Neither Frank Guinta nor Charlie Bass have approval numbers that are setting the world on fire in their New Hampshire Congressional districts, but Bass appears to be in much worse shape for winning another term next year.
Only 29% of voters in Bass' district approve of the job he's doing to 48% who disapprove. His numbers are bad with Democrats and independents but what really plunges them is how weak he is even with Republicans. Just 48% give him good marks to 26% who think he's doing a poor job. Those are the kinds of numbers that can make you vulnerable even in a primary. Last year Bass narrowly won the primary with less than 50% of the vote in a 5 candidate field. It would be interesting to see the outcome in a two person race.
Assuming Bass is again the Republican nominee he would find himself in a tight race with his 2010 opponent, Ann McLane Kuster. A rematch between the two would basically start as a tie with Bass edging Kuster 43-42. The reason Bass leads Kuster despite his horrid approval numbers is that even though only 48% of GOP voters are happy with the job he's doing, 80% would still choose him over a Democratic alternative. This was one of the closest House races in the country last year and it could well be again in 2012.
In the 1st District Frank Guinta has narrowly positive approval numbers. 39% of voters are happy with him while 38% dissent. Republicans approve and Democrats disapprove of him in similar numbers. What puts him over the top is a pretty decent 43/35 breakdown with independents.
Guinta leads a rematch with the former holder of the seat, Carol Shea-Porter, 48-41. He wins independents by 19 points in such a scenario. In one sense these numbers represent an improvement for Shea-Porter since she lost reelection by 12 points last year. Still there's an argument Democrats might want to go in a different direction if they want to reclaim this seat. Shea-Porter has poor favorability numbers with only 40% of voters viewing her positively to 48% with a negative opinion. And her 36/53 spread with independents is even worse than the overall number. A fresher candidate could have a better chance at returning the seat to the Democratic column.
This analysis is also available on our blog:
A press release and full crosstabs are attached-