How Trump’s Big Lead Could Fall Apart in a Hurry
Policy + Politics

How Trump’s Big Lead Could Fall Apart in a Hurry

Rick Wilking

How much is the bottleneck in the second tier of GOP presidential candidates helping Donald Trump? A new poll of New Hampshire voters sheds some light on both the passionate intensity of the billionaire’s support and its inability to rise to the level that would give him victory in a one-on-one contest with other leading candidates in the race.

Public Policy Polling, in results released today, found that Trump’s New Hampshire supporters, more than those of any other candidates in the field, say that their minds are made up about how they will cast their vote in the nation’s first primary election. Sixty-eight percent of Trump backers say they are no longer persuadable. By comparison, Ted Cruz has a comparable 65 percent of his voters locked up, Jeb Bush has 58 percent, Marco Rubio 46 percent and Chris Christie 40 percent.

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Trump’s strong support has been keeping him in the lead in the Granite State since last summer, but as PPP found in its most recent poll, his lead is deceiving. The majority of New Hampshire voters not only don’t like Trump, who ranks eighth among GOP candidates in terms of net favorability, but would vote against him if offered a simple head-to-head matchup against either Rubio (who wins 52-40) or Cruz (who wins 46-39.)

Even Jeb Bush, who has been floundering in the low single digits in national polling since last month, is within the margin of error in a head-to-head matchup with Trump, losing 46-45.

“If the Republican establishment really wants to stop Donald Trump in New Hampshire it might require some more people dropping out of the race,” Dean Debnam, president of PPP said in a release. “Four different establishment candidates all polling in double digits is what’s allowing Trump to have such a big lead in the state.”

The poll also asked several questions not directly related to the race, producing some interesting cross-tabs.

Related: Trump Takes on the ‘Obama Tears Truthers’

Fifty-two percent of GOP primary voters in New Hampshire said that they are “offended” by bilingual phone menus that require users to “press 1 for English.” Forty percent said that they were not offended.

However, among those who find an optional Spanish menu upsetting, Trump is the most popular presidential candidate, with 36 percent of the anti-bilingual menus vote. Cruz comes in at a distant second among that group, with 13 percent. Among the 40 percent not offended, Trump is in a tie for first, but with a relatively weak 19 percent level of support. Ironically, the candidate who ties him is Marco Rubio, who actually is bilingual.

One in five GOP primary voters believe that President Obama “is going to take all Americans' guns away during his final year in office,” compared to 64 percent who think he will not. The poll was in the field both before and after Obama’s controversial announcement of executive actions on guns Tuesday.

Only 27 percent of GOP primary voters in the state said that they support the armed protestors who have taken over part of a federal wildlife preserve in Oregon, compared to 39 percent who do not.