Sanders, Trump lead in the battle of New Hampshire

Washington, Feb 5 (IANS) Four days before the next battle in the US presidential race, Bernie Sanders holds a two to one lead over Hillary Clinton among the Democrats and Donald Trump continues to hold a wide lead among Republicans.

Vermont senator Sanders had the support of 61 percent among likely New Hampshire primary voters as against 30 percent for the former secretary of state in new polls conducted entirely after the Iowa caucuses that the latter won by a razor thin margin.

A new CNN/WMUR tracking poll showed that Sanders’s support in the small northeastern state that holds the first in the nation primary on Feb 9 has gone up slightly from the 57 percent he held in a late January CNN/WMUR poll.

Clinton is backed by 30 percent, down a tick from the 34 percent she held before the caucuses. Both changes are within the poll’s margin of sampling error.

Clinton won the state’s primary during her bid for the 2008 Democratic nomination after polls ahead of the contest showed her trailing then-Senator Barack Obama.

An NBC News/Wall Street/Marist poll conducted after Clinton’s narrow apparent win in Monday’s Iowa caucuses also gave Sanders a 58 percent-to-38 percent lead over Clinton-essentially unchanged from his last week’s 57 percent-to-38 percent margin.

“So far in New Hampshire, it’s all Sanders as Clinton faces an uphill fight,” said pollster Lee Miringoff, director of the Marist College Institute for Public Opinion.

On the Republican side, Trump continued to hold a wide lead among likely Republican primary voters in New Hampshire, according to a new CNN/WMUR tracking poll, with the pack vying for second place beginning to break up.

Behind Trump’s field-leading 29 percent support, Florida Senator Marco Rubio climbed to second place with 18 percent following his strong third place finish in Iowa, followed by Iowa winner Texas senator Ted Cruz (13 percent) and Ohio governor John Kasich (12 percent) in a near-tie for third.

Former Florida governor Jeb Bush held the fifth place at 10 percent, a hair behind Cruz and Kasich, with New Jersey governor Chris Christie and former HP chief executive Carly Fiorina well behind at 4 percent each.

The fight for second place between Cruz, Rubio and Kasich remained within the survey’s margin of sampling error.

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