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Sunday, December 11, 2016

It’s been a big week for news in America — on issues like the Confederate flag, the Affordable Care Act, and marriage equality for gay Americans — but it’s also been a big, huge week of polling for a certain Republican presidential candidate.

It started this week with a poll from Suffolk University of the key first primary state of New Hampshire, showing Jeb Bush in first place with 14 percent — just barely edging out Donald Trump at 11 percent. Rounding out the top five were Scott Walker with 8 percent, Marco Rubio at 7 percent, and Ben Carson at 6 percent.

CNN has another poll of New Hampshire, showing Bush at 16 percent, against Trump with 11 percent. Rand Paul also has 9 percent, Walker 8 percent, and Carly Fiorina and Rubio are tied at 6 percent each.

But Trump isn’t just in second place in New Hampshire — the new Fox News poll has The Donald running second nationally, too: Bush 15 percent, Trump 11 percent, Carson 10 percent, and Walker and Paul at 9 percent each for the top five slots.

Trump reacted to this poll in a rather Trump-like way, showing the kinds of problems he could present for Republicans if he keeps at it.

“I can’t believe Bush is in first place. This guy can’t negotiate his way out of a paper bag,” Trump said at a Maryland state GOP dinner. “So I’m in second place to Bush? I hate it!”

At the same time, Hillary Clinton continues to overwhelmingly dominate the Democratic field nationally — but might have some trouble in New Hampshire against the feisty insurgency of Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT).

The Fox News poll has Clinton at 61 percent on the Democratic side, with Sanders way, way behind at only 15 percent. Joe Biden has 11 percent support, Andrew Cuomo 3 percent, Jim Webb 2 percent, Martin O’Malley 1 percent, and Lincoln Chafee less than 1 percent. (Biden and Cuomo have not announced that they are running, and are not widely expected to do so.)

However, CNN’s New Hampshire poll for the Democratic side shows Clinton with just 43 percent in that crucial content, with Sanders nipping at her heels with 35 percent. Biden is at 8 percent,  O’Malley 2 percent, Webb 1 percent, and less than 1 percent for Chafee.

The Fox poll also tested possible general election matchups against a variety of Republicans.

    • Clinton 51 percent, Trump 34 percent
    • Clinton 48 percent, Mitt Romney 42 percent (Note: Romney is not running — but with his name recognition, perhaps he’s a decent substitute for the “generic Republican” in a poll.)
    • Clinton 48 percent, Ted Cruz 42 percent
    • Clinton 47 percent, Walker 41 percent
    • Clinton 45 percent, Fiorina 39 percent
    • Clinton 46 percent, Carson 41 percent
    • Clinton 46 percent, Paul 42 percent
    • Clinton 45 percent, Rubio 44 percent
    • Clinton 43 percent, Bush 43 percent

The Fox poll also tested Clinton against former New York City mayor Mike Bloomberg (I), in an unusual two-way race with an independent candidate: Clinton 44 percent, Bloomberg 38 percent.

Photo: Donald Trump addresses CPAC 2015. (Michael Vadon via Flickr)

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