PPP's newest New Hampshire poll finds Barack Obama in the lead by a 51-45 margin. Although that's a relatively strong standing it's down from his 53-41 advantage on PPP's last poll of the state, in early May, and also from 2008 when he won the state by a 54-45 spread.
The tightening compared to our last poll of the state is largely a function of the Republican base unifying around Mitt Romney. In May he had only an 82-13 advantage with GOP voters, and that's now improved to 88-8. Two important trends remain the same from the previous poll though. Obama is up 52-40 with independents, similar both to 50-39 on our last New Hampshire survey and to his lead on the Ohio poll we released this morning. And Democrats also remain more unified than Republicans, with Obama getting 90% of his party vote to 7% for Romney.
This poll was done partially before and partially after the announcement of Paul Ryan as Romney's running mate. New Hampshire voters are split in their feelings about Ryan with 36% rating him favorably, 37% unfavorable, and 27% not stating an opinion either way. Republicans (67/7) predictably love Ryan, Democrats (10/64) dislike him almost as much, and independents split against him by a 33/39 margin. The trouble with independents isn't unique to Ryan in New Hampshire. Romney's favorability with them is 39/54. The Republican ticket has some work to do with those voters.
We also looked at Senator Jeanne Shaheen's standing with voters in the state on this poll. She has pretty solid approval numbers with 50% of voters giving her good marks to 40% who are unhappy with the job she's doing. She leads a hypothetical Republican opponent 51-42, including a 51-37 lead with independents. Obviously Shaheen's fate will have a lot to do with the political climate in 2014 but if she was up this year she would be in pretty good shape.
New Hampshire's like a lot of the states Obama won by 10-12 points in 2008- Pennsylvania, Nevada, Iowa, and Colorado also come to mind- he's not winning them by as much as he did last time around. But all in all he's in pretty good shape.
Full results here