Election 2010: New Hampshire Senate
New Hampshire Senate: Ayotte (R) 51%, Hodes (D) 38%
Monday, August 09, 2010
Former state Attorney General Kelly Ayotte continues to hold a double-digit lead over Democratic Congressman Paul Hodes in the race for U.S. Senate in New Hampshire.
The latest Rasmussen Reports telephone survey of Likely Voters in the Granite State shows Ayotte, a Republican, earning 51% support, her best showing to date, while Hodes picks up 38% of the vote. Four percent (4%) like some other candidate in the race, and six percent (6%) are undecided
A month ago, Ayotte posted a similar 49% to 37% lead over Hodes. In five previous surveys stretching back to February, Hodes’ support has remained in the narrow range of 35% to 39%, while Ayotte has captured 46% to 50% of the vote.
Ayotte’s GOP Primary challenger, businessman Bill Binnie, also remains ahead of Hodes but by a narrower 46% to 40% margin. Eight percent (8%) favor another candidate, and seven percent (7%) are undecided.
Prior to the latest survey, Ayotte and Binnie, who has poured millions of his own money into extensive television advertising, have been running neck-and-neck. But over the past month, Ayotte has been endorsed by former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, and Binnie has been put on the defensive about his conservative credentials. New Hampshire Republicans will pick their Senate nominee from a seven-person field in a September 14 primary. Hodes is unchallenged for the Democratic nomination.
The candidates are running for the seat now held by retiring GOP Senator Judd Gregg. New Hampshire is rated Leans GOP in the Rasmussen Reports Election 2010 Senate Balance of Power rankings.
This statewide telephone survey of 500 Likely Voters in New Hampshire was conducted on August 5, 2010 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/-4.5 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.
Ayotte runs slightly stronger than Binnie among the state’s GOP voters. Among voters not affiliated with either major party, Ayotte leads Hodes by a 59% to 25% margin. Binnie also leads the Democrat but by a narrower spread.
Sixty-nine percent (69%) of voters in the state view Ayotte as a conservative, while 53% say the same of Binnie. Hodes is seen as a liberal by 55%.
Fifty-one percent (54%) Ayotte’s views as in the mainstream, but 23% think her views are extreme. Similarly, 51% rate Binnie’s views as mainstream and 22% as extreme.
New Hampshire voters are more closely divided over the views of Hodes, a two-term congressman: 41% say he’s in the mainstream, but 39% think his policy positions are extreme.
Ayotte is viewed Very Favorably by 22% of the state’s voters and Very Unfavorably by 12%.
For Binnie, Very Favorables are 16% and Very Unfavorables 12%.
Twenty-three percent (23%) have a Very Favorable opinion of Hodes, but 31% regard him Very Unfavorably.
At this stage of the campaign, Rasmussen Reports considers the very favorable and very unfavorable figures more significant than the overall favorability totals.
Palin is viewed Very Favorably by 23% of New Hampshire voters, but 45% share a Very Unfavorable view of her.
Forty-six percent (46%) of voters in the state rate their personal finances as good or excellent, while just 16% say their finances are poor. Twenty-four percent (24%) say those finances are getting better; 43% say they’re getting worse.
Forty-nine percent (49%) approve of President Obama’s job performance. Fifty percent (50%) disapprove. This is in line with Obama’s job approval ratings nationally in the Rasmussen Reports daily Presidential Tracking Poll.