…The Republican nominee for president will be that candidate who best learns that there is no future in apologizing…
A new PPP Poll (full pdf here) from New Hampshire shows the influence of structural GOPe machinations -via corporate media- onto an electorate. Carson – dropping, Rubio – static, Cruz – lifted, Kasich – collapsing, and Christie – surging:
(Via PPP Analysis ) – PPP’s new New Hampshire poll finds Donald Trump’s position in the state pretty much unchanged compared to six weeks ago. He leads with 27% to 13% for Ted Cruz, 11% for Marco Rubio, 10% for Chris Christie, 9% for Ben Carson, 8% for John Kasich, 6% for Carly Fiorina, 5% for Jeb Bush, and 4% for Rand Paul. Rounding out the field in the 1% or less club are Mike Huckabee, George Pataki, and Rick Santorum each at 1%, and Lindsey Graham and Jim Gilmore with less than 1%.
The clear momentum candidate in New Hampshire is Chris Christie. In mid-October he was in 9th place in the state at just 3%. Now he’s moved all the way up into the 4th position with his 10% standing. Most remarkably though he now has the best favorability rating of any of the candidates in New Hampshire, with 61% of voters seeing him positively to only 22% who have a negative opinion.
To put those numbers in perspective Christie was at 35/46 when we polled the state in August, so he’s had a 50 point net improvement in his favorability over the last three months. That’s a good reminder of how early it still is in this race and how much things can change in a short time. Christie is the most frequent second choice of Bush and Kasich voters so if either of them doesn’t make it to New Hampshire he’ll be well positioned to further gain.
The only other candidate with any momentum in the Granite State is Ted Cruz, who’s moved from being in 6th place at 8% in October to now second place with his 13% standing.
We continue to see Cruz with growing strength among voters on the right everywhere we poll- he’s almost even among ‘very conservative’ voters in New Hampshire, getting 27% to Trump’s 29%. Cruz is also the most frequent second choice of primary voters at 14% to 13% for Rubio and 12% for Christie. Importantly he’s the second choice of 26% of Trump voters to 14% for Christie with no one else in double digits. If Trump’s support ever does wear away Cruz is positioned to be the greatest beneficiary of that.
There are two candidates these numbers are particularly bad for: Jeb Bush and John Kasich, both of whom might be the victims of Christie’s renewed strength. Bush has dropped from 5th place at 9% last month down now to 8th place at 5% this month. He continues to really struggle with GOP voters just flat not liking him- only 38% have a positive opinion of him to 45% with a negative one. His unfavorability rating ties him with George Pataki for the worst with New Hampshire Republicans.
Kasich was in double digits and in the top 4 on both our August and October New Hampshire polls but is now seeing his standing slip with his 6th place showing at 8%. Kasich’s also seen his favorability rating drop from 49/22 in August to then 45/29 in October to now standing at just 38/35. The more NH Republicans get to know him the less they like him, and that doesn’t bode well for a candidate whose relevance in the race is probably predicated on a strong performance in New Hampshire.
As for Trump he was at 28% in mid-October and he’s at 27% now, so his standing couldn’t be much more steady. His favorability rating with Republicans has actually improved a tick, from 48/42 the last poll to now 50/39. The key to Trump’s sustained success is that his supporters basically buy into everything he says. (read more)