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PPP - Dems Lead Presidential Race in NH; Senate Race Still Up For Grabs 

PPP's newest New Hampshire poll finds both Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders leading the Republican field in the state, although Sanders does an average of 9 points better than Clinton in the general election match ups.

The Republican who comes closest to Clinton is Marco Rubio, who trails by 3 points at 45/42. The rest of the Republican hopefuls lose by wider margins than Mitt Romney did in the state in 2012- Jeb Bush trails by 6 at 46/40, Ted Cruz is down 8 at 48/40, Ben Carson has an 11 point deficit at 50/39, and Donald Trump does the worst with a 14 point gap at 50/36.

Sanders is the only candidate with a positive favorability rating among the overall electorate in the state, and it's a very positive rating- 55% of voters see him positively to only 35% who have a negative opinion. He leads the entire GOP field by double digits- it's 12 points over Bush at 50/38, 14 points over Rubio at 51/37, 19 over Carson at 53/34, and 20 points over both Trump and Cruz at 54/34 and 55/35 respectively.

The New Hampshire Senate race remains a toss up. Kelly Ayotte gets 44% to 42% for Maggie Hassan. Every poll PPP has done of this race in the last year has found the candidates within 2 points of each other. Hassan continues to be more popular with a 48/39 approval rating to Ayotte's 41/43 approval spread. The reason Hassan's numbers are so much better is that she has a 79% approval rating with Democrats to Ayotte's 66% approval with Republicans- but when it comes to the head to head Ayotte's 83% of the Republican vote is basically the same as Hassan's 82% of the Democratic vote. So while Ayotte faces more dissension within her own party than Hassan does in hers, they get to the same level of support when it comes to the general. Ayotte owes her slight overall edge to a 40/36 advantage with independents.

The Governor's race is very tight as well, with 42% of voters saying they'd pick a Democrat and 42% saying they'd pick a Republican if the election was today. Chris Sununu has modest leads over both Mark Connolly (38/36) and Colin Van Ostern (39/35), but those are largely a function of his having 65% name recognition compared to just 25% for Van Ostern and 17% for Connolly. The Democrats both lead Frank Edelbut- Connolly by a 31/24 spread, Van Ostern by a 30/25 one- perhaps a function of Edelblut's being even less well known than they are. 

Other notes from New Hampshire:

-Granite State voters are overwhelmingly in favor of the potential gun measures that have received the most attention lately. There is 83% support and 11% opposition to both requiring a criminal background check on all gun purchases, and to barring people on the terrorist watch list from purchasing a firearm. The measures have broad bipartisan support with 94-96% of Democrats, 80-82% of independents, and 72-73% of Republicans backing each of them.

-New Hampshire provides another strong example of the extent to which the politics on Obamacare has shifted in political battlegrounds. 47% of voters in the state now say they support the Affordable Care Act to only 40% who are opposed to it. One key change we're finding over and over is that Democrats (85%) are far more united in their support of the ACA than Republicans (70%) are in their opposition to it. That used to be the other way around.

-The new year brings a continued mandate for a significant increase in the minimum wage. 70% of voters think it should be increased to at least $10 an hour to just 14% who think the status quo is fine and another 14% who would like to eliminate the minimum wage altogether. 95% of Democrats, 68% of independents, and 48% of Republicans want an increase to at least $10 an hour. On another topic, 66% of New Hampshire voters support the EPA's Clean Power Plan to only 28% who are opposed.

-We also asked about a couple sports issues. There's no need for any of the Presidential candidates to pander in relation to the College Football Championship game on Monday night- 63% of voters in the state say they don't care one way or another who wins the game and among those who do have a preference there's pretty even division with 20% going for Clemson and 17% for Alabama. Voters say that out of New England's professional sports teams the Patriots are by far and away the one they care about the most- 42% say it's the Pats to 24% for the Red Sox, 9% for the Bruins, and 6% for the Celtics.

This analysis is also available on our website:


I’m not attaching the full results because the file is so large, but you can see those here:


Public Policy Polling Media Alert: Hassan/Ayotte Knotted; Sanders Strongest in General in NH 

PPP's newest look at the US Senate race in New Hampshire finds a familiar story: Kelly Ayotte and Maggie Hassan locked in a toss up race. This month they're each at 42%. Although the overall state of the race hasn't changed, Hassan has seen a decline in her approval rating from 50/39 in October to now 43/40. The decline has come entirely among Democratic leaning v0ters- she was at 81/8 with people who voted for Barack Obama in 2012 on our last poll, and now finds herself at just 69/15 with that same group. Those numbers suggest her decline might be a reflection of unhappiness over her position on refugees. Ayotte's 40/42 approval spread is exactly what it was on our previous poll.

Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders both lead all of the Republican candidates for President in New Hampshire, but Sanders does an average of 4 points better in the match ups. The GOP hopeful who fares best against Sanders is Marco Rubio, who trails 45/41. Ben Carson trails him by 5 at 46/41, Carly Fiorina is down 8 at 48/40, Jeb Bush and Donald Trump each trail by 9 at 47/38 and 49/40 respectively, and the weakest Republican against Sanders is Ted Cruz who is down 10 at 48/38. Sanders is also the only candidate with a positive favorability rating among the overall electorate in New Hampshire, at 46/40.

Clinton leads all of the Republicans as well, although by smaller margins. She's up 1 each on Rubio at 44/43 and Fiorina at 45/44, 2 each on Bush at 43/41 and Carson at 45/43, and has wider leads over Trump at 47/41 and Cruz at 47/39. There does appear to be potential for a closer general election than New Hampshire had in 2008 and 2012 at this point if Clinton is the nominee.

The New Hampshire Governor's race is a mixed bag. Voters generically say they prefer a Democratic candidate 43/41. But Chris Sununu (67% name recognition) is far better known than either Colin Van Ostern (27% name recognition) or Mark Connolly (20% name recognition). That higher level of familiarity to voters helps Sununu lead Van Ostern 40/34 and Connolly 40/36. Sununu also starts out with a 60/12 lead over Frank Edelblut in the primary. Connolly (33/24) and Van Ostern (30/26) both lead Edelblut in hypothetical contests. The Democratic primary is very much in the air with 64% of voters undecided- Van Ostern leads Connolly 21/15 with the small swath of voters that does have a preference.

89% of New Hampshire voters support background checks on all gun purchases, to only 8% who are opposed to them. There's broad bipartisan support for them with Democrats (93/5), independents (91/5), and Republicans (81/16) all giving more than 80% support. Voters in the state support an assault weapons ban as well by a narrower margin, 49/41.

We asked Granite State voters what they think Jesus would do when it comes to the Syrian refugees and 51% think he would say the United States should accept them to only 14% who think he would say to turn them away. Democrats (73/6) are a lot more inclined to think Jesus would say to accept the refugees than Republicans (29/20) are. 

New Hampshire provides more evidence that the Affordable Care Act is not the liability for Democrats that it used to be. 44% of voters in the state support it to 39% who are opposed- including 43/37 support from independents and also including a Democratic base (80%) that's more in favor of it than the GOP base (73%) is against it. This is a total departure from what Obamacare polling used to be like. It used to persistently poll unpopular in swing states, and there used to always be much more united Republican opposition to it than Democratic support. The landscape has really changed for public opinion on this issue.

64% of New Hampshire voters support the EPA's Clean Power Plan to only 28% who are opposed to it, including 65/26 support from independents. These numbers are consistent with the public demand we're seeing for action on climate change everywhere that we poll.

Finally we find that 71% of voters in the Granite State support increasing the minimum wage to at least $10 an hour, compared to only 14% who want to leave it where it is and 12% who would like to see it eliminated altogether. Even among Republicans there's 52% support for going to $10 an hour, showing that this is an issue where the Presidential candidates are well out of line with the base.

This analysis is also available on our website:


I’m not attaching the full results because the file is so large, but you can see those here:


PPP - NH voters on the Governor's race; Obamacare; Background Checks; Tom Brady, and More 

PPP's newest New Hampshire poll finds that Maggie Hassan will be clearly favored if she runs for another term as Governor- but if she moves on to a Senate bid Republicans may start out with a slight advantage in the race to replace her.

Hassan, who is generally popular with a 48/42 approval rating, would lead Chris Sununu 48/41 and Jeb Bradley 48/39 in hypothetical contests. Those margins are pretty much in line with what she won by last year. If Hassan doesn't seek reelection most of the Democrats named as potential replacements for her would start out with a name recognition deficit against their likely Republican opponents. While Sununu (71% name recognition) and Bradley (56% name recognition) are both known to a majority of voters in the state, the Democratic trio of Terie Norelli (27% name recognition), Chris Pappas (25% name recognition), and Colin Van Ostern (21% name recognition) are all largely unknown.

That disparity in name id likely explains why Sununu and Bradley lead Norelli, Pappas, and Van Ostern by 4-7 points in hypothetical contests. Sununu is up 38/34 on Pappas, 39/34 on Norelli, and 39/32 on Van Ostern. Bradley is up 38/33 on Pappas, 39/33 on Norelli, and 38/31 on Van Ostern. With large swaths of voters undecided in every possible match up the race is pretty undefined at this point.

