It’s been almost two weeks (since right after Iowa) since we had a new reputable national poll, and this morning Quinnipiac has released a survey that was conducted from February 10th-15th. This means that all of the survey responses were taken after New Hampshire, but most of them were taken before last Saturday’s debate. The results were pretty surprising on both sides, but especially on the Democrat side, where Bernie Sanders has almost caught Hillary Clinton.
First, the Republican side. Quinnipiac shows a modest national bounce for Trump as a result of New Hampshire, up to 39% from 31% from their last poll (conducted 2/2-2/4). Most of the state level polling shows that Trump has stayed pretty consistent in the 30s as a result of New Hampshire, so no real surprise. The surprise comes in that Rubio clocks in at second with 19%, just ahead of Cruz at 18%. The last national poll showed Cruz in second with 22%, and Rubio with 19%. Kasich (6%), Carson (4%) and Bush (4%) are far behind.
If accurate, this is good news for Rubio and bad for Cruz. The time period represented by this survey was probably the nadir of Rubio’s support – after his surprise shellacking in New Hampshire, but mostly before his rebound debate performance on Saturday that seems to have placed him back on the upward trajectory. If he is still registering in second nationally even during that time period, then a survey taken this week would likely show him even farther ahead in second.
On the Democrat side, Hillary Clinton’s lead over Bernie Sanders has almost vanished nationally as a result of the beating Sanders gave her in New Hampshire. She now leads Sanders by 2 points – 44%-42%. It should be noted that the last Q-Poll, taken right after Iowa, showed more or less the same result, and that this result is somewhat of an outlier among the other polls of the Democratic race. But if true, this could explain some of the panic Camp Clinton is showing in Nevada right now.
The next votes in this race are just four days away on both sides. It’s shaping up to be an exciting sprint through February.