Marco Rubio in second place in New Hampshire, poll shows
Suffolk University poll of likely Republican voters in New Hampshire:
Donald Trump - 22 percent
Marco Rubio - 11 percent
Ben Carson - 10 percent
Ted Cruz and John Kasich - tied at 9 percent
Jeb Bush - 8 percent
From a release:
“Donald Trump’s loyal 22 percent goes a long way in New Hampshire,” said David Paleologos, director of the Suffolk University Political Research Center in Boston. “As long as the remaining 78 percent is split relatively evenly among the six or seven major contenders, we’re getting close to ‘Trump-mate’ in the Granite State.”
Rubio viewed favorably
Rubio is emerging as the Republican alternative to Trump in New Hampshire through a methodical move into second place. Rubio led in voters’ approval, with a 64 percent favorable–22 percent unfavorable rating. When asked which Republican had the best chance of beating the Democratic nominee, Trump finished first at 31 percent and Rubio was second with 16 percent, while all other candidates were in single digits. Rubio also was the top second choice among all candidates with 17 percent, followed by Cruz with 12 percent and Bush with 11 percent.
“The Rubio thread runs deep throughout the poll. If you look at who is in the top three when it comes to favorability, first choice, second choice, trust, or best chance of winning in the general election, Rubio is the only candidate who meets all of those tests,” said Paleologos.
Terrorism seen as key issue
Polls traditionally have shown jobs/economy as the top issue for voters, but the recent attacks in Paris appear to have dramatically changed the landscape. Terrorism/national security was the top choice among NH Republican voters (42 percent) followed by jobs/economy (18 percent), and illegal immigration (12 percent). When voters were asked which Republican is best equipped to handle the American response to the Islamic State, Trump was the choice of 25 percent followed by Rubio (13 percent), Cruz (11 percent), and Bush (10 percent).