The latest Suffolk University/Boston Globe poll, released this morning, is noteworthy because it’s the first poll that shows Donald Trump with a 10-point lead. Specifically, it reports that “Trump received 29 percent in the survey, while US Senator Marco Rubio of Florida took second place with 19 percent. Ohio Governor John Kasich placed third in the poll with 13 percent, former Florida governor Jeb Bush had 10 percent, US Senator Ted Cruz had 7 percent, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie fell to 5 percent, and Ben Carson had 4 percent.”
The day before the Iowa Caucuses, the CNN/WMUR/UNH poll showed Mr. Trump with a 17-point lead over Ted Cruz. The first CNN/WMUR/UNH poll after the Iowa Caucuses showed Mr. Trump with an 11-point lead over Sen. Rubio. That’s led David Paleologos, the director of the Political Research Center at Suffolk University, to note “What a difference a caucus makes. By exceeding expectations in Iowa, Marco Rubio is converting likability to electability even more so than Ted Cruz, who, like many conservative Iowa winners of the past like Mike Huckabee and Rick Santorum, can’t seem to convert an Iowa win into a major showing in New Hampshire.”
Sen. Rubio has cut Mr. Trump’s lead in half, which is leading people to buy into Sen. Rubio’s claims about sustained “Marcomentum.” The other tidbit of information that should worry the Trump campaign is that “33 percent of likely Republican primary voters said they could change their mind between now and Tuesday’s contest.”
In Iowa, most of the late deciders finally picked Sen. Rubio. The truth is that people love supporting a winner. Think of it like a casual baseball fan whose team makes a sustained run for the pennant. Suddenly, everyone is a fan. Everyone is talking about the team at the water cooler. More people are watching the games than early in the season. Politics is no different in that respect than sports.
The information that’s worrying Sen. Cruz’s campaign is that he’s dropped to 7% in this poll. The CNN/WMUR/UNH poll shows him with 13% so the Suffolk University poll might not be accurate but it’s still worrisome. If Sen. Cruz finishes buried in the pack with Bush, Christie and Kasich, the momentum he took from Iowa will essentially be lost.
Mr. Trump has tried ridiculing Sen. Rubio for delivering a victory speech after finishing third in Iowa. That’s a fair point. Still, Sen. Rubio has every right to emphasize the momentum he gained over the weekend in Iowa. That momentum clearly hopped the plane that took Sen. Rubio from Iowa to New Hampshire. This Suffolk University/Boston Globe poll won’t do anything to stop Sen. Rubio’s momentum.