Voters in early primaries and caucuses have a tendency of changing their minds at the last moment. Of those who are considering changing between now and Tuesday, Marco Rubio and Jeb Bush supporters make up nearly half of them according to the latest NBC/WSJ/Marist New Hampshire poll.
Of the likely voters who listed themselves as “might vote differently,” 24% currently support Bush and 22% currently support Rubio. Frontrunner Donald Trump comes in third with 19%, but since this is weighted by total number of loosely decided voters, his big lead accounts for the high number. Rubio’s closest competitor, Ted Cruz, has supporters that account for 9% and Bush’s closest competitor, John Kasich, has supporters that account for 7%.
In other words, current Rubio and Bush supporters are the easiest prey for other candidates to swipe their votes on Tuesday.
The other candidate who seems to be in the most jeopardy is Ben Carson. Despite polling 2nd to last, his supporters represent 11% of those who “might vote differently.” Chris Christie is polling just above him but his supporters only account for 5% of the potential defecting supporters.
When looking at it as a three-man race between Trump, Rubio, and Cruz, the support for Rubio appears to be even more precarious. Trump and Cruz have nearly identical breakdowns between strongly support, somewhat support, and might vote differently. Rubio has more than double their percentage of those who somewhat support him as well as those who might vote differently.
If we’ve learned anything this election cycle, it’s that crazy things can happen. Barring a catastrophic event, Trump will win New Hampshire by a large margin. It’s in the race for 2nd that we will learn how the rest of the nomination battle is going to play out.