Billionaire businessman and presidential candidate Donald Trump won an easy victory in the New Hampshire primary, and South Carolina polls indicate he will continue to be the GOP frontrunner as the presidential race moves down south. South Carolina holds its primary on Saturday, February 20.
Despite desperate efforts by mainstream GOP leaders to out-perform Trump, the latest polling averages reported by New York Daily News via RealClear Politics show Trump holding a commanding lead in the Republican race for South Carolina with 36 percent, while his nearest competitor Senator Ted Cruz holds only 19.7 percent of the support of the South Carolina Republicans.
These numbers come right after Trump won twice the number of New Hampshire voters of Ohio Governor John Kasich, who placed second. RealClearPolitics also showed Marco Rubio at 12.7 percent on average, Jeb Bush at 10 percent, and Ben Carson at 8.7 percent.
These numbers should be taken with a grain of salt, since they were mainly taken from polls in January, before the Iowa caucus and New Hampshire primary. Nevertheless, it seems Trump remains a serious contender for the GOP nomination, with actual votes to match his polls. CNN reports that both the Democratic and Republican races may still hold surprises, but so far Trump and Sanders lead their respective parties.
“After New Hampshire and Iowa, Sanders now leads Clinton by 36 to 32 pledged delegates. But the former first lady has a wide lead among superdelegates — senior party officials and office holders. Exactly 2,382 delegates are needed to clinch the Democratic nomination. Trump has the most delegates among Republicans with 17, ahead of Cruz with 10, Rubio with seven, Kasich with four, Bush and former neurosurgeon Ben Carson with three and Fiorina with one.”
The race for the Republican nomination is heating up as Governor Chris Christie and former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina prepare to call it quits on campaigning for the presidency, while Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio suffer in the wake the rise of Trump and Cruz.
The Dallas Morning News reported that the Trump campaign has already begun running a slew of TV attack ads against Senator Ted Cruz, calling him “the worst sort of Washington insider,” criticizing his immigration policy, undisclosed loans from Wall Street banks and the accusations of voter fraud that haunted the Cruz campaign in Iowa.
According to USA Today, Trump may also have Kasich in the crosshairs.
“There is reason to believe that Trump — who has a habit of going after rivals on the rise — has his sights set on Kasich. The New York billionaire did praise Kasich as a ‘nice guy,’ but criticized a ‘false commercial’ about him financed by Kasich supporters. ‘So maybe I’m not in love with him as much as I was prior to hearing the commercial,’ Trump told MSNBC’s Morning Joe.”
Despite this early surge in victories, Trump may not have much to swagger about. He still has an uphill battle to fight when it comes to winning the Republican nomination, even if he does effortlessly win South Carolina as polls predict. Several mainstream Republican candidates like Marco Rubio and John Kasich are expected to perform better in upcoming states, as New York Daily News notes.
“Following the South Carolina contest, candidates face grueling contests on March 1, March 5, March 6, March 8 and March 15, during which more than 20 states, as well as the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico, will head to the polls.”
In addition, even though Rubio finished as the biggest loser in New Hampshire, national polls from Public Policy Polling show Rubio as able to rival Trump on a national scale.
Hillary Clinton, despite only winning Iowa by a half percentage point margin and losing New Hampshire to Sanders in a landslide, is still the Democratic frontrunner nationwide, and according to RealClear Politics Clinton has a significant lead over Sanders at 62 percent to his 32.5 percent.
[Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images]