From Real Clear Politics. Charts updated Monday 5 PM:
To this point Rubio and Kasich appear to be the beneficiaries after some of the air was let out of the tires of Donald Trump's airplane. However, these polls were all taken before Saturday's debate.
Christie Gave Rubio Smackdown in Saturday Debate- Poll Suggests Rubio Damaged
In the opening of the debate New Jersey Governor Chris Christie repeatedly savaged Florida Senator Marco Rubio likening him to a wind up doll who just repeats canned phrases. It didn't help that Rubio proceeded to repeat himself nearly word for word in response. Critics are calling him "Marcobot," "Robot Rubio" and say he had a "Marco Malfunction." Not good!
Brit Hume at Fox News said Rubio's performance was as bad as Dan Quayle's debate with Loyd Bentsen in 1988. A deer caught in the headlights! A private poll taken on Sunday for Kasich's political action committee says Rubio was damaged by his debate performance. But take that with a grain of salt coming from a partisan organization. If true, it may help Kasich or lift one or more of the others.
Conservative Smackdown on Rubio Immigration Move
It didn't help that the Eagle Forum group headed by Phyllis Schlafly, an icon of the conservative movement and whom yours truly met many years ago, published a 15 page beatdown on Marco Rubio's shifting immigration position. It tracks his broken promises on the issue and accuses him of lying about it and betraying the conservatives who helped elect him to the Senate in 2010. If you are unclear about the importance of the immigration issue (you can't repeal amnesty once you grant it) and Rubio's role in it, then read this. It concludes:
Unlike other legislation, the effects of bad immigration policy cannot be repealed. They are forever. The Republican party would never nominate a pro-Obamacare candidate, and it must be an even stronger maxim that it should not nominate any candidate who is committed to a policy of mass immigration. Rubio wrote the Obamacare of immigration policies: a bill that would have eviscerated the middle class, plunged millions into poverty, legalized the most dangerous aliens on the planet, overwhelmed our schools and safety nets, and done irreversible violence to the idea of America as a nation-state. Rubio is the candidate of open borders, Obamatrade and mass immigration, making one last attempt to pull off one big con.Ben Carson Left Behind at Debate. Foreshadowing Things to Come?
This was an awkward moment. Dr. Ben Carson missed his cue to appear on stage at Saturday's debate so he just stood there while the other candidates passed him by. Sort of like his campaign since he began the long slow slide in the polls. Very sad for an otherwise decent and honorable man.
Place Your Bets on New Hampshire
Carson looks finished in New Hampshire and it doesn't look like he will do much better in South Carolina (need new polls in the Palmetto State). But from what you can see in the chart above it looks like Cruz, Rubio, Kasich and even Jeb Bush have a shot at placing well in New Hampshire. And who knows, Trump's unorthodox campaign style where he prefers big rallies over the handshaking in small towns Granite State residents are used to, may not work here.
It's likely we will see more exits after the New Hampshire primary before South Carolina Republicans vote on February 20. If Christie doesn't vault into the top four I don't see how he goes on to South Carolina. Of course there's often a surprise here so it will be fun to watch.