The election climate could be drastically different when the 2016 presidential candidates arrive in North Carolina as over 20 states will hold their primaries between now and March 15. Two of these states include South Carolina and Nevada, both of which will be holding a primary election this Saturday.
According to a recent CNN poll, Donald Trump has a 16-point lead over the next closest republican candidate with 38 percent of the vote in South Carolina.
Trump currently sits on top of the republican standings with 17 delegates after a victory in New Hampshire and is finding success among the white evangelical voters in South Carolina. Trump is polling at 42 percent among those voters.
After Trump, the gap between candidates becomes much smaller as three candidates are within 12 points of each other.
Ted Cruz, the senator from Texas is sitting in second place with 22 percent of the votes in the same poll followed by Florida Senator Marco Rubio at 14 percent and former Florida Governor Jeb Bush at 10 percent.
Cruz's popularity has grown rapidly in South Carolina over the past five months. The Texas Senator has increased his polling numbers in the Palmetto State nearly 20 points since October. When looking at the numbers on specific issues, Cruz finishes behind Trump for nearly every category, but does have the most support on social issues such as abortion and same-sex marriage.
While the republicans will be battling for the fifty delegates in South Carolina, the democrats will be caucusing in Nevada.
In a separate CNN poll released yesterday, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton holds a narrow one point lead over Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders.
The overall margin between Clinton and Sanders may be small in Nevada, but Clinton has 54 percent of the women vote compared to Sanders who polls among the same group at 38 percent. Clinton currently sits with nearly four hundred and seventy delegates going into Saturday.
Sanders is looking to use younger voters to propel him to victory in Nevada, a strategy that helped him stay close with Clinton in Iowa and win New Hampshire. The senator from Vermont has 56 percent of the respondents under 55 years old according to the poll numbers.