Now, an important bit of context. That first, 31-point poll was conducted from Feb. 2 to Feb. 4. The second, much-closer one, was conducted ... from Feb. 2 to Feb. 4.
In fact, there have been five polls released in the past 24 hours or so that include conversations with voters Thursday, Feb. 4. They break down like this:
That's a wide spread. We noted earlier this month that how you ask can affect the response you get, but the points still stands: It's hard to gauge from this cluster of polls what the field looks like.
The same pollsters who asked about the Democratic field also asked about the Republican one. The results weren't much clearer.
In both cases, there's a clear front-runner. In both cases, the Globe/Suffolk poll had the narrowest margins. After that, it gets tricky.
The UMass/7News poll referenced in both of those graphics is the one we've been looking at all week, since it shows Marco Rubio narrowing the gap between himself and Trump. In most polls, Rubio's now in second place.
What's remarkable about that is not that someone would be surging after Iowa. It's that it's Rubio, the guy who came in third gaining ground. In 2008 and 2012, the person that gained was the person who won.
On the graph below, the people who won New Hampshire are in dark red or blue, depending on party. The person who won Iowa is in yellow.
In 2008, Mike Huckabee got a modest bump from winning Iowa. The real movement was on the Democratic side, where Iowa winner Barack Obama suddenly became the apparent nominee, leap-frogging Hillary Clinton ... only to lose to her in dramatic fashion.
In 2012, Romney had New Hampshire pretty much sewn up from the outset, but Iowa winner Rick Santorum still saw a big leap in the polls right afterward.
But in 2016, the only noticeable movement is from Rubio, at least so far. Sanders-Clinton has gotten slightly narrower in the polling average, but not much. Cruz has fallen over the last 10 days, not gained.
We mentioned before how this year's caucuses broke what we knew about Iowa. If that Globe/Suffolk polling is right, it will be far closer than we might have expected a few days ago. But I'll leave the predictions to others.