With only 74 days until the mid-term election, the latest WMUR/UNH survey confirms that Barack Obama's historically low approval rating, along with the NHGOP's success in highlighting serious missteps and scandals by New Hampshire's Democrat office holders, has created a toxic political environment for Democrats seeking election in November. This, and the strength of our GOP candidates, provides a clear path for acrossthe board Republican victories on Election Day.
Some interesting points from the survey - in which eight hundred and twenty-seven randomly selected New Hampshire adults were interviewed by land line and cellular telephone between August 7 and August 17, 2014 with a margin of error of +/- 3.4% - are found below.
FACT: Barack Obama's Abysmal 38% Approval Rating Creates Toxic Political Environment
President Obama's approval rating has now hit an all-time low of 38% in New Hampshire, and he fares even worse (37%) among likely voters.
To put this in historical context - 39% of Granite State voters approved of President George W. Bush's performance at this point in 2006 while 51% approved of President Obama in July of 2010. Both elections saw widespread losses for the respective parties of each President in New Hampshire during the mid-term elections.
We expect that Senator Jeanne Shaheen, Governor Maggie Hassan, and Congresswomen Carol Shea-Porter and Annie Kuster will take every evasive maneuver imaginable - tactics they've perfected in avoiding New Hampshire voters daily - to separate themselves from and avoid the President between now and Election Day. However, given their reliable support for his failed liberal policies over the past six years, these efforts will prove futile in the fall.
- Do you approve or disapprove of the way Barack Obama is handling his job as president?
- August 2014
- Approve: 38%
- Disapprove: 55%
- July 2010
- Approve: 51%
- Disapprove: 44%
- August 2014
FACT: Jeanne Shaheen's Duck and Dodge Rose Garden Strategy is Not Working
In spite of Senator Shaheen's best efforts to avoid, ignore, and run from the constituents she was elected to represent, she finds herself in a dead heat with her nearest Republican opponent, leading by two points (within the margin of error) as compared to 12 in last month's poll. This comes on the heels of the NHGOP's successful efforts highlighting Senator Shaheen's failure to hold a town hall meeting for over 723 days and her support for Barack Obama's botched agenda 99% of the time.
John DiStaso of the New Hampshire Journal confirmed this when he wrote:
"The numbers suggest that ... the state GOP have [has] been effective in their recent attacks on Shaheen on immigration/border security and her failure to hold traditional town halls for more than 700 days. The numbers also show that Shaheen is being effectively linked by ... the GOP to President Barack Obama, whose approval rating in the state is at an all-time low."(DiStaso, John. "Latest poll shows Scott Brown has closed to a statistical tie with Jeanne Shaheen," NH Journal, 08/21/14)
The NHGOP will continue to expose Senator Shaheen's failure to listen to or engage her constituents while maintaining her lockstep loyalty to President Obama. Given Senator Shaheen's continued vocal support for a weak President and his disastrous agenda, this survey indicates that New Hampshire voters are ready for an alternative to the Obama/Shaheen status quo.
FACT: Maggie Hassan's Favorables Hit All Time Low in Light of Scandal & Compare Poorly to John Lynch
In light of recent reports of Governor Hassan's illegal fundraising scandal, it comes as no surprise that her net favorable rating has dropped by nearly half and she currently finds herself in the danger zone for incumbent politicians. Only 44% of Granite State voters have a favorable impression of the Governor - an all-time low and a drop of 14% since just last month. Politicians with favorable and approval ratings below 50% are at risk of losing re-election, with those registering below 45% in a very weak position going into the fall election season.
As a point of comparison, in July 2010 Governor John Lynch registered a 61% favorably rating (17% higher than Hassan's current numbers) and only secured 53% of the vote in his re-election campaign (at a time when President Obama's approval rating was 13% higher than today).
- Favorable Ratings: Hassan v. Lynch
- August 2014 - Hassan
- Favorable: 44%
- July 2010 - Lynch
- Favorable 61%
- August 2014 - Hassan
Given that Hassan and her administration have done little to distinguish themselves, and continue to be embroiled in this ongoing scandal, these poll numbers will continue to decrease over the next 74 days. The result? Republicans will head into November well positioned to run a strong and competitive campaign to replace her.
It should also be noted that Republicans are favored by 5% on the generic ballot when voters are asked whom they intend to vote for in races for the State Senate and the State House of Representatives. We are looking at securing substantial Republican majorities in both houses of the legislature.
FACT: Liberal Congressional Democrats Shea-Porter and Kuster Likely Go Down With the Ship
If current polling trends continue, both Congresswoman Carol Shea Porter and Ann McLane Kuster will lose in November.
One of Congresswoman Shea-Porter's challengers has expanded his lead from last month's poll to 4%. Equally as troubling for Shea-Porter, her favorability rating has also dropped for the third consecutive WMUR Granite State Poll.
Congresswoman Kuster once again finds herself with an upside-down image rating, with more voters in the second congressional district having an unfavorable impression of her than favorable. Her sagging poll numbers have created a toss-up race against her closest Republican competitors. Against one challenger, Kuster's lead is within the poll's margin of error.
Both Shea-Porter and Kuster only register approximately 40% when matched up with their Republican opponents. Those lackluster numbers, when tied to a toxic political environment caused by Barack Obama's bottom of the barrel poll numbers and continued problems for the top of their ticket, will result in two new Republican members of Congress elected in November.
BOTTOM LINE: The NHGOP will continue to work tirelessly to promote our Republican candidates, and hold Democrats accountable to the voters of New Hampshire. This week's survey data tells us that our efforts to date are proving successful, with more work to be done. We'll continue the fight in the weeks and months ahead.