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Sanders expands lead in UNH poll; Buttigieg surging

NASHUA — A poll released Monday showed Bernie Sanders expanding his lead in the New Hampshire Democratic presidential primary race, while a plurality of respondents also name him the candidate with the best chance to defeat President Donald Trump in the general election next year.

Meanwhile, Granite State support for South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg has increased 15-fold in the last two months, as the 37-year-old openly gay candidate now registered 15 percent with New Hampshire Democrats.

Sanders, who represents Vermont as an independent in the U.S. Senate, appears well positioned to repeat as champion of the first-in-the-nation primary, as he in 2016 defeated eventual Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton in New Hampshire.

For this poll, officials at the University of New Hampshire used both landline and cellphones to poll 549 randomly selected Granite State adults from April 10-18. A February poll by the same university surveyed 604 adults.

On the Move

The poll asked New Hampshire adults to identify their preferred Democratic presidential nomination candidate for 2020. The respondents were provided a list of declared candidates, along with the name of former Vice President Joe Biden, who is expected to formally confirm his campaign later this week.

Those finishing with at least 1 percent in the April poll are:

Sanders: In April, he registered 30 percent. This is up from 26 percent in February.

Biden: In April, he registered 18 percent. This is down from 22 percent in February.

Buttigieg: In April, he registered 15 percent. This is up from just 1 percent in February.

U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass.: In April, she registered 5 percent. This is down from 7 percent in February.

U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif.: In April, she registered 4 percent. This is down from 10 percent in February.

U.S. Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J.: In April, he registered 3 percent. This is equal to his February number.

Former Texas Congressman Beto O’Rourke: In April, he registered 3 percent. This is down from 5 percent in February.

U.S. Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn.: In April, she registered 2 percent. This is down from 4 percent in February.

New York City Entrepreneur Andrew Yang: In April, he registered 2 percent. He did not register at all in February.

U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan, D-Ohio: In April, he registered 2 percent. He did not register at all in February.

U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y.: In April, she registered 1 percent. This is steady compared to February.

U.S. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, D-Hawaii: In April, she registered 1 percent. This is steady compared to February.

U.S. Rep. Eric Swalwell, D-Calif.: In April, he registered 1 percent. This is up from zero percent in February.

Miramar, Florida Mayor Wayne Messam: In April, he registered 1 percent. He did not register at all in February.

Also, despite the fact Warren hails from neighboring Massachusetts, 14 percent of Democratic survey respondents said they would not vote for her under “any circumstances,” while 8 percent said this about Sanders.