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Poll: Trump's lead in New Hampshire grows, while Sanders' edge shrinks

Story highlights

  • Overall, 33% of likely Republican primary voters say they back Donald Trump, giving him a 17-point edge
  • Over on the Democratic side, Bernie Sanders holds 58% among likely Democratic primary voters, well ahead of Hillary Clinton's 35%

Washington (CNN)Donald Trump holds a growing lead in New Hampshire, according to the latest CNN/WMUR tracking poll, while on the Democratic side, Bernie Sanders' still-wide lead is a bit smaller.

Overall, 33% of likely Republican primary voters say they back Trump, giving him a 17-point edge. After seeing his lead shrink to 11 points following a second-place finish in the Iowa caucuses, Trump once again more than doubles the support of his nearest competitor, Marco Rubio.
    The race for second place has tightened once again, with the slight edge Rubio appeared to grab following his third-place finish in Iowa shrinking. Overall, 16% back Rubio, 14% Ted Cruz, 11% John Kasich, 7% Jeb Bush, 6% Carly Fiorina, 4% Chris Christie and 2% Ben Carson.
    The poll was completed as Saturday night's debate in New Hampshire was getting underway, and the results do not reflect reactions to the debate itself.
    Though support for both Cruz and Rubio is within the margin of error of where they were immediately post-Iowa, what had been a five-point gap between the two has narrowed to two points, suggesting the race for second place in New Hampshire is about as close as it was before Iowa.
    It's unclear when voters will make a final decision, as several nights of tracking have shown few shifts in the share who say they've made up their minds. A sizable 30% of likely GOP voters say they are still trying to decide whom to support, down just four points since the immediate post-Iowa numbers.
    These results represent the most recent four nights of interviewing in the tracking poll. The University of New Hampshire's Survey Center, which completed the interviews, will be calling voters Sunday and Monday, and CNN and WMUR will release an update to the numbers again on Monday evening.
    Two-thirds of likely Republican primary voters say they expect a Trump win Tuesday, up a tick since immediately post-Iowa, and slightly fewer now say they've ruled out a vote for Trump: 30% would not vote for Trump now, down from 37% who said so just after Iowa.
    Over on the Democratic side, Sanders holds 58% among likely Democratic primary voters, well ahead of Clinton's 35%. That's a tighter race than right after Iowa, when the poll suggested Sanders led Clinton by a 2-to-1 margin.
    And despite Sanders' far-wider lead, the sense of inevitability among likely Democratic voters that he will win is about the same as the expectations game on the Republican side for Trump: 66% say they think Sanders will win compared with 21% who see a Clinton victory as likely.
    The CNN/WMUR poll was conducted by the University of New Hampshire Survey Center by telephone from February 3-6. The poll includes interviews with a random sample of 953 adult residents of New Hampshire, including 406 who say they plan to vote in the Democratic presidential primary and 362 who plan to vote in the Republican presidential primary. For results among the sample of likely Democratic primary voters, the margin of sampling error is plus or minus 4.9 percentage points, it is 5.2 for likely Republican primary voters.