Outspoken New York real estate mogul Donald Trump is ahead of well-known Republican staples in a recent Suffolk University poll
of 500 likely voters in New Hampshire's Republican presidential primary.
Trump recently told Fox News
that if he were president, he'd "straighten out this country and make it great again," so much so that there would be no need to cut Medicare and Medicaid.
Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush led the field, with 19 percent of voters supporting him, followed by Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker at 14 percent.
Support dropped significantly for candidates after that, with Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul at 7 percent, and Trump, who was in New Hampshire last week, with 6 percent. Tied at 5 percent were Cruz, who on Sunday announced his intention to run for president, and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, while Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, and retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson received 3 percent each. Ten other candidates received less than 2 percent, and 24 percent were undecided, according to the poll.
Bush had the highest favorable rating of the top GOP candidates, at 54 percent, followed by Huckabee at 50 percent, the Washington Examiner reported
It's still early enough in the game for potential candidates floundering in the polls to turn things around in the Granite State, according to David Paleologos, director of the Suffolk University Political Research Center.
"The single-digit candidates need to go to New Hampshire and make a personal appeal to likely Republican voters there if they want to become the Republican alternative to Jeb Bush," he said. "There are still plenty of undecided voters who might be won over if they make their case."
One in three voters said they were somewhat dissatisfied or very dissatisfied with the Republican field of more than 20 potential candidates, evidence that its "fertile ground for a well-financed independent candidate, looking at the dissatisfaction among political party loyalists, to present a third alternative," said Paleologos.
The Suffolk University poll accurately predicted that in 2014, Democratic Sen. Jeanne Shaheen would beat challenger Scott Brown by 3 points. The poll was also correct in forecasting the 2012 New Hampshire Republican presidential primary, correctly predicting "the 1-2-3 order of finish (Mitt Romney, Ron Paul, and Jon Huntsman) among the 33 listed GOP candidates on the New Hampshire ballot."
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