GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump holds a sizable lead in New Hampshire ahead of the first-in-the-nation primary, and Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida has moved into second place.
According to a new Wall Street Journal/NBC News/Marist poll released Friday, Trump still has the support of 30 percent of likely Republican voters in New Hampshire. But going into the weekend before the New Hampshire primary, his advantage over his closest rival, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, has been reduced to 13 points — down from 19 points in the same poll conducted before the Iowa caucuses.
After Rubio’s strong finish in Iowa, the Florida Republican earned a six-point boost in the survey, coming in second with 17 percent support. Texas Sen. Ted Cruz followed closely behind with 15 percent support, up three points from a pre-Iowa poll.
The survey, conducted in the two days after the Iowa caucuses, also shows dimming prospects for the three current and former governors in the race — candidates who have also put the most effort and resources into the first-in-the-nation primary state. Ohio Gov. John Kasich finished in fourth place, with 10 percent of support in New Hampshire. Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush followed with nine percent of the vote, and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie trailed at four percent.
According to a CNN/WMUR poll released Thursday, about a third of likely New Hampshire Republican primary voters are still undecided.
Among New Hampshire independents — voters who are able to cast a ballot in either party’s primary come Feb. 9 — Trump holds a commanding lead at 31 percent, according to the WSJ/NBC News/Marist poll. Rubio comes in at 16 percent and Kasich finishes with 14 percent.
For Republican voters who say they are leaning toward a GOP candidate, 11 percent say they might change their mind.
The survey included 653 likely Republican voters. The margin of error was 3.8 percentage points.
Another poll, a Suffolk University/Boston Globe survey released Friday, showed a similar trend for the very top tier of GOP candidates.
Donald Trump led the field by nearly 10 points, at 29 percent support, with Rubio trailing in second with 19 percent. The survey, conducted Feb. 3-4, also showed Trump’s advantage diminishing after his second-place finish in Iowa. And compared to the same survey from last month, Rubio leapfrogged over rivals Kasich and Cruz from his previous spot in fourth place, with just 10 percent of support.
The Suffolk University/Boston Globe poll also found a different set of contenders vying for third place. Among likely Republican voters, Kasich finished third with 13 percent, followed by Bush at 10 percent, Cruz at 7 percent, and Christie at 5 percent. Former neurosurgeon Ben Carson rounded out the field with 4 percent of support.
For Democrats, the poll showed a closer race in New Hampshire. Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders led over rival Hillary Clinton by nine points, 50 percent to 41 percent. Eight percent of New Hampshire voters remain undecided.
The survey sampled 500 likely voters for each of the parties. The margin of error was 4.4 percent for both polls.