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New Monmouth New Hampshire poll: Donald Trump 24 percent, Jeb Bush 12 percent

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Another GOP presidential poll shows that Donald Trump’s comments about John McCain’s war service 10 days ago did not implode his campaign, as too many pundits predicted.

A Monmouth University Poll of likely New Hampshire Republican votes shows the New York businessman/celebrity leading the field with 24 percent support, double the next closest competitor, Jeb Bush, who is at 12 percent.

Shooting up to third place in the poll is Ohio Gov. John Kasich, who is tied with Scott Walker at 7 percent. Marco Rubio is at 6 percent, Ben Carson  and Rand Paul are at 5 percent, Chris Christie at 4 percent, Carly Florina and Ted Cruz are at 3 percent, Bobby Jindal, Mike Huckabee and George Pataki are at 2 percent. Rick Perry, Rick Santorum, Lindsey Graham, and Jim Gilmore earn 1 percent or less. Another 14 percent of likely primary voters are undecided.

The poll shows that Trump’s success seems to be hurting Christie, Walker and Cruz the most. When asked in the poll if Trump was not in the race, more than 4 in 10 of his voters say they would switch their support to one of three candidates – Christie (15 percent), Walker (14 percent), or Cruz (14 percent). Monmouth pollsters say, “This could equate to another 3 or 4 percentage points in those candidates’ overall support.”

A close look at the cross tabs shows that Trump’s appeal is widespread. Trump does better among independents and new voters (29 percent) likely to go the polls next February than he does among already registered Republicans (21 percent). This is not insignificant, as New Hampshire’s open primary system allows undeclared voters to participate in party primaries.

Trump is killing it with conservative voters, getting 36 percent support; Walker and Cruz are next, at 10 percent and nine percent, respectively.

And he’s popular with all age groups: 30 percent of voters under 50 support Trump, with Rand Paul next at 12 percent.  Those ages 50 and older prefer Trump at 21 percent, with Bush next at 13 percent.

It appears that nobody is working harder in the Granite State than New Jersey Gov. Christie.  About one in seven likely voters say they have met or seen one of the candidates, and about half that number say they have seen Christie.

“Despite spending much of his time there, Christie does much better as a second choice rather than the first pick in New Hampshire. It seems that Trump has stolen the New Jersey governor’s ‘telling it like it is’ thunder,” said Patrick Murray, director of the independent Monmouth University Polling Institute in West Long Branch, N.J.

The Monmouth University Poll was conducted by telephone from July 23 to 26, 2015, with 467 New Hampshire voters likely to vote in the Republican presidential primary. This sample has a margin of error of +4.5 percent. The poll was conducted by the Monmouth University Polling Institute in West Long Branch, N.J.

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 mitch.perry@floridapolitics.com.

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