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Bernie Sanders does better against Republicans in New Hampshire than Hillary Clinton

But Marco Rubio is the only Republican that beats Clinton in a hypothetical head-to-head match-up

Washington CNN —  

Bernie Sanders outperforms Hillary Clinton in head-to-head match-ups with top Republican presidential candidates in New Hampshire, a CNN/WMUR poll shows.

The Vermont senator leads Donald Trump, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie by 23 percentage points. He also tops Ohio Gov. John Kasich by 21 points and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio by 18 points.

Clinton, meanwhile, faces tighter races in hypothetical match-ups against the same Republican candidates. She trails Rubio at 45% to 44%, and ties Kasich at 43%. She leads Christie 45% to 42%, beats Cruz 47% to 41% and tops Trump 48% to 39%.

READ: The complete CNN/WMUR poll results

New Hampshire, once considered a toss-up state, went twice for President Barack Obama – he beat Mitt Romney by 6 points in 2012 and John McCain by 9 points in 2008. And Democrat John Kerry bested President George W. Bush narrowly in 2004, though the state tilted in Bush’s favor in 2000.

That Sanders outperforms Clinton might not be surprising in New Hampshire: He leads, 60% to Clinton’s 33%, in the Democratic primary, the CNN/WMUR poll found.

But the results come as Clinton has made the case that she’s more electable than Sanders, arguing that Democrats should give her the party’s nod to keep Republicans from attacking Sanders’ history as a democratic socialist in the general election.

She’s latched herself to Obama’s legacy and cast Sanders’ policy proposals – particularly a government-run Medicare-for-all plan accompanied by increases in individual income taxes and corporate taxes – as impossible to enact in the current political climate.

The survey of 885 New Hampshire residents who say they plan to vote in the November general election was conducted January 13-18 by the University of New Hampshire Survey Center. Its margin of error is plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.