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Jan 28, 2016 10:13 PM

Steinhauser: New poll indicates Kasich, Cruz, Bush and Rubio fighting for silver in N.H.

NH1 News Political Director

CONCORD – Donald Trump remains the clear front runner in New Hampshire’s Republican primary, but a new poll released Thursday indicates a four-way battle for second place.

According to a Suffolk University survey conducted Monday through Wednesday, Trump has the support of 27% of likely GOP primary voters in the Granite State.

Battling for the second spot are Ohio Gov. John Kasich and Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas at 12%, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush at 10%, and Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida at 10%. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who’s been part of that pack fighting for second or third place in the first-in-the-nation primary, slipped down to 6%.

Famed neurosurgeon Ben Carson’s at 5%, with former business chief executive Carly Fiorina at 4% and Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky at 2%. Everyone else in the large GOP presidential field registered at 1% or less.

“Donald Trump’s loyal 27 percent continues to stand tall in New Hampshire,” said David Paleologos, director of the Suffolk University Political Research Center in Boston. “The 27 percent isn’t a skyscraper, but it towers over the four candidates vying for second place. One of those four candidates needs a big Iowa surprise to create momentum so that he can break into the 20 percent range in New Hampshire. If there are no surprises in Iowa, they will divide up the undecided voters evenly and Trump will prevail.”

The new poll is the fifth straight to be released that places Kasich in either second or third place. Cruz has placed second in three of those past five surveys. And the poll is the second straight to find Bush with double-digit support.

Five-hundred likely GOP primary voters in New Hampshire were questioned in the Suffolk University poll, which has a sampling error of plus or minus 4.4 percentage points.

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