A new NBC News/Wall Street Journal/Marist poll out today shows close races in both parties as we enter the final three weeks before the Iowa caucus. On the Republican side, Ted Cruz is slightly ahead of Donald Trump, 28% to 24%. Both Cruz and Trump have emerged in the past two weeks as the two favorites in the race to win the Iowa caucus. In the race for third place, Marco Rubio is barely edging out the once surging Ben Carson, 13% to 11%.
In New Hampshire, Donald Trump holds a commanding lead over all his GOP opponents with 30%. Marco Rubio and Chris Christie in a close battle for second place, 14% to 12%.
On the Democratic side, Sanders is surging once again and is only losing by 3% to Clinton in Iowa, 48% to 45%. In New Hampshire, Bernie Sanders has a four point lead over Clinton, 50% to 46%.
The most telling thing in these polls is John Kasich’s numbers in New Hampshire. He has fallen to ninth place in New Hampshire in a state that Kasich must win or at the very least end up in the top three. With Bush and Kasich seemingly dead, that leaves the GOP establishments with just Christie or Rubio to help combat Cruz and Trump. It will be interesting to see which candidate the establishment moves toward. Both have strengths and weaknesses. For Chris Christie, he comes from a blue states that he won twice, has experience and is a very good speaker. His weakness though is definitely his temper and Bridgegate is by no means officially over. For Rubio, he comes from the mother of all swing states and he is young and likable and is non-white in a party dominated by old white guys. On the other hand, Rubio doesn’t have much experience, has personal financial problems and has an awful record in the U.S Senate.