Donald Trump is running strong in the early nominating states of Iowa and New Hampshire, according to two new NBC News-Marist polls.
Trump leads the Republican presidential field in New Hampshire, getting support from 21 percent of potential GOP primary voters. He’s followed by Jeb Bush at 14 percent, Scott Walker at 12 percent and John Kasich at 7 percent.
Chris Christie and Ben Carson are tied at 6 percent in the Granite State, and Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz are at 5 percent each.
In Iowa, Walker and Trump are in the Top 2 – with Walker at 19 percent among potential Republican caucus-goers and Trump at 17 percent. They’re followed by Bush at 12 percent, Carson at 8 percent, Mike Huckabee at 7 percent and Rand Paul at 5 percent.
The polls were conducted July 14-21 – so before and after Trump’s controversial comments belittling John McCain’s war record on July 18. And they suggest the comments didn’t affect Trump in Iowa (he was at 16 percent before the comments and 18 percent after), but they did hurt him in New Hampshire (26 percent before, 14 percent after).
Despite his poll position, Trump’s favorable/unfavorable rating among Iowa Republicans is just 45 percent/44 percent, and it’s 39 percent/53 percent among GOP voters in New Hampshire.
Meanwhile, in the Democratic presidential race, the polls show that Hillary Clinton is ahead, but that Bernie Sanders has gained ground on her since earlier this year.
In Iowa, Clinton leads Sanders by 29 points, 55 percent to 26 percent, with Martin O’Malley at 4 percent and Jim Webb at 2 percent. In a February NBC-Marist poll of the Hawkeye State, Sanders was just 7 percent in a field that also included Vice President Joe Biden, who isn’t expected to run for president.
Read more: NBC News
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