Sept. 30–Real-estate mogul Donald Trump hopes to put to rest concerns that his presidential campaign may have already peaked when he holds a rally in New Hampshire tonight amid flattening poll numbers.
“It does look that Donald Trump’s numbers are going down a little bit and Ben Carson’s numbers are going up,” said Chris Galdieri, a political science professor at St. Anselm College. “I think that speaks to the debates each of them has had and the kind of media coverage each one had.”
Trump is still ahead in the polls, but his lead has slipped since the second Republican primary debate earlier this month.
An NBC/Wall Street Journal poll released yesterday shows him leading neurosurgeon Ben Carson by just 1 point, 21-20 percent.
A Fox News poll last week showed his 13-point lead over Carson in August was down to 8 points. And a Quinnipiac poll last week showed him still leading, but slipping 3 points since August from 28 percent to 25 percent.
Meanwhile, Carson and Jeb Bush will also campaign in New Hampshire today as they face growing pressures of their own, experts told the Herald.
“(Carson) more than Trump is going to have to start to come out with more specific policy positions,” said Robert Oldendick, a political science professor at the University of South Carolina. “Both the media and the voters are going to start to expect more of that from Carson.”
Bush, meanwhile, has to reassure his donors that, if he’s not going to surpass Trump or Carson in the polls anytime soon, he can at least edge out candidates like Marco Rubio and John Kasich, said Galdieri.
“Bush started off as a presumptive front-runner whose selling point was, ‘I’m an electable mainstream conservative,'” said Galdieri. “When you don’t look electable, that undercuts the rationale for his candidacy. … I do think it’s a potential sign of danger.”
National Republican Committeeman Steve Duprey disputed the idea Trump is losing steam, pointing to the tax plan he announced Monday.
“I think what he needs to do he has started to do,” said Duprey, “which is come forward with a concrete proposal that puts details on his broad statements.”
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