Donald Trump is outpolling all other Republican candidates in New Hampshire except for Jeb Bush, according to a new survey released Tuesday, though if you ask the real estate mogul himself, he thinks he should be in first.
In a poll fielded immediately after their presidential announcements last week, Bush earned 14% of the vote in the crowded GOP field, followed by Trump with 11%. Nearly a third of respondents said they were undecided.
The results from Suffolk University are the clearest indication yet that Trump, the billionaire with a penchant for bombastic rhetoric and unorthodox claims, is catching on with Republican voters early on in the cycle.
Trump referenced the poll Tuesday night while speaking to the Maryland GOP, saying he can’t believe he’s behind Bush.
“I’m not thrilled, cause how could Bush be in first place?” Trump said. “This guy can’t negotiate his way out of a paper bag!”
Pollsters tend to caution that surveys more than six months before any votes are cast may simply be registering each contender’s name recognition – of which Trump has plenty. Trump also joins a crowded GOP field in which none of the candidates — including Bush — have been able to break out of the pack.
In the 2012 cycle, several candidates with a penchant for making headlines with their controversial claims – such as businessman Herman Cain and former Rep. Michele Bachmann and even Trump himself (though not an official candidate) – also garnered top spots in early polls only to crash to Earth as the campaign dragged on.