Democrat Howard Dean (search) held a narrow lead over his presidential rivals in polls of likely New Hampshire voters.

The former Vermont governor led Wesley Clark (search) 32 percent to 23 percent with 12 percent supporting Sen. John Kerry (search) of Massachusetts, in a poll conducted by KRC Communications Research (search) for The Boston Globe and WBZ-TV. Dean's lead has been cut from 23 percentage points to 9 percentage points since December.

Dean also had a narrow lead over Clark in a tracking poll by American Research Group (search) of Manchester, N.H.

Clark, a retired general, has made gains in the polls in New Hampshire after concentrating his efforts there while others were competing in Iowa. New Hampshire's primary is Jan. 27.

Clark did better than other candidates among older voters, more affluent voters and those who consider themselves conservative.

The KRC survey of 400 likely New Hampshire primary voters was conducted Monday through Wednesday and had a margin of sampling error of plus or minus 5 percentage points.