Trump widens New Hampshire lead over Cruz, Kasich, Rubio in new poll

Front-running Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has increased his lead in New Hampshire, according to a Monmouth University poll released Monday.

With New Hampshire residents voting Feb. 9, Trump now has the support of 32 percent of likely GOP primary voters, according to the poll. That's up from 26 percent in November.

The billionaire businessman increased his lead in the state, known for its independent-minded voters, while fellow primary candidates Ted Cruz, John Kasich and Marco Rubio moved into essentially a tie for second place.

“It’s looking more and more unlikely that Trump will be toppled from his perch,” said Patrick Murray, director of the independent Monmouth (N.J.) University Polling Institute. “The real fight is for second place.”

Cruz, a Texas senator, and Kasich, the governor of Ohio, now each have 14 percent of the primary vote while Rubio, a Florida senator, has 12 percent, according to the phone survey of 414 registered GOP and independent voters from Jan. 7-10. It had a 4.8 percent margin of error.

Still, as the top candidates emerge, the poll also shows many likely voters have yet to make a final decision.

The polls shows about 25 percent remain undecided while another roughly 42 percent have a strong candidate preference but are willing to keep open their options.