The next contest on the Republican side is coming up this Saturday in South Carolina where Donald Trump continues to lead handily in every poll released in the past week. Beyond Saturday, the Nevada Republican Caucus is coming up on Tuesday, February 23rd, and new polling from out west shows a similar story with Trump consolidating support and holding a tremendous lead over his closest rival.
Report on South Carolina from The Hill:
Donald Trump holds a big lead over other Republicans in a new poll of South Carolina voters.
Trump has a 17-point edge over his closest competitors in the Public Policy Polling survey released late Monday to The State newspaper.
He has 35 percent support, while Sens. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) are tied for second with 18 percent apiece.
Gov. John Kasich (R-Ohio) ranks fourth at 10 percent, followed by former Gov. Jeb Bush (R-Fla.) and retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson deadlocking at 7 percent each.
The poll was taken Feb. 14–15, after Saturday night’s GOP debate. Trump atacked former President George W. Bush’s record on terrorism and the war on Iraq in that debate, arguing he failed to keep the country safe. It provoked a fiery confrontation with the former president’s brother.
Many wondered if the attacks by Trump, which prompted boos by the South Carolina crowd, would cut into his popularity in the state.
This new poll, at least, suggests that it did not.
PPP’s survey of 897 likely GOP primary voters has a 3.3 percent margin of error.
The real battle in South Carolina seems to be for second place and may determine which campaigns continue on to Super Tuesday and beyond.
In Nevada, only one poll has come out in the past month but the results show a widening lead for Trump. Report from The Hill:
Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump holds a commanding lead in the party’s Feb. 23 Nevada caucuses, according to a CNN/ORC poll released on Wednesday.
Trump has 45 percent support, followed by 19 percent who said they are backing Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), 17 percent who are backing Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and 7 percent who are backing retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson.
Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R) comes in fifth, with 5 percent support, followed by former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, with 1 percent support.
Forty-one percent of caucusgoers say they are still deciding who they will support in the race.
The major caveat in the Nevada poll is the number of undecided voters which comes in at 41%. That number could certainly swing the race in any candidate’s favor, however, the results of South Carolina may go a long way in lowering that number.
Nevada was seen as a “firewall” for Marco Rubio, having been raised there for much of his life. The younger, immigrant population was to be his gold mine of votes yet the polls aren’t reflecting that plan as reality just yet.