Public Policy Polling Media Alert: Ayotte off to a good start, but Bass and Guinta looking shaky

There's been very little polling so far this cycle on individual members of Congress but what we found in New Hampshire hints at the shakiness of the new Republican majority in the US House. Charlie Bass and Frank Guinta have both fallen quickly out of favor with their constituents- Guinta's favorability is 34/41 and Bass' is 31/49 in their respective districts.

Guinta and Bass won less on their own merits than because a) voters were unhappy with Democrats and b) because Democratic leaning voters stayed home in large numbers. Voters are now finding that they don't like the Republicans in the House any better than they liked the Democrats- a 30/56 approval spread for Congressional Republicans on our last national poll. And Democrats are waking up and likely to be back at the polls next year after taking last year off because they're seeing that there are real consequences to their slumber last year.

The New Hampshire House seats could both very well go back in the Democratic direction next year and you wonder how many other first term members of Congress are facing similar numbers right now as the independents who fueled their election turn quickly against them.

-Kelly Ayotte is off to a better start than her freshman counterparts in the House. 46% of voters approve of the job she's doing to 34% who disapprove. That also makes her the most popular out of the six new GOP Senators we've polled on- she does better than colleagues Roy Blunt, Marco Rubio, Rob Portman, Pat Toomey, and Ron Johnson. She has the third best approval numbers out of all first term Senators we've polled on- Democrats Joe Manchin and Richard Blumenthal lead the way. Ayotte's doing well because independents like her (41/29) and Republicans are more unified in liking her (75%) than Democrats are in disliking her (57%).

-Ayotte's not quite as popular as her senior colleague Jeanne Shaheen though. Shaheen has a 50% approval rating with 36% of voters disapproving of her. Those numbers are much better than what we found for Shaheen at any stage last year- that's likely more a reflection of it simply not being 2010 anymore than anything Shaheen might be doing differently right now.

-Democrats may quickly overturn a lot of their 2010 losses in the state legislature next year. On a generic ballot question 49% of voters say they'd vote Democratic today to 41% who say they'd go for the Republicans. This is another place where independents turning back away from the GOP tells the story- they're leaning Democratic for the legislature by a 46/34 margin.

This analysis is also available on our blog:

A press release and full crosstabs are attached-