No sooner was Ted Cruz declared the winner in the Iowa caucuses Monday night, and after much excitement over Marco Rubio's strong third place finish, speculation began that both senators would quickly gain ground in round two of the primaries — New Hampshire.
According to a just-completed American Research poll of likely voters in the New Hampshire GOP primary, Trump leads with 34 percent, followed by Ohio Gov. John Kasich at 16 percent, Rubio at 11 percent, and Cruz 10 percent. (All other Republican hopefuls, American Research found, are in single digits in New Hampshire).
Given the surprising results from Iowa Tuesday, Cruz is likely to gain fresh momentum on the right in New Hampshire and Rubio is very likely to get support from more center-right Republicans — very possibly at the expense of Kasich, who has consistently run second to Trump in the most recent polls of New Hampshire primary voters.
“Rubio outperformed and Cruz had to win,” said veteran GOP consultant Ford O’Connell, who has no horse in the presidential race, “and Trump underperformed.”