Despite an influential newspaper's recent endorsement of Republican presidential candidate Chris Christie, front-runner Donald Trump has a growing lead among likely primary voters in the state, according to a new CNN/WMUR poll. The poll revealed 32 percent say they support Trump, which is an increase of six points since September, and placed Florida Sen. Marco Rubio at a distant second place with 14 percent.
The New Hampshire Union Leader newspaper’s backing of New Jersey's governor was seen as significant, and sources close to the campaign had told CNN that they hope the endorsement would encourage voters to take a second a look at Christie. However, the poll released Tuesday placed Christie at third with only 9 percent.
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“Our choice is Gov. Chris Christie. As a U.S. attorney and then a big-state governor, he is the one candidate who has the range and type of experience the nation desperately needs,” the New Hampshire Union Leader’s publisher, Joseph McQuaid, wrote in an editorial Nov. 28. “We don't need another fast-talking, well-meaning freshman U.S. senator trying to run the government. We are still seeing the disastrous effects of the last such choice.”
Following Christie’s third-place ranking, the survey placed former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush with 8 percent, Ohio Gov. John Kasich with 7 percent, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz at 6 percent and businesswoman Carly Fiorina and former neurosurgeon Ben Carson both at 5 percent.
The poll was conducted by the University of New Hampshire Survey Center by telephone from Nov. 30-Dec. 7. For results among the sample of GOP primary voters, the margin of sampling error was plus or minus 4.9 percentage points.