GOP Polls for Feb. 16: State of the Race in South Carolina & Nevada

Donald Trump polls, Donald Trump Nevada, Donald Trump South Carolina

Donald Trump, here campaigning in South Carolina, leads in that state and in Nevada. (Getty)

After a heated debate in South Carolina on Saturday, the focus turns to the state’s “First in the South” primary February 20. Donald Trump leads the states poll’s, according to RealClearPolitics, as well as those in the next state, Nevada. The FiveThirtyEight forecasts and PredictWise prediction markets also come down in Trump’s favor.

Delegate Count

Donald Trump 17
Ted Cruz 11
Marco Rubio 10
John Kasich 5
Jeb Bush 4
Ben Carson 3

Here’s a look at the state of the race:

South Carolina: Trump Well Ahead

John Kasich polls, John Kasich South Carolina, John Kasich Nevada

John Kasich, here at the South Carolina debate, is starting to build momentum in South Carolina, but it might be too late. (Getty)

The Polls

Two new polls from South Carolina show a convincing lead for Trump, with Cruz, Rubio and Bush consistently pulling double digits behind him and Kasich starting to show momentum.

Public Policy Polling Released February 16
Donald Trump 35%
Ted Cruz 18%
Marco Rubio 18%
John Kasich 10%


South Carolina House Republican Committee Released February 16
Donald Trump 33%
Ted Cruz 14%
Marco Rubio 14%
Jeb Bush 13%
John Kasich 10%


CBS News/YouGov Released February 14
Donald Trump  42%
Ted Cruz 20%
Marco Rubio 15%


ARG Released February 14
Donald Trump 35%
John Kasich 15%
Marco Rubio 14%
Ted Cruz 12%
Jeb Bush 10%

Trump figures to have actually increased his lead from last week’s polls:


Augusta Chronicle Released February 12
Donald Trump 36%
Ted Cruz 20%
Marco Rubio 15%
Jeb Bush 11%

RealClearPolitics consolidated these polls into an average for all candidates:

RealClearPolitics Averages
Donald Trump 36.3%
Ted Cruz 17.8%
Marco Rubio 15.8%

With one week to go until South Carolina votes, Trump looks from the state of the polls to add another win to New Hampshire.

The Forecasts

FiveThirtyEight’s polls-plus projections uses external factors like endorsements, the impact of previous state primaries, and national polling trends to give context to state polling numbers. Their forecast for South Carolina significantly favors Trump:

Donald Trump 73%
Marco Rubio 17%

Their polls-only forecast, which weights polls according to methodological rigor and past accuracy, is even friendlier to Trump:

Donald Trump 85%
Ted Cruz 8%

The Betting Markets

Presidential betting markets, which react more quickly than polling organizations or forecasts derived from them, offer key insight into the day-to-day movement of the race. PredictWise aggregates various betting markets into a summary of the betting action, which at this point is highly favorable to Trump, with only Cruz competitive otherwise:

Donald Trump 88%
Ted Cruz 6%

Click the “next page” button below for Nevada and national polling roundup, as well as a discussion of today’s news.