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On the eve of New Hampshire

One one hand, these results should be taken with a least half a grain of salt, since half of the polling was done before Saturday night's debate. On the other hand, they should be taken with only half a grain, because half of the polling was done after the debate.

But in any case, an ARG poll released today shows Marco Rubio and John Kasich in a tie for second place in tomorrow's New Hampshire primary, 14 points behind Il Duce but six points ahead of Cruz, seven ahead of Bush, and 10 ahead of Christie.

Tomorrow night will be interesting. If Rubio finishes second despite the media's decree that he hurt himself in the debate Saturday night, it will be hard for Bush and Christie to remain in the race- and hard not to see Rubio emerging as the clear alternative to Trump and Cruz.

As long as he finishes ahead of Bush and Christie (Kasich, who doesn't figure to do all that well anywhere else, is a special case), he still will be in the best position to emerge as the sane alternative to those two certain losers.

Only if Bush and/or Christie finishes ahead of Rubio- and it figures to be Bush, if it's either one- will Rubio be seriously hurt. But he'll have to do a lot better in the next debate.

Finishing ahead of Cruz would obviously put him in a better position going forward, and take some of the luster off Cruz's victory in Iowa without diminishing the impact of his own strong showing. But finishing behind him by a respectable margin would still leave him as the obvious sane alternative to Trump and Cruz, pending South Carolina.

Super Tuesday, March 1, should give us a very clear picture of where the GOP race will go from here on out, and specifically it will probably tell us whether the cracks in Trump's image of invincibility which appeared in Iowa and in his diminishing edge in the national polls are going to seal or widen.

Trump will win tomorrow, possibly by as much as two-to-one over whoever finishes second. But not until Super Tuesday will his numbers really be significant.

HT: Real Clear Politics


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