With the momentum gained by Donald Trump after his big win in New Hampshire, the real estate mogul may be unstoppable in Michigan, which holds it primary elections on March 8.
The first poll taken in Michigan between the Iowa caucuses and the New Hampshire vote found Trump still holding an impressive 14-point lead. What’s important to note is that Trump registered 35 percent in the Feb. 2-4 survey even as the media played up his disappointing second-place finish in Iowa. In addition, his top two challengers last week’s Michigan survey, Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio, each at 21 percent, were knocked down a peg or two by Tuesday’s New Hampshire primary results.
In the poll, conducted for Inside Michigan Politics by Target Insyght, Trump won almost every geographic area in Michigan, including a third of the crucial metro Detroit vote. But the most interesting number came out of the Flint- Bay City-Saginaw area, where Trump dominated the competition with 50 percent.
The astounding degree of government ineptitude on display in the Flint water crisis may have stoked support for the maverick Trump.
The Cruz campaign, which has undergone a shakeup in the post of state chairman, has to be on its heels after a distant third in New Hampshire. The 21 percent level of support in the Michigan poll has probably already diminished in the past 24 hours.
According to Susa Demas, editor and publisher of Inside Michigan Politics, the survey found broad support for Trump and a considerable enthusiasm gap in his favor. Here’s how Demas described the situation on her website, susanjdemas.com:
As for ideology, Trump won every group: Very conservative, conservative, moderate and yes, liberal. Cruz came close with very conservative voters and Rubio made a run at the moderate vote, but that’s as close as it got.
Trump also won three of the four age groups, making him the top choice of voters 35 and older –– which is to say, the vast majority of the likely March 8 Republican electorate.
And here’s a number that should make establishment Republicans wake up in a cold sweat: Trump had the most committed voters –– 77 percent. Less than half of Cruz voters and less than a third of Rubio voters said the same.
One more thing: After his win in Iowa, Cruz (at least briefly) earned the mantle as the biggest threat to Trump.
But the Texas senator’s loyal support from evangelical voters in Iowa likely won’t be repeated in Michigan. The poll found that evangelicals are actually backing Trump by 10 points over Cruz.