New tracking poll information from Reuters confirms Donald Trump as the frontrunner, but also breathes new life into the Jeb Bush campaign. As on Tuesday, Jeb Bush had moved into third place nationally, with 10.6 percent support.
Bush edges Marco Rubio by almost 4 points as Rubio has dropped into 5th place nationally. Since the first regular day of the New Year, January 4th, Bush has climbed more than 3 points while Rubio has lost 1 point.
Donald Trump continues to lead the GOP field with 39 percent support, down slightly for the week, but still far ahead of the other Republican candidates. Ted Cruz remains in second with 14.5 percent support, up three points since the first of the year. Ben Carson is 4th with 9.6 percent support, continuing his drop from the end of 2015.
Bush has clearly benefited from his super PAC’s spending millions on TV advertising as voting nears. Organizations supporting his campaign have spent far more than any other campaign on TV advertising.
The second highest spending campaign, however, has been Marco Rubio. His campaign, in fact, is currently spending more in Iowa than all the other campaigns combined. Bush has concentrated more of his resources in New Hampshire.
There are three main take-aways from this latest polling info: 1. Donald Trump continues to dominate the Republican field, earning more support than the next three candidates combined. 2. Cruz has supplanted Carson in 2nd place for the nomination. Carson’s steady fall over the past two months has generally benefited Cruz.
Finally, the third point is that the establishment “lane” for an alternative to Trump or Cruz is still wide open. Rubio has failed to consolidate the more mainstream elements of the Republican party and has separated himself from Bush or even Chris Christie and John Kasich.
Bush heads into the Republican debate in Charleston Thursday with new signs of life. Rubio needs to have a big performance on Thursday or he risks being squeezed out by an increasingly crowded field in the middle of the pack.