CNN/WMUR: Trump Extends N.H. Lead

Donald Trump's lead in New Hampshire has widened even--after he passed on a Fox debate on the eve of the Iowa caucus and then surprisingly lost to Sen. Ted Cruz.

That is according to a poll taken before Saturday night's (Feb. 7) ABC GOP debate, billed as a pre-Super Bowl match-up in which Trump did participate.

That CNN/WMUR tracking poll, conducted just as the ABC debate was getting underway, has trump with 33% likely Republican New Hampshire voters saying they support him, a 17 percentage point edge compared to an 11 point lead coming out of the second-place Iowa finish.

Momentum for Sen. Marco Rubio appeared to have lost some steam following the debate, at least according to the pundits who were buzzing about his steering of answers to a repetition of talking points about President Obama, though that could have been a strategy to suggest his focus was not on the Democrats he expected to square off with in the general election.

According to the same poll, Sen. Bernie Sanders had a 58% share of likely voters to Clinton's 35%, though that wide margin had slimmed slightly from Sanders previous two-to-one lead, though given the margin of error it could still be two to one.

That margin of error was plus or minus 4.9 percentage points for the Democratic likely voters and 5.2 percentage points for the Republican likely voters.

The sample was of 406 Democrats and 362 Republicans, polled by phone, who said they planned to vote in the primary.

One other big story out of the ABC debate was Carly Fiorina's absence. She had pushed to be allowed in the debate despite not meeting the previously announced criteria, then Tweeted during the debate about how not well they were doing, then Tweeted a poll the next day suggesting the media were helping to rig the process. (

John Eggerton

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.