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Bush, Walker lead in N.H. poll

The first major poll of New Hampshire Republican voters following former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney’s decision not to run for president in 2016 shows former Florida governor Jeb Bush and Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker leading others interested in running.

Former US secretary of state Hillary Clinton has a sizable lead among Democrats.

The poll was released Thursday night, a year before the state’s first-in-the-nation presidential primary is expected to take place. There are, so far, no official candidates but many people interested in running, especially on the Republican side.

Had Romney decided to run a third time for president, polls suggested he was a lock to win the Granite State. With Romney out, the WMUR Granite State Poll by the University of New Hampshire shows Bush with 17 percent support, Walker with 12 percent, and Chris Christie, Rand Paul, and Mike Huckabee at 9 percent.

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On the Democratic side Clinton has a dominant 58 percent support, well ahead of Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren at 14 percent. Other potential candidates, including Vice President Joe Biden, Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, and former Virginia senator Jim Webb, were all in single digits.

The survey was conducted Jan. 22 through Feb. 3. In the Republicans race, the margin of error was 3.8 percent; on the Democratic side, it was 5.7 percent.

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James Pindell can be reached at James.Pindell@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @jamespindell.

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