Politics & News
HUFFPOLLSTER: Signs Of Trouble For Donald Trump In New Hampshire And Beyond

By Natalie Jackson

Donald Trump and Ted Cruz face considerable challenges. We face a mountain of new polling in New Hampshire. And Hillary Clinton spent more on polling in the last quarter of 2015 than most of the GOP candidates combined. This is HuffPollster for Monday, February 8, 2016.

NEW HAMPSHIRE POLLSTERS WARN TRUMP COULD BE FALTERING – Howard Fineman: “Republicans who aren’t in Donald Trump’s camp and independent polltakers and experts here are increasingly convinced that the fear-peddling billionaire is losing momentum and could even lose on Election Day. ‘I’ve been convinced since day one that he would not win in the end,’ said Andy Smith, the respected dean of New Hampshire polling and a teacher at the University of New Hampshire…. More than a third of voters have said they definitely would NOT vote for Trump, a very high number at the same time that there is a huge undecided vote, Smith told The Huffington Post in an interview….Though Smith’s latest poll puts Trump at 28 percent and his nearest competitor — Rubio — at 15, Smith thinks that there is time for Trump to fall further, and perhaps for Rubio, Kasich or Cruz to catch up to him. [HuffPost]

Prediction markets show Trump in decline Paul Krishnamurty: “When Trump came in second to Ted Cruz in Iowa, he took a big hit in the betting markets: His chance of winning the nomination was at 50 percent before Iowa, then almost immediately fell to 25 percent after the caucus results. As for New Hampshire, before Iowa, the market gave Trump a 75 percent chance in the state. Now he’s hovering around 65 percent, with the odds going up and down every five minutes. So yes, the market still favors Trump to win the state, but the key detail is that Trump is falling fast—faster than anyone else. [Politico]

Cruz also faces a difficult road ahead – Nate Cohn: “[Cruz] won Iowa for one reason: He excelled among people who described themselves as ‘very conservative.’…He lost every other ideological category, and often by a lot. The national Republican primary electorate is far more moderate than Iowa’s, so Mr. Cruz will need to attract a far broader coalition. The history of recent conservative Iowa winners — like Rick Santorum and Mike Huckabee — offers plenty of reasons to wonder whether he can count on doing so….That’s why Mr. Cruz has so little traction in New Hampshire.” [NYT]

THERE HAVE BEEN A WHOLE LOT OF NEW HAMPSHIRE POLLS – HuffPollster: “Pollsters have been busy in New Hampshire the last few days. As of this post’s publication, HuffPost Pollster’s charts have added 15 [as of Monday morning, 25] polls of the New Hampshire primaries that were conducted after last Monday’s Iowa caucuses — nine [as of Monday morning, 13] of the Republican primary and six [as of Monday morning, 12] of the Democratic primary….Many of the New Hampshire polls show similar trends, although with some notable differences — Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) might have a commanding 30-point lead over [Hillary] Clinton, or he might be up by only 9 points. Ohio Gov. John Kasich might be in second place for the Republicans, but it’s possible either Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) or Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) holds that spot. The best option for understanding where things stand is probably to look at polling averages.” [HuffPost]

Republican polls show a very close race for second – While Donald Trump, polling at nearly 31 percent in New Hampshire, has a clear lead in the HuffPost Pollster average, the race for second place is far more interesting. Rubio is slightly ahead with an average of 16 percent support, with Kasich and Cruz at 13 percent each. An average of 7 percent are telling pollsters they’re undecided. What those voters do — if they vote — will have a substantial effect on the outcome. [HuffPost]

Sanders leads on the Democratic side, but by how much? – Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders has a consistent lead in New Hampshire polling, but the size of that lead varies quite a bit. His narrowest lead is 9 points, still enough to be outside margins of error. His widest leads are over 20 points. The HuffPost Pollster average puts him 15 points ahead of Hillary Clinton. It would take a lot of late movement, well beyond the 5 percent of undecided voters, for Clinton to win in New Hampshire. [HuffPost]

But keep in mind, voters are still deciding – Rich Clark: “Polls are a snapshot of public opinion as it exists when the calls are made…and we see in New Hampshire that the possible of changing one’s mind is rather high….Pollsters, political activists, and reporters work in a bubble where everyone around them is intensely focused on the upcoming campaign, but most Americans have only a fleeting interest in politics and do not spend much time assessing the options long before it is time to vote, despite our wishes that they did. [Castleton]

POLLING MISS IN IOWA LENDS INSIGHT INTO NEW HAMPSHIRE AND BEYOND – HuffPollster: “In the aftermath of Sen. Ted Cruz’s (R-Texas) surprise Iowa win, pollsters have been trying to figure out why he and Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) surged beyond expectations, even as businessman Donald Trump flopped. The reasons why pollsters got it wrong could be key to understanding how much trouble Trump faces in New Hampshire and beyond, and how accurate surveys of future primaries will be. There are two main theories: Polls screwed up in predicting which people would actually show up to the caucuses….. Voters changed their minds after most polls were finished…. Nearly a quarter of voters who’d supported Trump in Monmouth’s final poll never ended up voting, compared to just 13 percent of Cruz and Rubio supporters. But the more important factor was the 21 percent of those who did make it to the polls but …read more

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