A new CNN/WMUR poll of likely New Hampshire voters was JUST released, and it confirms what the daily tracking polls have been showing – that Marco Rubio is surging in New Hampshire and is likely now holding second place by himself. While Cruz may yet see a national bump from his Iowa win, he has yet to see a bump in New Hampshire specifically.
Behind Trump’s field-leading 29% support, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio climbs to second place with 18% following his strong third place finish in Iowa, followed by Ted Cruz (13%) and John Kasich (12%) in a near-tie for third. Jeb Bush holds fifth place at 10%, a hair behind Cruz and Kasich, with Chris Christie and Carly Fiorina well behind at 4% each. The fight for second place between Cruz, Rubio and Kasich remains within the survey’s margin of sampling error.
The poll was conducted entirely after the Iowa caucuses.
If this result or something like it holds on voting day in New Hampshire, then both Bush and Christie (at least) are done for. Christie, for whatever reason, seems to have taken a personal disliking to Rubio in particular, and may hang on out of spite, but if he can’t clear 5% in New Hampshire, then his ability to play spoiler elsewhere has to be limited, since he has basically camped out in the state over the last two months. Similarly, Bush has made clear that if he does not do well in New Hampshire, there isn’t much of a path going forward for his campaign either. Finishing behind both Rubio and Kasich would have to spell doom. One wonders whether Right to Rise will begin to burn some of its money on badly produced ads against John Kasich.
Likewise, Kasich has gone more or less all-in on New Hampshire and continues to severely lag nationally. A fourth place finish for him would be slightly better PR than Jeb or Christie would get, but it would not indicate that his chances nationwide are viable for any potential donors that would keep his campaign going.