Real-estate mogul Donald Trump leads in the Republican primary in New Hampshire but Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) has pulled ahead considerably to become the clear second-place contender in the race, according to a CNN/WMUR poll released Thursday.
The CNN/WMUR poll showed support for Trump at 29 percent, representing no change from last week’s poll. By contrast, Rubio stands at 18 percent, a seven-point jump from his performance last weekend. In third place is Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), who stands at 13 percent support.
This poll suggests that Rubio has overtaken Cruz, who held the second-place spot in last week’s poll by just a one-point margin. This is the widest margin the CNN/WMUR poll has shown between the second and third place contenders since December. It is also consistent with polling suggesting a Rubio surge, which elevated him to an unexpectedly strong third-place finish in Iowa. Cruz’s run as second-place favorite in national polling had almost never been reflected in New Hampshire polls.
Trump’s 11-point advantage in this survey is not as great as that posited by some other polling, although the CNN/WMUR poll agrees with virtually all other New Hampshire polling that Trump’s lead remains imposing in the Granite State.
The CNN/WMUR poll was carried out by live telephone interview from Feb. 2-4, entirely after the Iowa caucuses. The population sample was 209 likely Republican voters with a margin of error of 6.8 percentage points.