Support for Sen. Marco Rubio is collapsing in New Hampshire, home of the first presidential primary, according to a poll released this week.
The University of New Hampshire (UNH) and WMUR released the Granite State poll this week, which found Rubio, R-Fla., who is looking at a possible White House run in 2016, an afterthought in the Republican presidential field.
U.S. Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., takes 17 percent, edging Gov. Chris Christie of New Jersey, who follows with 16 percent. U.S. Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., stands in third with 9 percent followed by former Gov. Jeb Bush of Florida with 8 percent. Former U.S. Sen. Scott Brown, R-Mass., whose name was floated as a possible Republican candidate in New Hampshire, gets 7 percent, followed by U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, with 6 percent. Rubio takes 4 percent, tying him with former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum, R-Pa. Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin wins 2 percent while Gov. Rick Perry of Texas has the support of 1 percent. Gov. John Kasich of Ohio, U.S. Rep. Peter King, R-N.Y., and U.S. Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, all lag behind with less than 1 percent.
Rubios poor performance in the new poll is a major reversal from where he stood in two earlier UNH and WMUR Granite State polls. Back in February, Rubio took 12 percent, placing him second behind Christie. In April, Rubio and Paul tied for the lead with 15 percent each.
Some conservatives across the nation have not forgiven Rubio for his role in supporting immigration reform this year and it could be hurting his chances in New Hampshire. In February, 56 percent of New Hampshire Republicans saw Rubio as favorable while only 6 percent viewed him as unfavorable. In April, 59 percent of Republicans saw Rubio as favorable while 8 percent saw him as unfavorable.
In the most recent poll, Rubios favorable numbers are dropping while his unfavorable numbers have risen. Now 18 percent of Republicans view him as unfavorable while 41 percent see him as favorable.
On the Democratic side, former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has a commanding lead with 64 percent. Vice President Joe Biden and U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass, tie for second with 6 percent each. Gov. Andrew Cuomo of New York takes 2 percent followed by Gov. Deval Patrick of Massachusetts with 1 percent. Former U.S. Sen. Evan Bayh, D-Ind., newly elected U.S. Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., U.S. Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., and Maryland Gov. Martin OMalley take less than 1 percent. U.S. Sen. Kristen Gillibrand, D-N.Y., and Gov. John Hickenlooper lag with 0 percent each. Patrick and Booker have closed the door to running in 2016.
The poll of 663 New Hampshire voters was taken from Oct. 9-16 and had a margin of error of +/- 3.8 percent.
Reach Kevin Derby at firstname.lastname@example.org.