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Latest N.H. Tracking Poll: Trump, Sanders Lead With 1 Day to Go

Close Race for Second Place in GOP Primary Between 4 Candidates

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Detailed poll results are available at

UMass Lowell representatives are available for interviews about today’s poll results. 

Contact: Christine Gillette, 978-758-4664 (c), 978-934-2209 (w), 

The eighth and final day of results from the UMass Lowell/7News tracking poll of 1,400 New Hampshire voters who were surveyed about candidates in the Feb. 9 Democratic and Republican primaries include:

  • With just a day to go before the first-in-the-nation primary, two outsider candidates – businessman Donald Trump and Independent U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders – have double-digit leads. Both candidates have held large leads with likely primary voters since the first day of tracking poll results were released. Today, Trump’s lead stands at 21 points and Sanders’ at 16 points. 
  • Trump has the support of 34 percent of likely Republican primary voters, down two points since yesterday. Marco Rubio, who has been Trump’s nearest competitor during much of the tracking poll, is down one point to 13 percent, tying him with Ted Cruz, whose support has remained unchanged for the last three days of results. Jeb Bush (no change) and John Kasich (up one point) are both at 10 percent of support, Chris Christie is at 5 percent (up one point), Carly Fiorina is at 4 percent (no change) and Ben Carson is at 3 percent (no change). While New Hampshire voters are known for deciding at the last minute, it would take a huge surge by another candidate to pass frontrunner Trump, who had led every day of the tracking poll. The race for second place between Rubio, Cruz, Bush and Kasich, however, appears very competitive.
  • While Sanders has also led every day of the tracking poll, his lead among likely Democratic primary voters was once as large as 33 points, but has settled at 16 points after Hillary Clinton gained ground midway through last week. Sanders stands at 56 percent of support, down one point since yesterday, while Clinton is at 40 percent (no change).
  • Among Democratic primary voters, only 4 percent are undecided about a candidate and 18 percent of Sanders supporters and 21 percent of Clinton voters said they could change their mind about their choice. On the Republican side, 9 percent of voters remain undecided and 44 percent of likely Republican primary voters say they could still change their minds. Trump’s support remains the strongest among GOP candidates, with only 25 percent saying they could change their minds, compared to 49 percent of Rubio voters, 43 percent for Cruz, 47 percent for Kasich and 37 percent for Bush.
  • As New Hampshire voters are known for delivering surprises and with snow forecast into tomorrow, the tracking poll looks at two possible scenarios for the outcome based on voter turnout. In the event of snow and low voter turnout, Sanders still leads Clinton 55 percent to 40 percent; and Trump, Rubio and Kasich gain support while Bush loses ground, but Trump still leads by 22 percent. In the event of a primary with high turnout, Sanders’ lead grows to 57 percent over 39 percent support for Clinton and on the Republican side, Trump’s lead stays at 22 percent. Details on these scenarios, including voter screens used to determine them (pdf).
  • Today’s results again include a look at six hypothetical head-to-head match-ups in the general election between Sanders and Clinton and the three highest-polling Republican candidates, Trump, Rubio and Cruz. As has been the case over the last three days of tracking poll results, Sanders beats his opponents by double-digits and Clinton beats Trump and Cruz by narrower margins (5 percent), but loses to Rubio (4 percent today, down one since yesterday).

More information about today’s tracking poll results – including analysis, time-trend information for each day of the tracking poll, topline and crosstabs – are available at

Each night from Jan. 29 through Feb. 7, the UMass Lowell/7NEWS tracking poll asked New Hampshire voters, including likely Democratic and Republican primary voters, about who they plan to vote for, how firm they are on that choice and who they think will be the next president be. Poll results have been released daily at 7 a.m. Today’s results conclude the tracking poll.

Results of the poll being reported today are based on interviews with a random sample of 1,411 New Hampshire registered voters and a sub-sample of 407 Democratic primary likely voters and 464 Republican primary likely voters. Data was collected in live interviewers via landline and cellular telephones over the last three nights. The survey used a probability-based, random-digit-dial methodology with a dual-frame design for landline and cellular telephone surveys conducted by live interviewers. Final results are weighted to correct known demographic discrepancies based on the American Community Survey for New Hampshire. The margin of error is plus or minus 2.99 percent for all registered voters, plus or minus 5.13 percent for likely Republican primary voters and plus or minus 5.52 percent for likely Democratic primary voters. Additional details on methodology (pdf). 

The independent, nonpartisan poll was conducted by UMass Lowell’s Center for Public Opinion in partnership with 7News. More than 12,000 UMass Lowell graduates, students and employees are New Hampshire residents. The Center for Public Opinion hosts programs and conducts polls on political, social, economic and cultural issues to provide real-world opportunities for civic engagement, research and experiential learning to the campus and the community.

The university offers its 17,500 students bachelor’s, master’s and doctoral degrees in business, education, engineering, fine arts, health, humanities, sciences and social sciences. UMass Lowell delivers high-quality educational programs, vigorous hands-on learning and personal attention from leading faculty and staff, all of which prepare graduates to be ready for work, for life and for all the world offers.