Public Policy Polling Media Alert: Both New Hampshire House races look like toss ups

Both of New Hampshire's House races look like toss ups for this fall, continuing the trend of competitiveness they've shown over the last six years.

Democrats' better chance for a pick up appears to be in the 1st Congressional District, where Carol Shea-Porter leads Republican incumbent Frank Guinta 47-43 in a rematch of their 2010 contest. That's a big shift from when PPP polled the race last summer and found Guinta ahead by a 48-41 margin. Guinta's become increasingly unpopular as his first term has progressed, going from a 39/38 approval rating last July to now a 36/44 one.

Guinta actually leads with independents by a 44-40 margin, but Democrats (87%) are much more committed to voting for Shea-Porter at this point than Republicans (78%) are to Guinta. Providing another data point on the GOP's current struggles with women, Shea-Porter leads 55-36 with that group of voters.

Basically nothing's changed in the 2nd District since PPP polled there last summer. Charlie Bass and Ann McLane Kuster are tied at 42%. On the previous survey Bass had a 43-42 advantage.

Bass continues to be plagued by atrocious approval ratings, with only 34% of voters happy with the job he's doing to 49% who disapprove. The reason Bass is running even with Kuster despite his unpopularity is that while only 62% of GOP voters give him good marks, 79% still say they would vote for him in the general election.

Kuster has good favorability numbers with 35% of voters rating her favorably to 24% with a negative opinion. 16% of Democrats are undecided in the contest compared to only 9% of Republicans who are, so there's reason to think she may have more room for growth than Bass but at any rate this looks like a very close race.

The old adage goes that voters hate Congress, but like their Congressman. In New Hampshire though they don't appear to like either. Democrats have a pretty good chance at winning back the two seats they lost there in 2010 this fall.

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