The latest Quinnipiac University national survey of likely Republican voters indicates that Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump received the most support, at 39 percent, an increase of eight points since February 1st. His rival, Senator Ted Cruz dropped four points, receiving 18 percent of the vote.
Surprisingly, presidential candidate Senator Marco Rubio received 19 percent– putting him in second place in this poll.
Trump’s voters appear to be mostly male voters, those without college degrees, and who self-identify as having “somewhat conservative” to “liberal” political views. Sen. Ted Cruz leads Trump among “very conservative” voters.
Rubio appeared to win college educated voters, women, younger voters, and self-identifying Republicans.
Interestingly– 28 percent of the Quinnipiac poll respondents said they would never support Trump; 13 percent said they would never support Rubio. Sen. Marco Rubio appears to have the highest “favorability” score among Republicans of 47 points– beating both Trump (with 31 points), and Sen. Ted Cruz (with 39 points).
Presidential candidate and former governor Jeb Bush remains at receiving 4 percent of the vote, and tied for last place with Dr. Ben Carson. Poll respondents said Bush only would have a 32 percent chance of defeating the Democratic nominee. Perhaps Bush should throw in the towel as an unelectable establishment candidate. Instead, his brother, former President George W. Bush, stumped for him. George W. has a favorability rating among Republicans of 59 percent – 36 points more than Jeb.
Leading up to the South Carolina primary– as to whether or not, and in whom the voters trust the most– remains to be seen.
Sixty-two percent of poll respondents said Cruz was honest and trustworthy; 60 percent said the same of Trump. And, 72 percent believed Sen. Marco Rubio is honest and trustworthy.
However, one significant deviation from the normal polling practice is that Quinnipiac conducted the poll over a six-day period– double the advisable poll timeframe. It also polled over the long holiday weekend, when it is usually harder to reach younger, more active voters.
The holiday did not stop campaign bickering and blaming, though. Sen. Marco Rubio and Trump attacked rival Sen. Ted Cruz for “using ‘dishonest push-polls’,” through a robocall reaching 500,000 South Carolina voters’ phones. On the defense again, Cruz’s campaign denied its involvement in the calls, suggesting instead that “they are being framed.”
Furthermore, the Washington Post reported that Texas oil investor (in G.W. Bush’s backyard) L.E. Simmons, who was Mitt Romney’s national finance chairman, signed on to Sen. Marco Rubio ’s campaign. Simmons apparently joins a growing roster of financial backers whom the senator hopes will give him even more of a boost.
This is bad news for those who continue to argue that Sen. Marco Rubio is ineligible to run for president. Others continue to expose his plan to offer widespread amnesty to illegal aliens, unlimited green cards and foreign visas, and continue what has been an effective move to displace American workers (the few who remain employed) with mostly Islamic foreign nationals.