurt by his apology to Ben Carson that his campaign has spread the word Dr. Carson was leaving the race on the day of the Iowa caucuses.”

Independent voters — or “undeclared,” as they are known in New Hampshire comprise about 40 percent of the state’s electorate. Under state election law, they can request ballots from either major party for the primary.

American Research Group found that among “undeclared,” Trump leads with 34 per cent, followed by Kasich at 19 percent, 15 per cent, and Cruz 11 per cent. Noting that Kasich has been focusing on this group of voters, pollster Bennett said that the Ohio governor “has some hidden strength there” and any strong showing by him could be the result of the “undeclared.”

Going back to 1952 and Gen. Dwight Eisenhower’s surprise defeat of Ohio Sen. Robert Taft as surrogates ran the campaign for him (Eisenhower was in Europe on active duty), the New Hampshire primary has had a rich history of defying pollsters and producing upsets.

Noting more recent upsets such as Arizona Sen. John McCain wining big over Texas Gov. And presumed front-runner George W. Bush in 2000, I asked Bennett if Kasich or perhaps Rubio could pull off a similar surprise against Trump.

“Polling showed McCain coming up in the stretch,” he replied, “Right now, Trump is at 30 per cent and Kasich and Rubio are in the teens. It’s tough to figure out how they get up to him at this late date.”

John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax.



 

© 2017 Newsmax. All rights reserved.

   
1Like our page
2Share
John-Gizzi
Going back to 1952 and Gen. Dwight Eisenhower’s surprise defeat of Ohio Sen. Robert Taft as surrogates ran the campaign for him, the New Hampshire primary has had a rich history of defying pollsters and producing upsets.
Caucuses, New Hampshire, Ohio, Primary
591
2016-26-08
Monday, 08 Feb 2016 08:26 AM
Newsmax Inc.
 

Newsmax, Moneynews, Newsmax Health, and Independent. American. are registered trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc. Newsmax TV, and Newsmax World are trademarks of Newsmax Media, Inc.

NEWSMAX.COM
America's News Page
© Newsmax Media, Inc.
All Rights Reserved