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Story highlights

Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton is running neck-and-neck against five of the top Republican presidential candidates

But Clinton has a slight edge against the leading two GOP candidates, businessman Donald Trump and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz

(CNN) —  

Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton is running neck-and-neck against five of the top Republican presidential candidates, according to a new CNN/ORC poll released Friday.

But Clinton has a slight edge against the leading two GOP candidates, businessman Donald Trump and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz who took the top two slots in the GOP pack in a separate CNN/ORC poll released earlier Friday. Trump came out as the clear front-runner in that poll, leading Cruz by 20 points.

Clinton leads Trump by 3 points with 49% support and tops Cruz by the same margin with 50%, within the poll’s plus or minus 3-percentage point margin of error, according to the CNN/ORC poll that pitted Clinton against five top Republican contenders.

Democrats face a tougher presidential contest when Clinton is pitted against Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson.

Carson leads Clinton by three points while Rubio and Bush are locked in a dead heat with the former secretary of state.

Rubio takes 49% to Clinton’s 48% of support while Bush has 47% of support to Clinton’s 49%, among the 930 registered voters surveyed in the CNN/ORC poll.

Clinton prevails by wide margins among women against all five Republicans tested, with her widest margin topping out at 15 percentage points when matched against both Trump and Cruz.

Rubio comes closest to closing that gap, trailing Clinton by 9 points among women.

At the same time, Clinton trails each of the five Republican contenders among men, falling furthest behind when matched up against Carson, who leads Clinton by 21 points among men.

But it’s the leanings of independent voters picking between Clinton and five of the top Republican candidates that could be sending alarm bells ringing through Clinton campaign headquarters.

Clinton trails all five Republicans in hypothetical head-to-head matchups.

Carson has the widest lead among independents, with 54% siding with Carson compared to 42% with Clinton.

Trump and Bush have the narrowest leads against Clinton among independent voters, leading the former first lady by 4- and 3-point margins, respectively – within the poll’s +/- 5-percentage point margin of error for the survey of independent voters.

The CNN/ORC Poll was conducted by telephone November 27 through December 1 among a random national sample of 1,020 adults. Interviews were conducted with 930 registered voters.