Trump jumps to second in NH poll
© Getty Images

New 2016 contender Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpFive takeaways from Cruz, O'Rourke's debate showdown Arpaio files libel suit against New York Times IMF's Christine Lagarde delays trip to Middle East MORE has surged to second place in the latest poll of New Hampshire GOP primary voters.

The billionaire real estate magnate, who announced his candidacy last week, now trails the head of the pack, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, by just 3 percentage points, 14 percent to 11 percent, in the new Suffolk University poll released Tuesday.

ADVERTISEMENT

“Jeb Bush continues to lead, but Donald Trump has emerged as an anti-Jeb Bush alternative in New Hampshire,” David Paleologos, director of the Suffolk University Political Research Center, said in a statement.

Trump's numbers highlight both his high name recognition and the strong aversion to his candidacy among many voters.

His second-place finish vaults him ahead of the rest of the GOP field, including Gov. Scott Walker (Wis.) and Sens. Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioSaudi mystery drives wedge between Trump, GOP Overnight Defense: Trump worries Saudi Arabia treated as 'guilty until proven innocent' | McConnell opens door to sanctions | Joint Chiefs chair to meet Saudi counterpart | Mattis says Trump backs him '100 percent' Dems can use subpoena power to reclaim the mantle of populism MORE (Fla.), Rand Paul (Ky.) and Ted Cruz (Texas). But 49 percent of voters said they view him unfavorably, the highest of any Republican candidate tested.

In a question asking which 10 candidates should appear in the GOP debates, which will cap the number of contenders on the main stage, Trump finished in 11th place.

“Many of those who like Trump are voting for him, and although many more dislike him, the unfavorables are split up among many other candidates. It’s the politics of plurality," Paleologos said.

The poll also has good news for Rubio, who finishes in fourth behind Walker, Trump and Bush, with 7 percent. The Florida senator's 61 percent approval rating is the highest of all candidates tested, and more voters want to see him in the debates than any other candidate except for Bush.

But despite Bush's lead, the poll finds that his his stance on immigration could make him vulnerable. Eighty-one percent of voters would disagree with an unnamed Republican candidate who said that illegal immigration is an act of love, a a phrase Bush used last year.