Well, we have been waiting for post-New Hampshire polling to come out for South Carolina, and now all of a sudden we have two. The first was conducted by the SC House GOP and the second by the Augusta Chronicle. They both show a pretty consistent picture of the race as it stands in South Carolina.
There are relatively few surprises at the top. Both show Trump at about exactly 35%, which is where he was before New Hampshire, so New Hampshire seems to have not given him a bump. Cruz is in second in both polls – one showing him at 20%, the other at 15%. Rubio is in in 3rd for both, at 13% and 15%, followed by Bush (13% and 11%). Kasich has seen only a minor bump in South Carolina from his 2nd place finish in New Hampshire, as he registers in 5th place at 9% in both polls.
The surprise here is that Ben Carson is now in dead last in both polls, by a healthy amount. In both polls, Carson is clocking in at only 5% – well behind even Kasich, who is frankly already giving up on South Carolina. Kasich’s own campaign has said that they don’t expect him to do well in South Carolina, and are moving on to Michigan (!), and yet he is doubling up Ben Carson’s support. Carson, for his part, thinks that South Carolina will have a great result for him, but the voters of South Carolina apparently disagree.
If this polling continues, it’s past time for Carson to see the writing on the wall and throw his support behind someone else while he still has enough support for that to matter. Time for him to start meeting with the other candidates to see who he might endorse. If he waits until his support falls down into the 1 or 2% range (which is where it is headed), then his ability to influence the election will have been truly wasted.