Believe It: Trump, in 2nd Place, Is Within 3 Points of Bush in New Hampshire Poll
FlaglerLive | June 24, 2015
“He’s great for the Republicans,” The Daily Show’s Jon Stewart said of Donald Trump last night, “because the more he talks, the more he appears on television, the more he makes the other Republicans’ crazy seem kind of reasonable by comparison.”
Nevertheless, Trump is near the top of a splintered presidential field. Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush holds a slight lead over Trump in New Hampshire, according to a Suffolk University poll of Republican primary voters released Tuesday.
Bush was favored by 14 percent of the 500 likely primary voters surveyed, with 11 percent preferring Trump, even though only 37 percent of those surveyed viewed Trump favorably compared to 49 percent who had an unfavorable opinion of him.
Among self-identified conservatives, Trump (13 percent) topped the field by besting Walker (11 percent) and Bush (10 percent). Among self-identified moderates, Bush (20 percent) crushed all opponents, with Trump (9 percent) coming in a distant second. Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker was the choice of 8 percent and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio was at 7 percent, with others in the GOP field receiving lower percentages.
“Jeb Bush continues to lead, but Donald Trump has emerged as an anti-Jeb Bush alternative in New Hampshire,” David Paleologos, director of the Suffolk University Political Research Center in Boston, said in a statement. “Many of those who like Trump are voting for him, and although many more dislike him, the unfavorables are split up among many other candidates. It’s the politics of plurality.”
Paleologos said Trump was benefiting from the large field, which he said would decrease in August when televised debates begin. When New Hampshire GOP primary voters were given the opportunity to approve or deny each candidate for an appearance on the debate stage, 10 candidates were chosen ahead of Trump, with Bush, Rubio, Walker, Paul and Cruz topping the list. Even Rick Santorum is ahead of Trump in that category, strongly suggesting that while the electorate is giving Trump some attention, the electorate’s appetite for entertainment on a debating stage may have its limits.
“The question is, who among the growing list of candidates will be selected to participate,” the pollster said. With its Feb. 9 early primary, New Hampshire will be one of the most closely watched states next year in the battle for the Republican presidential nomination. The poll was conducted from Thursday to Monday and has a margin of error of 4.4 percentage points.
–FlaglerLive and the News Service of Florida