Former reality-television star Donald Trump leads comfortably in New Hampshire’s GOP primary, according to an Emerson College Polling Society poll released Monday, while in a somewhat surprising result former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R) comes in second place.
The poll showed support for Trump at 31 percent, down from 35 percent in the late January iteration of this poll. In second place, Bush stood at 16 percent, a slight decrease from 18 percent in January. He had a much narrower lead over Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R), at 13 percent, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL), at 12 percent, and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), at 11 percent. These results indicate a small decrease for Kasich, who stood at 14 percent in January, and slightly larger gains for Rubio and Cruz, up from 9 percent and 8 percent, respectively. No other candidate broke into double digits in Monday’s poll.
This poll is consistent with most New Hampshire polling in showing Trump ahead in the state by a significant margin. It is also consistent with other polls that show a tier of candidates in tight competition for second place, their numbers within a few percentage points of one another but separated by wider margins both from Trump and from the remaining candidates. It differs markedly in including Bush within that tier; although New Hampshire polls often show him doing better than in nationwide surveys, virtually none have shown him in contention for second place. TPM’s PollTracker Average shows Trump in the lead at 30 percent in the state, while Rubio stands at 16.1 percent, Cruz at 12.2 percent, Kasich at 12 percent and Bush at 11.4 percent.
The Emerson College Polling Society poll was carried out from Feb. 4-7. The polling sample was 686 likely Republican voters, with a margin of error of 3.7 percent.