GOP Polls for Feb. 6: State of the Race in New Hampshire & South Carolina

Ted Cruz polls, Ted Cruz New Hampshire, Ted Cruz South Carolina

Ted Cruz, here campaigning in New Hampshire, has fallen behind in the state’s polls. (Getty)

With the focus turns to Tuesday’s New Hampshire primary, the next three days are critical. While Ted Cruz managed to pull a last-second upset of frontrunner Donald Trump in Iowa, he polled fairly close to Trump in that state, something that’s not true of New Hampshire. According to RealClearPolitics, Trump leads there by an average of more than 22 points, while Cruz’s rivals, including another surprising Iowa finisher in Marco Rubio, are within striking distance of his second-place spot. The PredictWiseprediction markets and FiveThirtyEight’s porjections have shown movement in favor of Trump’s rivals, especially for Rubio, but it’s unclear whether that surge will be soon or big enough.

Delegate Count (1,237 Needed)

  • Ted Cruz: 8
  • Donald Trump: 7
  • Marco Rubio: 7
  • Ben Carson: 3

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

New Hampshire

Marco Rubio campaigning in New Hampshire, where he's gained significantly in post-Iowa polling. (Getty)

Marco Rubio campaigning in New Hampshire, where he’s gained significantly in post-Iowa polling. (Getty)

Recent polls have mixed news for Rubio. SUPRC/Boston Globe shows him within 10 points of Trump, 29-19, with Kasich third at 13 and Jeb Bush taking 10. A WBUR/MassINC poll puts him at a 17-point disadvantage, tying with Cruz at 12 percent to Trump’s 29. CNN/WMUR again has him as the runner-up, 17 to Trump’s 30, with NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Marist putting him 13 points in back of Trump, 29-18. The tracking poll from UMass-Lowell/7News, however, shows his momentum might have peaked, as for the first time since the poll began on February 1 he dropped, from 15 to 14. According to RealClearPolitics polling averages, Trump has a 14.3-point lead with 30.7 percent of the vote, followed by Rubio at 16.4 and Cruz tied with Kasich at 12.

New Hampshire Polling Averages (by RealClearPolitics)

  • Donald Trump: 30.7%
  • Marco Rubio: 16.4%
  • Ted Cruz: 12%
  • John Kasich: 12%

FiveThirtyEight’s polls-plus forecast, which considers multiple factors beyond the polls, gives Trump a 64 percent chance to win New Hampshire, with Rubio at 19 percent and everyone else in single digits. Their polls-only forecast bumps Trump to 76 percent, with Rubio at 10.

FiveThirtyEight Polls-Plus Forecast

  • Donald Trump: 64%
  • Marco Rubio: 19%

In the PredictWise betting averages, Trump rises to 69 percent, with Rubio rising to 22 as well.

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

South Carolina

Donald Trump polls, Donald Trump New Hampshire, Donald Trump South Carolina

Donald Trump, seen here campaigning in South Carolina, is way up in primary polls there. (Getty)

The most recent polls for South Carolina, from CBS News/YouGov and NBC News/Marist/Wall Street Journal show a Trump advantage of 19 and 16 points, respectively. CBS News/YouGov shows Trump taking 36 percent to Cruz’s 20 percent, with Rubio at 14; NBC News/Marist/Wall Street Journal gives Trump a full 40 percent, with Cruz at 21 and Rubio 13. Neither of these, though, were taken after the Iowa caucus, so there’s crucial context missing from these numbers.

The RealClearPolitics averages for South Carolina show a 16.3-point lead for Trump at 36, with 19.7 for Cruz, 12.7 for Rubio, and 10 for Jeb Bush.

South Carolina Polling Averages (by RealClearPolitics)

  • Donald Trump: 36%
  • Ted Cruz: 19.7%
  • Marco Rubio: 12.7%
  • Jeb Bush: 10%

FiveThirtyEight’s polls-plus projection for South Carolina puts Trump at a 55 percent favorite to win the nomination, with Rubio at 21 and Cruz at 17. Their polls-only projection puts Trump at 70 percent, with 17 for Cruz.

FiveThirtyEight Polls-Plus Forecast

  • Donald Trump: 55%
  • Marco Rubio: 21%
  • Ted Cruz: 17%

In the betting markets aggregated by PredictWise, Trump recovers somewhat from his post-Iowa drop, rising from 46 to 55 percent, with Rubio at 22 and Cruz with 16.

The Rest of the Country

Orrin Hatch Bush, Right to Rise Rubio, Jeb Bush Rubio

Utah Republican Senator Orrin Hatch called on a Jeb Bush-affiliated Super PAC to stop attacks on Marco Rubio. (Getty)

A recent national poll from Quinnipiac shows Trump leading Cruz 31 percent to 22 percent, with Rubio at 19. It’s the second straight poll to show a single-digit national lead for Trump after almost two months of 13-point or larger leads; keep in mind, though, that national polls are more reliable indicators of where state polls might move than how the primary election will play out. The RealClearPolitics polling average, narrows the Trump lead to 12.5 with this new poll, at 33.6 percent to 20.7 for Cruz, with Rubio taking 13.3.

National Polling Averages (According to RealClearPolitics)

  • Donald Trump: 33.6%
  • Ted Cruz: 20.7%
  • Marco Rubio: 13.3%

Rubio’s meteoric rise in the post-Iowa PredictWise betting aggregation has slowed but not stopped, as he gains 2 points today to move to 62 percent, with former odds-on favorite Donald Trump holding steady at 22 and Ted Cruz at 12.

News of the Day

  • Utah Senator Orrin Hatch, a Jeb Bush endorser, called on one of the candidate’s supporting super PACS to stop attacks on Rubio.

GOP Primary & Debate Schedule

Debate Schedule

New Hampshire: February 6, ABC News

South Carolina: February 13, CBS

Texas: February 26, CNN

Location TBD: March 2016, Fox News

Florida: Date TBD, CNN/Salem Radio

Primary Schedule
New Hampshire: February 9

South Carolina: February 20

Nevada: February 23

Super Tuesday (Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, Colorado, Georgia, Massachusetts, Minnesota, North Dakota, Oklahoma,
Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, Virginia, Wyoming): March 1

Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine: March 5

Puerto Rico: March 6

Hawaii, Idaho, Michigan, Mississippi: March 8

Guam, Washington, D.C.: March 12

Florida, Illinois, Missouri, North Carolina, Northern Mariana Islands, Ohio: March 15

Virgin Islands: March 19

American Samoa, Arizona, Utah: March 22

Wisconsin: April 5

Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island: April 26

Indiana: May 3

Nebraska, West Virginia: May 10

Oregon: May 17

Washington: May 24

California, Montana, New Jersey, New Mexico, South Dakota: June 7