Public Policy Polling Media Alert: Toss up race for Governor of New Hampshire

PPP's newest poll of New Hampshire's Governor's race finds a complete toss up regardless of who the Democratic and Republican nominees end up being. The candidates are within 3 points of each other in every possible match up.

Democrat Maggie Hassan holds modest leads over both of the potential Republican candidates- she's up 45-43 on Ovide Lamontagne and 42-39 on Kevin Smith. The other Democratic candidate, Jackie Cilley, ties Lamontagne at 42% and leads Smith 39-38. The relatively high level of undecideds in all these match ups reflects the anonymity of the candidates. Only Lamontagne is particularly well known, with 69% of voters having an opinion about him. Hassan comes in at 51%, Smith at 47%, and Cilley at 42%.

The Democrats are ahead mostly because they have the advantage with independents in all four match ups. Hassan leads by 6-7 points with them and Cilley has a 3 point lead against each Republican with them. That's making the difference overall, as none of the candidates have much crossover support- Democrats are voting Democratic and Republicans are voting Republican.

Lamontagne continues to be the clear favorite in the GOP primary, but the race has at least gotten a little bit tighter since our last poll in May. Lamontagne leads Smith 49-21. That 28 point lead is down from 40 points at 53-13 the previous time we looked at this contest. Lamontagne has a 56/14 favorability rating with Republican primary voters compared to only 30/17 for Smith. His greatest strength is with voters who describe themselves as 'very conservative,' with whom he leads 58-18.

Hassan has a small lead on the Democratic side, although a plurality of voters remain undecided. She's at 30% to 24% for Cilley with 46% not yet having a preference. Her favorability with primary voters is 42/19 to Cilley's 29/21. Cilley is up 31-22 with voters describing themselves as 'very liberal,' but Hassan has the overall lead thanks to her support from moderates and 'somewhat liberal' voters.

One thing that could help either of the Democratic candidates is John Lynch's support. 60% of voters approve of the job he's doing to 26% who disapprove. Those are the best numbers PPP has found for any Governor in the country this year.

Other notes from New Hampshire:

-Democrats lead the generic state legislative ballot 46-43, including a 41-36 advantage with independents.

-Kelly Ayotte has a 45% approval rating with 41% of voters disapproving of her. That's up from 43/43 on PPP's last poll of the state.

-Only 32% of voters say they would support a proposed constitutional amendment banning new taxes on personal income, with 43% opposed. Republicans only narrowly support the proposal, 42/32, while Democrats are pretty strongly against it, 22/56.

This analysis is also available on our website:

A press release and full crosstabs are attached-