Flying Blind

February 8, 2016 2:33 p.m.

We will of course know soon enough. But I just wanted to flag that we have almost no New Hampshire poll data since the Rubio debacle at the Saturday night debate. With the exception of the two tracking polls conducted by UMass Lowell and ARG, all the late polls (Monmouth, CNN/UNH/WMUR, Franklin Pierce) finished collecting their sample sometime on Saturday. So they may have made a few calls after or during the debate. But nothing after the Rubot press frenzy began. And probably few if any after it even happened.

Those two tracking polls both show Rubio tracking down one point between yesterday and today. That’s hard to read too much into. But that can mean Sundays numbers came in poorly but we offset by Saturday and Fridays numbers.

He could have been been hurt badly by that debate goof or maybe its effect has been greatly over-estimated. My own hunch based on the incident itself, the flurry of negative, mocking press coverage and the hint from the tracking poll down-tick is that Rubio’s momentum coming out of Iowa has been halted or at least blunted.

Here’s one other thing to note: the chatter is that Rubio is on the ropes and the moment has arrived for Kasich, Bush and maybe Christie. Cruz meanwhile is on the ropes because of bad stories post-Iowa and New Hampshire just not being his kind of state. But look close at those trendlines. Kasich and Bush are actually trending slightly down. And among the people who are even remotely in contention, the only candidate beside Rubio with an upward trendline is Ted Cruz. Yes, Ted Cruz.

Again, this chart only has a bit of post-debate data. So it could change. But I am curious how much of the Kasich/Bush chatter is just reporters going on what they saw at the last rally or just looking for a new story.

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