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Image: Poll: Paul, Christie Top List for 2016 New Hampshire GOP Primary

Poll: Paul, Christie Top List for 2016 New Hampshire GOP Primary

By Melanie Batley   |   Friday, 25 Oct 2013 11:19 AM

Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie have opened a significant lead on other potential GOP presidential candidates in New Hampshire, a new poll has found.

According to a WMUR Granite State Poll, 17 percent of Republicans would vote for Paul and 16 percent for Christie in the nation's first presidential primary.

They are well ahead of Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan who scores 9 percent; former Florida governor Jeb Bush at 8; former Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown at 7; Texas Sen. Ted Cruz at 6; Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and former Pennsylvania Rep. Rick Santorum, both at 4; Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker at 2 and Texas Gov. Rick Perry at 1 percent.

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Three other potential candidates, Ohio Gov. John Kasich, New York Rep. Peter King and Ohio Sen. Rob Portman all registered below 1 percent.

Christie had led by five clear points over Paul the last time the poll was taken in July, but at that time fellow moderate Brown — who is considering a Senate run from New Hampshire — was not included on the list of potential candidates.

The poll also found that Paul has a 28 percent favorability rating among likely Republican voters in New Hampshire, while 26 percent view Christie favorably.

When asked who they would not vote for under any circumstances, New Hampshire Republicans name Cruz and Bush at the top each at 8 percent.

The poll conducted Oct. 7-16 also found that in a New Hampshire Democratic primary, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton is the clear favorite. A total of 64 percent of likely Democratic voters surveyed said they would vote for Clinton, and 84 percent have a favorable opinion of her.

Just 6 percent prefer Vice President Joe Biden who has a 23 percent favorability rating. Biden also topped the list of potential candidates that respondents said they would not vote for under any circumstances at 12 percent.

Others on the Democratic list were Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren who tied with Biden at 6 percent, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo at 2 percent, and Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick on 1 percent. A host of other potential Democratic candidates including former Indiana Sen. Evan Bayh, Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper, Virginia Sen. Mark Warner, Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley, New Jersey Senator-elect. Cory Booker, and New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand all scored less than 1 percent.

Candidates who are the early identified frontrunners have typically won past New Hampshire primaries, though voters in the Granite State tend to decide who they will vote for in the last weeks or days of the campaign.

The poll was conducted among 236 likely Republican voters and 252 likely Democrats.

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