- The Washington Times - Friday, July 11, 2014

A new Granite State-WMUR poll shows that New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul are the top picks of likely Republican primary voters in New Hampshire, while former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton remains the clear favorite among likely Democratic primary voters.

The poll, though, also shows that if Mitt Romney, the 2012 GOP presidential nominee, decides to take another stab at the Republican nomination, he would start with a big lead over the rest of the field.

New Hampshire is the second stop on the presidential nomination calendar and hosts the first-in-the-nation primary.

In the poll, 19 percent supported Mr. Christie, 14 percent supported Mr. Paul and 11 percent for former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush. Sen. Marco Rubio received 8 percent, Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal received 5 percent, and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz received 5 percent.

But if Mr. Romney changes his mind and decides to run again, 39 percent of likely primary voters said they would vote for him, with Mr. Christie and Mr. Paul tying in a distance second with 7 percent.

On the Democratic side, Mrs. Clinton remains the frontrunner, but her lead has diminished in recent months. She received 59 percent, compared to 14 percent for Vice President Joseph R. Biden, 8 percent for Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and 5 percent for Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont.

The poll, conducted by the University of New Hampshire Survey Center, was based on 669 randomly selected New Hampshire adults between June 19 and July 1. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.8 percent.

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