Other notes from New Hampshire:

-60% of voters in the state support a policy that sets a goal of producing 50% of America's energy needs from renewable sources by 2030, compared to only 25% of voters who oppose that concept. Among the critical independent voters who tend to decide elections in New Hampshire support for that is even more emphatic, with 62% of them in favor of it to only 18% who are opposed.

-Granite State voters think funding for public schools needs to be increased, and that one of the outcomes of that increased funding should be higher teacher salaries. 57% of voters think education funding should be increased compared to only 16% who think it should be decreased and 22% who think it's fine where it is. 47% think teachers are paid too little, to just 15% who think they're paid too much. With independents 59% think there needs to be more money given to public schools and 50% believe teachers are under paid.

-In a sign of how much the political landscape around Obamacare has changed in the last year, 44% of New Hampshire voters say they support the Affordable Care Act to 43% who are opposed. Those numbers are tight but it used to be that the ACA was very unpopular in any swing state where we polled it. It's now at worst a neutral issue for Democrats politically, and it's moving in the direction of actually being a help for them. One big reason things are different now- Democrats (79%) are more unified in their support of it than Republicans (74%) are in their opposition.

-Background checks on all gun purchases have broad bipartisan support from New Hampshire voters- 85% support them to only 9% who are opposed. They meet with favor from 96% of Democrats, 82% of independents, and 79% of Republicans.

-71% of New Hampshire voters support increasing the minimum wage to at least $10 an hour, to just 12% who want to keep it where it is and another 12% who think the federal minimum wage should be eliminated altogether. 92% of Democrats, 72% of independents, and 52% of Republicans want an increase to at least $10.

-New Hampshire voters really don't like Scott Brown. Only 29% have a favorable opinion of him to 50% with a negative one. Right before the election last fall he had a 77/16 favorability rating with Republicans, but now it's only 48/27. That suggests a lot of GOP voters were just saying they liked him because they had to. Brown is also at 26/48 with independents. Meanwhile Jeanne Shaheen is popular, with 50% of voters approving of the job she's doing to 39% who disapprove.

-One thing that unites Granite State voters across political lines is the defense of Tom Brady. 68% of voters in the state have a favorable opinion of him to only 16% with a negative one. And 66% think the NFL has treated him in an unfair manner compared to only 20% who believe he's been treated fairly. Those numbers are all in line with 66% of New Hampshire voters identifying themselves as Patriots fans to 5% for the Packers and Giants, and 3% for the Cowboys.

-New Hampshire voters are slightly even more united in their support of the Red Sox- 69% pull for them to 7% for the Yankees, 4% for the Braves, and 3% for the Mets.

This analysis is also available on our website:


I’m not attaching the full results because the file is so large, but you can see those here:


PPP Media Alert: Trump, Sanders lead primaries in New Hampshire 

PPP's new New Hampshire poll finds Donald Trump in the strongest position of any poll we've done anywhere since he entered the race. Trump laps the Republican field with 35% to 11% for John Kasich, 10% for Carly Fiorina, 7% each for Jeb Bush and Scott Walker, 6% for Ben Carson, 4% each for Chris Christie, Ted Cruz, and Marco Rubio, and 3% for Rand Paul. Candidates falling outside the top ten in the state are Rick Perry at 2%, Lindsey Graham, George Pataki, and Rick Santorum at 1%, and Jim Gilmore, Mike Huckabee, and Bobby Jindal all at less than 1%. Everyone does have at least one supporter on this poll.

To give an idea of how fundamentally the contest has shifted over the last four months none of Trump, Kasich, and Fiorina were even included in the horse race question when we last polled the state in April. The candidate who's made the most cataclysmic drop is Walker- he's gone from leading at 24% all the way down to 7% in this newest poll.

Three other candidates who've seen dramatic decreases in their support are Cruz, Huckabee, and Paul. Cruz's 10 point drop from 14% to 4% is a little bit misleading. When we last polled the state he was still enjoying the bump he received following his candidacy announcement. It's worse news for Paul- he's declined 8 points from 12% to 4% but more notably he's seen a major blow to his image. In April he had a +29 net favorability rating at 54/25. That's now dropped a remarkable 44 points to a -15 spread at 34/49. We've found Paul under water all four places we've polled since the Republican debate. It's a similarly bad story for Huckabee- he's dropped from 7% to less than 1% and he's also seen his favorability go from +16 at 48/32 to -7 at 34/41. For Paul and Huckabee it's not just that other candidates are passing them by- they are becoming increasingly unpopular themselves.

