I said last week that we needed more polling to be sure of the Trump situation after the debate and the Redstate Gathering. It turns out the new polling hasn’t clarified things yet.
We have three polls since the debate and the Gathering. Two are registered voter (RV) polls by Fox and CNN. The third is a likely voter (LV) poll by Rasmussen Reports. They don’t agree with each other, except that name recognition is very important: The candidates who are far ahead in name recognition are doing much better in all of this early polling.
The RV polls however have Trump doing much better than he is in the LV poll. He’s at an average of 24.5 among RVs, and 17 among LVs. 7 and a half points is a lot regardless, but it’s everything when the overall numbers are this small.
The big beneficiary of the RV to LV shift? [mc_name name=’Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’R000595′ ]. He has the biggest gain and goes to second place. Notably he also leads the Second Choice question in the Fox poll, a spot consistently held by eventual winner Mitt Romney last cycle.
Trump’s ahead, but it’s genuinely hard to tell how well he’s doing among people who will actually vote in primaries and show up to caucuses. Yet.