In the wake of the Iowa caucuses last week, Republican Sen. Marco Rubio appeared to be a rising star who was fashioning a meteoric rise as Tuesday’s New Hampshire primary approached.
That was before Saturday night’s Republican presidential debate, in which New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie delivered blistering attacks on Rubio.
Now, Rubio’s standing has suffered “one of the most dramatic drops I have ever seen in 48 hours,” said Matt David of the pro-John Kasich New Day for America Super PAC. “A rock doesn’t do it justice.”
The poll shows Rubio, who was second in most polls last week, falling to fourth with 10 percent of the vote.
Donald Trump, with 35 percent support, was the leader in the poll, conducted Sunday using responses from 500 likely voters. Ohio Gov. Kasich came next at 15 percent, followed by former Fla. Gov. Jeb Bush at 13 percent. Christie and Sen. Ted Cruz each received 8 percent support.
“The whole race changed last night,” Christie said Sunday on CNN. “There was a march amongst some in the chattering class to anoint Senator Rubio. I think after last night, that’s over. I think there could be four or five tickets now out of New Hampshire because the race is so unsettled now.”
On Sunday, during one campaign stop, someone placed copies of the Boston Herald’s front page showing Rubio’s picture with one word, “Choke,” under the windshield wipers of cars.
On Twitter, he earned the moniker “Rubio bot,” prompting some to dress as robots and greet Rubio at a Sunday event in New Hampshire.
h/t: The Washington Post