New Quinnipiac University Poll!
This is a national poll and not a South Carolina poll, but the numbers are very similar to the recent PPP South Carolina poll.
This was a live-interview poll on which Trump does poorly compared to automated polls. Trump’s true support at the voting booths, based on New Hampshire, suggest that the automated polls are more correct and he will outperform the live-interview polls.
Polling took place between 2/10 and 2/15, so only one third of the interviews took place after the South Carolina debate.
The close two-way race for second place obviously benefits Trump because it prevents a single strong alternative candidate from challenging him. I don’t see either Cruz or Rubio dropping out. If these results hold up in the Super Tuesday primaries, Trump will have a commanding lead in delegates plus front-runner momentum which will cause him to win a higher percentage of the vote in future primaries. (The GOPe/MSM probably believe that front-runner momentum won’t benefit Trump for some reason, but that’s illogical wishful thinking because it has always benefited the front-runner and is a consequence of the basic psychological principles of social proof and people wanting to associate themselves with a winner. In fact, we see the momentum effect in this poll. In the February 5th poll before New Hampshire, Trump was only at 31%, and he was at an even lower 28% in December, but the momentum from a big win in New Hampshire has caused his support to skyrocket to 39%.)
Trump’s unfavorable rating is 31% (much lower than it was a few months ago), which is not high enough to prevent him from winning a majority of the delegates.
77% of Republicans think that Trump has a good chance of defeating the Democratic nominee, which is the highest of any Republican candidate. The GOPe/MSM view that Republican primary voters will turn to someone else at the last minute because they won’t vote for someone who is destined to lose to a Democrat doesn’t hold up to actual scrutiny. It’s also interesting to note that 28% of respondents said they would never vote for him, but even some of those respondents obviously believe that Trump has a good chance of defeating the Democratic nominee.
Trump’s highest support comes from “somewhat conservative” and “moderate/liberal” Republicans, indicating that he will have the strongest support from swing voters in the general election and is the best chance for a Republican victory over Hillary or Bernie.