After a dry spell of nearly a month, and all the political drama and actual voting that has taken place in Iowa and New Hampshire, we finally have a new poll out of South Carolina, where the next round of voting begins in less than 10 days. And, quite incredibly, it shows that … almost nothing has changed. Donald Trump is still up by double digits, Ted Cruz is in second, Marco Rubio is in third.
The Augusta Chronicle poll, taken on February 10 and 11, almost perfectly mirrors its immediate predecessor, a NBC poll taken during the third week of January. With 36% support, Trump is in first place by +16 points. Cruz is in second with 20%. Rubio jumped a statistically insignificant +1 to enjoy 15% support.
Jeb Bush jumped +2 to 11%.
The only notable change is Kasich’s leap from 1% to 9%. That’s a nice jump … into fifth place.
The best news is for Trump, who has managed to hold on to a substantial lead. The news for Rubio is mixed. After that brutal debate performance, the Florida senator’s support didn’t crater in South Carolina like it did in New Hampshire. Nevertheless, he’s still stuck -21 points behind Trump. On the flip-side, he is leading in the Establishment Lane, and holding that lead will become increasingly important as this primary campaign rolls on.
Another South Carolina poll released today shows almost the exact same results — Trump: 36%, Cruz: 19%, Rubio: 15%, Bush: 11%. Kasich: 9% — and adds the fascinating detail that Trump is leading Cruz among evangelicals by +10 points.
Follow John Nolte on Twitter @NolteNC