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CNN/WMUR poll: Trump, Sanders still up in New Hampshire

Story highlights

  • Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump maintain wide leads in their respective primary races in New Hampshire, according to a new CNN/WMUR poll
  • On the Republican side, Trump continues to hold more than double the support of his nearest competitor

Washington (CNN)Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump maintain wide leads in their respective primary races in New Hampshire, according to a new CNN/WMUR poll conducted by the University of New Hampshire Survey Center.

On the Republican side, Trump continues to hold more than double the support of his nearest competitor, while the race for second and third place remains muddled: Just 6 points separate the second place candidate from the one in fifth place.
    Overall, 30% of likely Republican primary voters back Trump, and behind him, the field vying for second includes Texas Sen. Ted Cruz at 12%, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio at 11%, Ohio Gov. John Kasich at 9%, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie at 8% and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush with 6%.
    Still, the sense of Trump's inevitability has grown, and two-thirds of likely GOP primary voters now say they expect the businessman to win the state's primary. No other candidate hits double-digits.
    Republican primary voters in New Hampshire are less conservative than those in other early states. Just over half of New Hampshire GOP primary voters in 2012 and 2008 said they considered themselves conservative according to exit polls, well below the more than 8-in-10 who said so in Iowa and roughly 7-in-10 in South Carolina.
    That larger group of moderate and liberal likely primary voters is less settled in its choices (35% say they've definitely decided, compared with 42% of conservatives), and less likely to back either of the two national front-runners - Trump and Cruz.
    A majority of conservative likely voters say they support either Trump or Cruz, while the same two candidates combine for less than 30% of moderate or liberal primary voters. John Kasich lands in second place among the moderate or liberal group with 15%, Rubio has 11%, Christie 10% and Bush 9%.
    Trump continues to top the list of candidates likely Republican primary voters say they would never support, 35% say so, including 47% of those moderate or liberal voters. Bush follows, with 12% saying they would never vote for the former Florida governor, including 19% of those on the conservative side.
    In the Democratic race, Sanders continues to lead Hillary Clinton by a wide margin, 57% to 34% in the new poll. Those likely to vote in the Democratic primary are more apt than those on the GOP side to say they have made up their minds about whom to support (58% of likely Democratic voters say their choice is locked in vs. 39% of Republican likely voters).
    Sanders holds an edge across nearly all demographic groups measured in the poll, though Clinton fares better among women than men, and she splits voters age 65 or older with Sanders about evenly, while trailing Sanders by a significant margin among younger voters.
    And although a December CNN/WMUR poll found expectations then tilted Clinton's way, Sanders' streak of strong poll results appears to have changed that, with 54% of likely Democratic voters now saying they think Sanders will win the state's primary on Feb. 9, and just 31% now predicting a Clinton win.
    The CNN/WMUR poll was conducted by the University of New Hampshire Survey Center by telephone from Jan. 27-30. The poll includes interviews with a random sample of 914 adult residents of New Hampshire, including 409 who say they plan to vote in the Republican presidential primary and 347 who say they plan to vote in the Democratic presidential primary. For results among the sample of likely Republican primary voters, the margin of sampling error is plus or minus 4.8 percentage points, it is 5.3 for results among likely Democratic voters.