N.H. Poll: 81 Percent of GOP Voters “Could Change Mind”

The Boston Herald released a poll this week of 429 likely New Hampshire Republican voters revealing that 81 percent of those surveyed said they hadn’t firmly committed to a candidate.  Bush and Walker are tied for the lead with Rand Paul close behind and Christie (tied with unsure) only 5 points back.  Cruz’s burst of publicity with his announcement may have moved him up almost to double digits (9 percent).  Below are the full results:

  • Jeb Bush, 15% of support, 79% could change their mind
  • Scott Walker, 15% of support, 77% could change their mind
  • Rand Paul, 13% of support, 78% could change their mind
  • Chris Christie, 10% of support, 89% could change their mind
  • Unsure, 10% of voters
  • Ted Cruz, 9% of support, 79% could change their mind
  • Mike Huckabee, 7% of support, 82% could change their mind
  • Marco Rubio, 4% of support, 100% could change their mind
  • Ben Carson, 4% of support, 71% could change their mind
  • Rick Perry, 2% of support, 67% could change their mind
  • Rick Santorum, 2% of support,100% could change their mind
  • John Kasich, 1% of support,100% could change their mind
  • John Bolton, 1% of support, 100% could change their mind
  • Bobby Jindal, 1% of support, 100% could change their mind
  • Carly Fiorina, <1% of support, 100% could change their mind
  • Lindsey Graham, <1% of support, 100% could change their mind
  • George Pataki, <1% of support, 100% could change their mind

At such an early stage in the race, these results aren’t surprising. In fact, the only real surprise on that list is the lack of a dedicated base for Marco Rubio, who is relatively well known and well liked but not yet generating a firm base of support.  Favorability ratings were included in this poll, once again allowing for the use of the Frank Cannon Metric:

Candidate: Net favorability: No opinion/not recognized:
Marco Rubio +40 30%
Ted Cruz +33 23%
Rand Paul +33 20%
Scott Walker +32 35%
Ben Carson +24 55%
John Kasich +17 69%
Carly Fiorina +16 66%
Jeb Bush +16 10%
Mike Huckabee +14 16%
Rick Perry +13 19%
Bobby Jindal +9 49%
John Bolton +3 61%
Rick Santorum +2 29%
Chris Christie -3 11%
Lindsey Graham -9 41%
George Pataki -11 36%

Rubio does well here with a 40 percent net favorability, with Cruz, Paul, and Walker also polling in the plus 30s. Christie, Graham, and Pataki are in the net negative range.

It’s very interesting that the respondents have such a favorable view of Rubio, though none of them are firm in their support of his candidacy. Also worth noting is that John Kasich and Carly Fiorina, while they also don’t have firm supporters, do have some solid favorability numbers and large pools of undecided voters to win over. While they are long shots for the nomination, they could be attractive VP choices for the eventual nominee. As with any early poll, however, this poll carries very little weight, and, as such, the race should still be considered wide open.

Joshua Pinho works for American Principles in Action.