(CNN) - Mitt Romney's lead in the first-in-the-nation primary state was confirmed in a second New Hampshire poll Thursday, but the standings of his closest competitors are less certain.
An American Research Group survey released Thursday shows Romney in first place at 35%, the day after a poll from Suffolk University showed him at 38% in the Granite State.
The ARG poll showed Texas Rep. Ron Paul behind Romney with the backing of 21% of registered Republicans, and former House speaker Newt Gingrich in third with 16%. The survey was conducted December 11-14.
The Suffolk poll, which gauged preferences of likely voters in the Republican primary from December 10-13, showed Gingrich in second place with 20% and former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman rising to third, with 13%.
In the ARG poll released Thursday, Huntsman was behind Gingrich at 13%.
The differences in the two polls come down to who was questioned. The Suffolk poll asked people likely to cast votes in the New Hampshire primary, which include both Republicans and registered independents, who are able to cast votes on either a Democratic or Republican ballot. ARG polled registered Republicans and registered independents separately.
In the survey of New Hampshire independents, ARG shows Ron Paul ahead of the pack at 30%, followed by Huntsman at 25% and Romney at 22%. Paul's supporters in New Hampshire also trended young, according to the survey.
The American Research Group poll, conducted by telephone, questioned 600 likely voters in the Republican primary, including 362 Republicans and 238 independents. The sampling error was plus or minus 4 percentage points.