New Yorker Donald Trump is polling well in the South — and that could keep him in the Republican presidential race for the long haul, pollster Matt Towery told Newsmax TV
"In some of these Southern states, which are going to have their primaries after Iowa and after New Hampshire, Trump could be a major player going into March," Towery, whose survey firm conducted an exclusive poll
of GOP voters in 12 states in the region, said on "Newsmax Prime."
He was interviewed by hosts J.D. Hayworth and Miranda Khan.
"It means that this entire campaign has shifted, because once you have the South it's very hard to lose it," Towery said.
Story continues below video.
Watch Newsmax TV on DIRECTV Ch. 349, DISH Ch. 223 and Verizon FiOS Ch. 115
. Get Newsmax TV on your cable system – Click Here Now
His OpinionSavvy firm conducted the exclusive Newsmax-Southern Political Report Survey. Trump led the field of the 16 of 17 Republican candidates tested with 5,728 voters.
Trump polled at 28 percent, followed by former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush at 18 percent, and retired pediatric neurosurgeon Dr. Ben Carson, with 10 percent.
The billionaire businessman, 69, who was born in Queens, is not weak in any of the 12 states in the Newsmax survey, Towery said.
"The states where he's ending probably closer to candidates are home states for other candidates," he said.
Those states include Florida, home to Bush and competitor Sen. Marco Rubio, and Texas, from where Sen. Ted Cruz and former Gov. Rick Perry hail.
"In Florida …, Bush and Trump are basically even — and in Texas, … Cruz is actually doing well," Towery said. "He's a little bit ahead of Trump, and then you have Bush, who's doing relatively well there as well.
"He's strong all across the South, but particularly in those states where he is not facing a home-state favor."
That includes Virginia, Towery told Hayworth and Khan.
"It indicates the degree of support that Trump has goes beyond any one area of the South. He basically is either at the top or near the top in every single southern state."
Turning to Thursday's presidential debates in Cleveland, Towery said in a separate interview for "Newsmax Now" that he was surprised that Perry did not make the prime-time cut but that Carson did.
"If you asked me two months ago would this be the make-up of the debate, I probably would have said no way," he told host John Bachman.
Story continues below video.
He added that he was just as astonished at Rubio's showing in his home state in the Newsmax poll, given that many Southern states have large Hispanic populations.
"When you get to some of the states like Texas, Florida, Georgia, other states, you have a higher percentage — and oddly enough, Trump is either leading the Hispanic-Latino vote, or he's splitting it with Bush," Towery said.
"One would think he would have that vote" but instead he's "barely scratching," the pollster said of Rubio.
Towery added that he would be watching both Carson and Rubio closely in the debate to "see if they can handle the pressure of the polling circumstances that they're in right now."
"Ben Carson is going to be debating people who have been in politics or around it for much longer," he said, noting that Trump, though not a politician, is "a pro at this.
"I'm going to watch Carson to see if he can hold his own with these other candidates," Towery told Bachman. "I'm also going to be watching just to see if Marco Rubio is flustered by the fact that he's not doing as well as he expected — and if he decides to make some grand Hail Mary, that doesn't necessarily make it across to the voters."
© 2022 Newsmax. All rights reserved.