Trump's advantage over the Republican field is thorough. He leads with Tea Party voters (44%), men (39%), independents (36%), conservatives (36%), voters who are most concerned about electability (35%), both younger voters and seniors (at 34% with each), evangelicals (32%), women (30%), and moderates (29%). Trump has a 56/32 favorability rating and he also leads when you match him with the other Republican hopefuls head to head- it's 47/39 over Ben Carson, 53/35 over Scott Walker, 53/34 over Marco Rubio, and 56/33 over Jeb Bush.

Quick notes on some of the other candidates:

-Bush is really struggling. Only 38% of primary voters have a favorable opinion of him to 41% with a negative one. This is largely a function of his unpopularity with conservatives- among voters who identify themselves as 'very conservative' just 34% have a positive opinion of him to 48% who have a negative one. Only 3% say he's their first choice for the nomination, putting him in a tie for 8th place with that group.

-Kasich is on the move because of his strength with moderate voters. He gets 20% with them, putting him second to Trump, and making up for his own trouble on the right- he gets just 1% with 'very conservative' voters. Moderates are 29% of the GOP electorate on this poll, a lot more than in most places.

-New Hampshire makes another state where Ben Carson is the most well liked Republican, with 62% rating him favorably to 17% who have a negative opinion. Carly Fiorina is not far behind him at 58/19. Besides those two and Trump, the only other Republican seen positively by a majority of primary voters is Marco Rubio at 50/27.

-Besides Bush, Huckabee, and Paul other Republican hopefuls with negative favorabilities even among the GOP electorate in New Hampshire are Lindsey Graham at 20/43 (-23), Chris Christie at 35/46 (-11), Jim Gilmore at 4/13 (-9) George Pataki at 27/32 (-5), and Rick Perry at 34/37 (-3).

There's been a big shift on the Democratic side since April as well. Bernie Sanders now leads the field in the state with 42% to 35% for Hillary Clinton, 6% for Jim Webb, 4% for Martin O'Malley, 2% for Lincoln Chafee, and 1% for Lawrence Lessig.

The main story in New Hampshire is how universally popular Sanders has become with the Democratic electorate. 78% see him favorably to only 12% with a negative opinion- that makes him easily the most popular candidate on either side with their party's voters. Meanwhile Hillary Clinton's favorability numbers have taken a little bit of a hit- she was at 78/10 with Democratic primary voters in April, but now she's at a 63/25 spread. 

The ideological divide is actually not that stark on the Democratic side. Sanders is ahead with 'somewhat liberal' voters (45/32), 'very liberal' ones (46/37), and moderates (40/36) alike. And although there is certainly a gender gap Sanders is ahead with both men (44/30) and women (41/38). But the real big divide we see is along generational lines- Clinton is ahead 51/34 with seniors, but Sanders has a 45/29 advantage with everyone under the age of 65.

New Hampshire is somewhat a world unto itself in the Democratic race. We're still finding Clinton well ahead everywhere else. But it's clear there's a real race now in the Granite State.

This analysis is also available on our website:


I’m not attaching the full results because the file is so large, but you can see those here:


OurAmericanInitiative - Gov. Gary Johnson statement re: debate lawsuits 

June 22, 2015, Salt Lake City, UT -- Calling it the "next step” in changing the two-party control of presidential debates,  2012 Libertarian presidential candidate Gov.Gary Johnson today noted the filing of a lawsuit against the Federal Election Commission ( FEC).


The lawsuit, filed Monday in U.S. District Court in Washington, DC, challenges the FEC’s treatment of the private Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD) as non-partisan, citing the CPD’s use of polling criteria to effectively limit participation to only the Republican and Democrat candidates. Plaintiffs in the case include the Libertarian Party and the Green Party as well as Level the Playing Field and noted supporter Peter Ackerman.


Johnson is the Honorary Chairman of the Our America Initiative, a nonprofit organization which is advocating a change in the Presidential debates. Johnson noted that in addition to the FEC lawsuit additional legal complaints will soon be filed to challenge the Commission on Presidential Debate"s control over the Presidential debates.


In a statement released Monday, the former New Mexico Governor said, “The last time a third party or independent candidate was allowed to participate in nationally televised general election presidential debates was 1992. The reason is simple. The Commission on Presidential Debates, which controls the debates, was created by the Republican and Democrat Parties and remains under that two-party control today. This lawsuit against the FEC is an important step toward stripping the veneer off the CPD and treating it as what it really is: A partisan organization that exists to protect the two-party dominance of the political process.


“By opening another ‘front’ in the battle against unfairly limited presidential debates, this recent FEC legal challenge strengthens the soon-to-be-filed second lawsuit being coordinated by the Our America Initiative, and adds credible voices to the growing discontent with the CPD’s persistent exclusion of qualified third party and independent candidates from the nationally-televised debate stage.” ###