Republican nominees for U.S. president Donald Trump and John Kasich speak with reporters in the spin room after debate. Rough Cut (no reporter narration).
ROUGH CUT (NO REPORTER NARRATION). Republican presidential candidates held a fiery debate on Saturday, three days ahead of Tuesday's New Hampshire primary. Polls show Trump leading in New Hampshire, the second of the state-by-state nominating contests to select candidates in the Nov. 8 election, with Marco Rubio coming fast after a surprisingly strong third-place finish on Monday in Iowa, behind U.S. Senator Ted Cruz and Trump. "It's easier to poll New Hampshire because you don't have the caucus system, the caucus system is very complex, very tricky and you saw that by what happened to Ben," Trump told reporters in the spin room after the debate. "But I think we're going to do really well here and you know I've had a relationship with New Hampshire for many, many years. I have so many friends up here, beyond the political stuff, so I think we're going to do well and it was very important that I do a good job at the debate. I have a lead, I guess, if polls mean anything, I have a lead. I don't know that I had to be outstanding but they're all saying I really did well," he added. A Suffolk University/Boston Globe poll on Friday found Trump leading with 29 percent, followed by Rubio and Ohio Governor John Kasich. "I want to say this, regardless of what happens, this has been a fantastic period of my life and it's just been remarkable and I'm a happy man and we all are, on the bus traveling around we just have a great time, so, New Hampshire, I need you, please," said Kasich. Unlike previous Republican debates, Trump was not the center of attention on social media on Saturday. Midway through the debate, Rubio had the highest share of conversations on Twitter with 25 percent, followed by Trump at 22 percent and Cruz at 19 percent. Trump and Rubio have become the favored targets of the other Republican candidates this week as the candidates launched an all-out offensive across New Hampshire.