Political commentators believe that Tuesday’s primary contest in New Hampshire is a make-or-break moment for Donald Trump. Lacking a traditional ground game in Iowa, Trump failed to morph his popularity in the polls to actual votes, and that could very well happen again in the Granite State.
Still, according to Rasmussen, Trump not only remains the front-runner in the eyes of the public, but is holding onto a commanding lead.
“The latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey of Likely Republican Primary Voters finds that Trump earns 31% support, followed by Rubio with 21% and Cruz at 20%. The rest of the candidates are in mid- to low single digits,” the latest report states.
Rasmussen says that the order of the top three candidates has not changed much since the polling group looked at the entire race in mid-December. In fact, they have all been able to make slight gains at the expense of lower-tier candidates, something that will be interesting to watch as the field continues to shrink.
Rasmussen Reports surveyed Americans prior to Saturday’s GOP debate, so what affect the candidates’ performances had on New Hampshire may not be fully assessed until the election results are in Tuesday night.
Rasmussen isn’t the only polling source showing Trump maintaining his lead after finishing second in the Iowa. Real Clear Politics shows Trump leading with a nearly 9-point spread nationally (averaging the results of 4 polls) and a 17-point spread in New Hampshire.
While several media outlets have called Iowa a major blow for Trump, he did come in second without spending much money and not having the same on-the-ground operations as Ted Cruz, winner of the Republican Iowa caucus, and Marco Rubio, who came in third.
However, Trump learned the hard way that no matter how much name recognition or media coverage he has, if he wants to win an election and secure his lead, he needs people on the ground, getting his supporters to the polls.