Is Donald Trump Going to Win New Hampshire?

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Donald Trump, seen here campaigning in South Carolina, is the New Hampshire polling favorite.

After a disappointing last-minute loss to Ted Cruz in Iowa, Donald Trump is currently the favorite to take New Hampshire. The RealClearPolitics averages show Trump at a 14.3-point lead over the rest of the GOP field, and the betting market aggregation from PredictWise currently has Trump at a 67 percent favorite, with Marco Rubio the only close challenger at 25 percent. However, he was in a similar spot the morning of the Iowa caucus, and ended up tied for second with Rubio at seven delegates, one behind Cruz.

Here’s what you need to know:

The Polls

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Marco Rubio is showing some momentum in his challenge to Donald Trump in New Hampshire. (Getty)

Trump is clearly losing New Hampshire polling momentum to Rubio after the Florida Senator’s surprise finish in Iowa, but whether Rubio’s surge is big enough or has enough time to seriously damage Trump’s New Hampshire chances is not as clear. After routinely posting leads in the 20s throughout January, Trump has led by as little as 10 in post-Iowa polls. The latest poll from a defined period, from the Boston Globe, shows a 10-point lead over Rubio, 29 percent to 19 percent. However, in the UMass-Lowell poll, which updates daily to track candidates’ momentum, shows Rubio’s momentum slowing: after opening the month at just 8 percent and rising all the way to 15, he declined to 14 on Saturday, 21 points below Trump’s 35.

The RealClearPolitics averages of recent polls shows Trump with a 14.3-point lead over Rubio, 30.7 percent to 16.4, with Cruz and John Kasich tied at 12.

The Forecasts

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Nate Silver’s Fivethirtyeight forecasts list Donald Trump as the favorite in New Hampshire. (Getty)

FiveThirtyEight’s “polls-plus” forecasting model, which analyzes polls and key contextual factors, gives Trump a 63 percent chance to win New Hampshire, with Rubio at 21 and no other candidate in single digits. Using its polls-only forecast, Trump rises to 75 percent, with Rubio at 13.

It’s important to note, though, that Trump was also the FiveThirtyEight favorite the day of the Iowa caucus. In a FiveThirtyEight editorial released just before the caucuses opened, Nate Silver called Iowa “the hardest state to poll” as an explanation of why Trump might (and ultimately did) lose despite favorable projections. New Hampshire figures to be much more reliable.

The Betting Markets

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Ted Cruz won Iowa at the last second from the favored Trump. (Getty)

According to betting market aggregation by PredictWise, Trump is a 67 percent favorite to win in New Hampshire, with Rubio the only challenger in double digits at 25. That’s a significant surge for Rubio, who was in the single digits before Iowa, but it’s still a long way off from Trump.

While Trump was also favored in the Iowa caucus betting markets, the margin was not nearly as high, and he only entered odds-on territory within the last two weeks of the race. Bettors’ confidence in Trump in New Hampshire does not appear to be slowing, as even after a shocking result in Iowa, Trump’s decline only fell 16 percent from his high, and he already seems to have bottomed out at 59 percent earlier this week.

Other Factors

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Donald Trump’s dispute with Megyn Kelly (left) led him to a costly Iowa decision he won’t repeat in New Hampshire. (Getty)

Trump had several contributing factors to his loss in Iowa that weren’t measurable in the polls, and that won’t make a repeat appearance this week:

  • Trump skipped the last Iowa debate due to a dispute with moderator Megyn Kelly, something he admitted may have cost him in the caucus, though the impact is hard to measure. He will not repeat this mistake in the New Hampshire debate.
  • Unlike the Iowa caucus, which features campaigning and politicking right up until the votes are cast, the New Hampshire primary functions more like a typical election, where campagin activities are limited, with most of them outright banned. Whether Trump is correct that Ted Cruz violated legal or ethical standards with his 11th-hour vote-winning tactics, no rival will have the chance to do the same in New Hampshire.