A week-and-half before the first major Republican presidential debate takes place , Donald Trump continues to be the biggest phenomenon in the race. A new CNN/ORC national poll has Trump leading the field with 18% support. Jeb Bush is just behind at 15%, within the poll’s margin of error. They’re joined at the top by Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, who gets 10 percent support. None of the other 14 candidates in the race get double-digit support in the national survey.
And Trump is also running strong in the early nominating states of Iowa and New Hampshire, according to two new NBC News-Marist polls.
The big news here is in Iowa, where Trump has barely registered with any significance in much of the polling done so far in 2015.
The new NBC News/Marist poll in Iowa has Walker at 19 points, Trump at 17 points, and Jeb Bush at 12 points. No one else in Iowa is in double-digits. Ben Carson is next at 8 percent, Mike Huckabee at 7 percent, Rand Paul at 5 percent, Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz are at 4 percent. When NBC/Marist conducted a similar poll in Iowa in February, Huckabee led with 17 percent. Trump was not even listed as a candidate.
In the NBC News/Marist poll in New Hampshire, Trump has a solid seven-percentage point lead over Jeb Bush, 21%-14%. Scott Walker is at 12%, and Ohio Governor John Kasich comes in a surprising fourth with 7 %.
Chris Christie, whose basically his whole strategy on winning New Hampshire, comes in fifth in the poll with 6%, tied with Dr. Ben Carson. Marco Rubio is seventh in New Hampshire in this poll, tied with Ted Cruz at 5% support.
Going back to the CNN/ORC poll, Trump’s vulnerabilities are also exposed. Overall, 59% of all registered voters have an unfavorable opinion of Trump. That includes 42 percent among GOP voters.
The Republican electorate is more enthusiastic about next year’s vote than the Democrats are. The poll finds 46% of Democratic voters say they are extremely or very enthusiastic about voting for president next year, compared with 55% of Republican voters. But enthusiasm is down in both parties compared with June of 2011, when 61% of Republican registered voters and 55% of Democratic registered voters were that enthusiastic.
On the Democratic side, Hillary Clinton remains the clear frontrunner in the CNN/ORC poll, though Sanders has increased his support slightly since last month’s poll. Clinton is backed by 56% of registered Democratic and Democratic-leaning voters, while Sanders has inched up to 19% from 15% in June. The rest of the field is about even with where they were before.
In Iowa in the NBC News/Marist Poll, Clinton leads Sanders by 29 points, 55 percent to 26 percent, with Martin O’Malley at 4 percent and Jim Webb at 2 percent. In a February NBC-Marist poll of the Hawkeye State, Sanders was just 7 percent in a field that also included Vice President Joe Biden, who isn’t expected to run for president.
In New Hampshire, Clinton is ahead of Sanders (who represents neighboring Vermont in the U.S. Senate) by 13 points, 47 percent to 34 percent. They’re followed by O’Malley at 5 percent and Lincoln Chafee at 2 percent.
The CNN/ORC International Poll was conducted July 22-25 among a random national sample of 1,017 adults, including 898 registered voters. Results for all registered voters have a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points. The registered voter sample included 419 Republicans and Republican-leaning independents as well as 392 Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents.
The NBC-Marist poll of Iowa was conducted July 14-21 of 919 registered voters (+/- 3.2 percentage points), 342 potential GOP caucus-goers (+/- 5.3 percentage points) and 320 potential Democratic caucus-goers (+/- 5.5 percentage points).
The NBC-Marist poll of New Hampshire was conducted July 14-21 of 910 registered voters (+/- 3.2 percentage points), 401 potential GOP primary voters (+/- 4.9 percentage points) and 329 potential Democratic primary voters (+/- 5.4 percentage points.