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Marco Rubio on the rise in latest Monmouth University poll of NH voters

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While Donald Trump continues to lead in New Hampshire in a Monmouth University poll released Monday, Marco Rubio is nipping at Ben Carson for second place in the new survey.

Trump is at 24 percent and Carson is at 16 percent in the poll, but Rubio comes in next with 13 percent, followed closely by John Kasich at 11 percent. Other contenders include Ted Cruz (9 percent), Jeb Bush (7 percent), Carly Fiorina and Chris Christie at 5 percent and Rand Paul at 3 percent. None of the other six candidates included in the poll registers higher than 1 percent.

That’s not that dramatic a change since the last time Monmouth U polled Republican Party voters back in September, with the notable exception of Rubio, who only at 4 percent in that survey.

“Marco Rubio’s standout performance in the last debate seems to have paid dividends in a contest that was supposed to be dominated by his former mentor Jeb Bush,” said Patrick Murray, director of the independent Monmouth University Polling Institute in West Long Branch, New Jersey. “Rubio’s new- found support seems to be a little softer than for other candidates at the front of the pack, but it is not particularly solid for anybody.”

And while Carson has the best favorables to unfavorables of any candidate in the Granite State, Rubio is right behind.

Carson’s 64 percent favorable and 19 percent unfavorable rating is slightly off his 73 percent – 10 percent high mark in September. Rubio’s 62 percent favorable and 19 percent unfavorable rating marks an increase from his already solid 50 p ercent – 26 percent showing two months ago.

Bush’s current rating of 44 percent favorable and 42 percent unfavorable is a definite improvement over his 39 percent – 45 percent showing in September.

Mitch Perry has been a reporter with Extensive Enterprises since November of 2014. Previously, he served as five years as the political editor of the alternative newsweekly Creative Loafing. He also was the assistant news director with WMNF 88.5 FM in Tampa from 2000-2009, and currently hosts MidPoint, a weekly talk show, on WMNF on Thursday afternoons. He began his reporting career at KPFA radio in Berkeley. He's a San Francisco native who has now lived in Tampa for 15 years and can be reached at

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