We’ve all had fun smirking at the awful poll numbers of Jeb “Please Clap” Bush, but these new results for New Hampshire are startling:
Donald Trump is atop the GOP presidential field in New Hampshire by 17 points, according to a new poll.
Trump earns 31 percent support, compared with 14 percent for his closest competitor, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, according the Harper Polling survey released Wednesday.
This is the first time in recent months that Bush has placed second in New Hampshire, where he currently averages 9.8 percent support, according to RealClearPolitics.
Ohio Gov. John Kasich ranks third in the new poll with 12 percent, followed by Sens. Marco Rubio (Fla.) and Ted Cruz (Texas) with 10 and 9 percent, respectively.
Another 8 percent remain undecided.
Saturday night’s New Hampshire Republican debate is going to be decisive, I think. What it will decide is second and third place. If Bush and Kasich manage to bump Cruz and Rubio down the list on primary day, what next for the Establishment? They thought they had a horse in post-Iowa Rubio, and chances are they do. But if Rubio places third in Iowa and doesn’t even place in New Hampshire, what does that say about him? It’s difficult to imagine a way forward out of New Hampshire for Jeb Bush, but he can certainly make a difficult path to the nomination for Marco Rubio even harder.
On the other hand, a different NH poll has Trump way out in front, but Rubio moving up to second, and Jeb far back. So maybe the Ancien Régime won’t have as much to worry about as the Harper poll suggests.