Maggie, while the CNN poll shows Huckabee leading nationally, the more interesting polls were the ones NBC/Marist released a few days earlier in Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina, key early primary states.
While Jeb Bush has been declared the front-runner, these polls confirm he is not as far ahead as he thinks he should be: Huckabee is leading in Iowa; Lindsay Graham is leading in South Carolina; and Scott Walker is hot on Bush’s heels in New Hampshire, the one state where he is leading (Bush is at 18 percent and Walker at 15 percent, with Paul and Christie close behind at 14 percent and 13 percent respectively).
Breitbart nailed it by pointing out, “Although only former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker register in double digits in all three states. Five other candidates also receive double-digit numbers in at least one state.”
While the media keeps trying to divide the race into top tier, second tier, and dark horse candidates (among other things, it is hard to cover a race with this many horses in the running, one reason we are launching ThePulse2016.com in March), the polls show a remarkably fluid and wide-open race. The difference between the “front-runners” and the dark horses is less than 10 percentage points. The fracture in the field is the most remarkable thing at this point.
Frank Cannon is the president of American Principles in Action.