Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) has seen his standing crater in the state that hosts the all-important first presidential primary, according to new polling released Wednesday.
In a huge drop from earlier in the year, the latest WMUR Granite State Poll showed Rubio claiming the support of a mere six percent of New Hampshire Republicans, placing him in a distant fifth in a hypothetical 2016 GOP primary. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) picked up 21 percent support, followed by Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) at 16 percent, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R) at 10 percent and Rep. Paul Ryan (R-WI) at eight percent.
It represents a huge drop for Rubio, who appeared to be anointed as the GOP’s new standard-bearer in the wake of the party’s humbling performance in last year’s elections. April’s WMUR poll found Rubio with the support of 15 percent of New Hampshire Republicans and in a tie for first with Paul. The February poll found him in second, trailing Christie by only two points.
In recent weeks the Florida Republican has gone from being in the vanguard of the immigration reform push to joining Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) in threatening a government shutdown in an attempt to defund Obamacare. His favorability rating among all New Hampshire voters has dropped 18 points since April, plummeting from 51 percent to 33 percent. Republicans in the state have soured on him, too. Forty-seven percent of GOP voters there said they have a favorable opinion of him, a 12-point dip since April.
It’s been a tough summer politically for Rubio, first taking heat from some conservatives over his support of immigration reform and now drawing push back from the likes of Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) and columnist Charles Krauthammer for backing Lee’s effort to gut the new health care law. As FiveThirtyEight noted last month, a number of recent polls have shown Rubio falling among GOP voters.