A dark-horse GOP candidate is creeping up in New Hampshire

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Is John Kasich Gaining on Donald Trump in New Hampshire?

One establishment-oriented Republican presidential candidate appears to be rising slightly ahead of the pack in the crucial first-primary state of New Hampshire.

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A new poll released by the American Research Group on Tuesday found Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R) with 20 percent support among New Hampshire primary voters. That was second only to front-runner Donald Trump, who garnered 27 percent in the poll.

Kasich's lead in the poll put him 10 points ahead of the crowded poll's third-place candidate, Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Florida), who received 10 percent support in the survey.

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A dark-horse GOP candidate is creeping up in New Hampshire
Ohio Gov. John Kasich announces he is running for the 2016 Republican party’s nomination for president during a campaign rally at Ohio State University, Tuesday, July 21, 2015, in Columbus, Ohio. Kasich, a two-term governor and former congressman, has little name recognition in the crowded GOP field, but he is already airing television ads in New Hampshire where he is heading immediately after making his run official. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
Ohio Gov. John Kasich announces he is running for the 2016 Republican party’s nomination for president during a campaign rally at Ohio State University, Tuesday, July 21, 2015, in Columbus, Ohio. Kasich, 63, launched his campaign before a crowd of 2,000 at an event marking the entry of a strong-willed and sometimes abrasive governor in a nomination race now with 16 notable Republicans. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
Supporters wait for Ohio Gov. John Kasich to announce he is running for the 2016 Republican party’s nomination for president during a campaign rally at Ohio State University, Tuesday, July 21, 2015, in Columbus, Ohio. Kasich, a two-term governor and former congressman, has little name recognition in the crowded GOP field, but he is already airing television ads in New Hampshire where he is heading immediately after making his run official. (AP Photo/John Minchillo)
Ohio Gov. John Kasich gives Joshua Bowman a hug after hearing about his troubles about during a visit at RP Abrasives, Monday, July 13, 2015, in Rochester, N.H. Kasich is considering joining the crowded field of candidates seeking the Republican nomination for president. Joe Shean is at left. (AP Photo/Jim Cole)
Ohio Gov. John Kasich speaks at an event at the Clark County Republican Party office Thursday, June 11, 2015, in Las Vegas. Kasich, a two-term Ohio governor and former member of the U.S. House, is considering running for the Republican nomination for president. (AP Photo/John Locher)
WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 19: Ohio Governor John Kasich speaks during the 'Road to Majority' conference June 19, 2015 in Washington, DC. Conservatives gathered at the annual event held by the Faith & Freedom Coalition and Concerned Women for America held the annual event to discuss politics. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
FILE - In this July 13, 2015, file photo, Ohio Gov. John Kasich talks with Joshua Bowman, right, and Joe Shean during a visit at RP Abrasives in Rochester, N.H. Kasich is declaring his candidacy for the 2016 Republican presidential nomination on July 21. (AP Photo/Jim Cole, File)
Ohio Gov. John Kasich presents Ohio's 2016-2017 operating budget after signing it Tuesday, June 30, 2015, in Columbus, Ohio. Kasich said the $71.2 billion, 2-year state budget he signed helps people without getting "loose" with the spending. (AP Photo/Jay LaPrete)
WASHINGTON, DC - JUNE 19: Ohio Governor John Kasich speaks during the 'Road to Majority' conference June 19, 2015 in Washington, DC. Conservatives gathered at the annual event held by the Faith & Freedom Coalition and Concerned Women for America held the annual event to discuss politics. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - JUNE 19- Republican presidential candidate, Ohio Gov. John Kasich speaks during the Faith & Freedom Coalitions Road to Majority conference which featured speeches by conservative politicians at the Washington D.C. Omni Shoreham Hotel, June 19, 2015.(Photo By Al Drago/CQ Roll Call)
NASHUA, NH - APRIL 18: Ohio Gov. John Kasich speaks at the First in the Nation Republican Leadership Summit April 18, 2015 in Nashua, New Hampshire. The Summit brought together local and national Republicans and was attended by all the Republicans candidates as well as those eyeing a run for the nomination. (Photo by Darren McCollester/Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - MARCH 03: Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R) talks with the press after Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's address to a joint meeting of Congress in the House chamber, March 3, 2015. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
US Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney (2nd L) waves alongside Ohio Republican Senator Rob Portman (L) and Ohio Governor John Kasich (R) during a campaign stop at Tom's Ice Cream Bowl in Zanesville, Ohio, on August 14, 2012. AFP PHOTO / Saul LOEB (Photo credit should read SAUL LOEB/AFP/GettyImages)
Gov. John Kasich of Ohio speaks at the second day of the Republican National Convention in Tampa, Florida, Tuesday, August 28, 2012. (Harry Walker/MCT via Getty Images)
MEET THE PRESS -- Pictured: (l-r) – Gov. Deval Patrick (D-MA) left, and Gov. John Kasich (R-OH) right, appear on 'Meet the Press' in Washington D.C., Sunday, June 3, 2012. (Photo by: William B. Plowman/NBC/NBC NewsWire via Getty Images)
COLUMBUS, OH - MARCH 31: At the ornate Ohio State House, Ohio Governor John Kasich signs the newly passed Senate Bill 5, which limits collective bargaining for state workers in Ohio, in Columbus, Ohio, Thursday, March 31, 2011. Newly elected republican Ohio Governor John Kasich is working toward to balancing an Ohio budget in deficit through a budget proposal with extensive budget cuts, spending reform, and changes in labor laws, including restrictions on collective bargaining. (Photo by Melina Mara/ The Washington Post via Getty Images)
Ohio Governor-elect John Kasich talks to reporters after meeting with House Speaker-designate John Boehner (R-Ohio), right, Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.), left, and other GOP Governors-elect at the United States Capitol in Washington, D.C., Wednesday, December 1, 2010. (Photo by Mary F. Calvert/MCT/MCT via Getty Images)
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Though Kasich's standing above the other contenders in the ARG poll is far more pronounced than in other surveys, the governor appears to be steadily building momentum in New Hampshire.

All but one of the major polls conducted this month included in the RealClearPolitics average of recent surveys have found Kasich's support in the double digits in the Granite State.

A Monmouth University poll released last week, for example, found Kasich tied with Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) for third place, with both candidates garnering 14 percent support. A NH1 survey released last week, meanwhile, found him tied with former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush (R) at 12 percent for the same spot.


Kasich initially embraced a role as a leading Trump critic. But more recently, he has been relatively muted in his rhetorical attacks Trump, focusing primarily on mobilizing support in New Hampshire.

In an interview with Time magazine, Kasich said he still has confidence that he'll prevail in New Hampshire because of his executive experience and optimistic message.

"People will settle down and start looking for someone who is a reformer and who has accomplished things," Kasich said. "I believe that, at the end, they will want someone who can land the plane."

With Trump continuing to lead the pack in New Hampshire, several other candidates are vying for the crucial second-place spot. Rubio, Cruz, Bush, Kasich, and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R) are clumped up in the polls in what Bush himself recently described as a "jump-ball" for second.

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