Don’t look now, but Donald Trump has rocketed to a 12-point lead in New Hampshire, one of the most important early primary states in the GOP presidential contest.
The poll conducted by Monmouth University from July 23 to July 26 shows Donald Trump has the support of 24 percent of likely voters in the Republican primary, with Jeb Bush at 12 percent, John Kasich and Scott Walker at 7 percent, Marco Rubio at 6 percent, Ben Carson and Rand Paul at 5 percent, Chris Christie at 4 percent, Carly Fiorina and Ted Cruz at 3 percent.
A key finding from the poll, Trump is leading in almost every single category. Under 50, he scores 30 percent with Rand Paul at 12 percent and Jeb Bush at 10 percent. Over 50, Trump has 21 percent with Bush at 13 percent. Tea party supporters back Trump 35 percent to Scott Walker’s 13 percent. Among very conservative voters, Trump gets 36 percent. Among somewhat conservative voters, Trump gets 22 percent. He leads among independents and new voters with 29 percent, and among Republicans with 21 percent.
The only category he didn’t lead was among moderate and liberal voters, but even there he only trailed Bush slightly, 22 percent to 18 percent.
To call that remarkable a little more than a month after he launched his campaign might be an understatement. It has all the makings of the political story of the year. Nobody could have predicted how well he is doing so far.
And time may be an asset Trump will be able to leverage over the remainder of the year when one considers the political calendar.
Congress will be in recess throughout August; but after that, it’s a mad rush with the fiscal year ending on September 30. The whole month will be consumed by continuing resolution and omnibus spending bill news stories. And even then, at the end of September, Congress may only enact a shorter-term resolution that carries through the end of the year, putting the budget back on the agenda through the end of the calendar year.
By the time Thanksgiving rolls around, voter attitudes will have already set in, making it increasingly likely that whoever is leading in states like Iowa and New Hampshire will be able to carry those leads into the end of the year.
In other words, the dough has been kneaded, and it’s been put in the oven. By the end of August, it will be mostly baked. Next stop is the debates. For candidates looking to topple Trump, the hour grows late.
This is a guest post by Robert Romano senior editor of Americans for Limited Government.