Two new polls released today from Quinnipiac University and Monmouth University have Donald Trump leading in Iowa and New Hampshire less than a month away from the key primary contests in the states. The polls show that Trump has retaken a small lead over Ted Cruz in Iowa, and maintains a fairly strong lead over all competitors in New Hampshire. The poll also John Kasich surging in New Hampshire, but still well behind Trump.
According to the Quinnipiac poll trump leads the Republican field in Iowa with 31 percent of the vote. Ted Cruz comes in second with 29 percent of the vote followed by Marco Rubio in third with 15 percent. Ben Carson places a distant fourth with 7 percent, and all other candidates are garnering 4 percent support or below. With the Iowa Caucus just 21 days away it looks like a horse race between Cruz and trump unless Rubio can make a big surge at the end.
The Quinnipiac poll was conducted from January 5-January 10, 2016. The sample includes 602 likely Republican Caucus participants in Iowa. That is a fairly small sample, and the poll has a large margin-of-error equal to +/- 4.0 percentage points.
According to a poll of likely New Hampshire primary voters by Monmouth University Donald Trump holds a large lead there with 32 percent of the vote, compared to 14 percent for Ted Cruz and John Kasich. Marco Rubio places fourth with 12 percent, and Chris Christie has just 8 percent of the vote despite committing nearly all his resources to New Hampshire. All other candidates are polling at 5 percent or below in New Hampshire.
The Monmouth poll was conducted from January 7-10, 2016. The sample includes 414 registered Republican voters in New Hampshire. That is a fairly small sample, and the poll has a large margin-of-error equal to +/- 4.8 percentage points.
Analyst Nate Silver of FiveThirtyEight gives Monmouth an A- rating in his ranking of pollsters based on partially on Monmouths’s performance over 31 released surveys. Silver gives Quinnipiac a B+ rating based on there performance 133 polls.
The Quinnipiac poll matches up well with other polls that show it as a close race between Cruz and Trump, though the Quinnipiac poll is the first in over a month to have Trump leading in the state. A Real Clear Politics average of three polls released over the last month weeks has Cruz leading the Republican field with the support of 28.0 percent of Iowa Republican voters. Trump comes in second with 26.0 percent of the Iowa Republican vote, and Rubio places third with 14.3 percent.
The Monmouth poll matches with other polls that show Trump with a dominant lead and other candidates fighting over second place. A Real Clear Politics average of six polls released over the last month has Trump as the leader in New Hampshire with 30.2 percent of the vote. Marco Rubio comes in a distant second with 13.2 percent support, followed by Kasich in third with 11.2 percent, and Ted Cruz in fourth with 10.8 percent.
Many predicted that as more voters started paying attention and the primary contests drew near Donald Trump’s support would dwindle and the more established, traditional candidates would take the lead. So far Trump has maintained and even strengthened his lead nationally among Republican voters. However, in the past candidates like Trump have led nationally in December or even January only to lose support later. In 2012 at this time New Gingrich led the Republican race, according to the polls, with 35.0 percent support and in 2008 the polls had Rudy Giuliani in the lead with 23.1 percent support. In 2012 Mitt Romney ended up winning the Republican Party nomination and in 2008 John McCain eventually won the nod.
These new polls show that Trump is maintaining his lead in New Hampshire and remaining competitive with Cruz in Iowa. None of the establishment candidates, like Marco Rubio, seem able to threaten Trump in one of these early states. Kasich’s surge in New Hampshire may now represent moderate Republicans last hope to overtake Cruz or Trump in New Hampshire. If both Cruz and Trump win Iowa and New Hampshire by a good margin, as the polls suggest now, the Republican primary may turn into a two-person race between the two before the bigger primary states start voting.