GOP Polls for Feb. 19: State of the Race in South Carolina & Nevada

Marco Rubio polls, Marco Rubio South Carolina, Marco Rubio Nevada

Marco Rubio at CNN’s town hall Wednesday night. (Getty)

After impassioned town hall performances in South Carolina Wednesday and Thursday, the focus turns to the state’s “First in the South” primary February 20. Donald Trump leads the state’s 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 a campaign event, had been building momentum in South Carolina but has inconsistent results in the latest polls. (Getty)

The Polls

A deluge of new polls from South Carolina hit late Thursday and Friday, all showing Trump leads (and most by double digits), with Cruz, Rubio and Bush consistently pulling double digits behind him and Kasich showing strong in some polls.


American Research Group Released February 19
Donald Trump 34%
Marco Rubio 22%
John Kasich 14%
Ted Cruz 13%


Emerson Released February 19
Donald Trump 36%
Marco Rubio 19%
Ted Cruz 18%
John Kasich 10%
Jeb Bush 10%


South Carolina House Republican Committee Released February 18
Donald Trump 38%
Ted Cruz 18%
Marco Rubio 16%
Jeb Bush 14%


Harper Released February 18
Donald Trump 29%
Ted Cruz 18%
Marco Rubio 16%
Jeb Bush 14%


NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Marist Released February 18
Donald Trump 28%
Ted Cruz 23%
Marco Rubio 15%
Jeb Bush 13%


Fox News Released February 18
Donald Trump 32%
Ted Cruz 19%
Marco Rubio 15%

These are consistent with polls from earlier in the week:

Monmouth Released February 17
Donald Trump 35%
Ted Cruz 19%
Marco Rubio 17%


Bloomberg Released February 17
Donald Trump 36%
Ted Cruz 17%
Marco Rubio 15%
Jeb Bush 13%


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


RealClearPolitics consolidated these polls into an average for all candidates:


John Kasich10%

RealClearPolitics Averages
Donald Trump 32.9%
Ted Cruz 18.1%
Marco Rubio 17.1%
Jeb Bush 10.5%

With South Carolina voting Saturday, Trump’s slightly slowed momentum looks like it will have enough steam to get a big win in the Palmetto State.

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 89%
Ted Cruz 6%

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