Ayotte/Hassan a Toss Up; Clinton/Sanders Generally Lead GOP Field

| Tom Jensen

PPP’s newest New Hampshire Senate poll continues to find that a contest between Kelly Ayotte and Maggie Hassan would start out as a toss up. Ayotte gets 44% to 43% for Hassan, making this the third time this year we’ve polled this match up and found the candidates within one point of each other.

Hassan (48/42 approval) is actually more popular than Ayotte (38/46 approval). But a big part of what drives Ayotte’s approval numbers down is that she’s at only 64/25 with Republicans. She still leads Hassan 81/12 with Republicans in a head to head though, so most of those GOP voters who aren’t happy with her still prefer her to a Democratic alternative. The reason for Ayotte’s ever so modest advantage is that she gets 14% of Democrats compared to Hassan’s 12% of Republicans. Ayotte would lead Chris Pappas 45/31 in a hypothetical contest.

Democrats lead 14 out of 15 of the general election match ups we tested in the state. The strongest Republican is John Kasich, who leads Hillary Clinton 43/41. While the rest of the Republican hopefuls trail with independents, Kasich ties her with them at 38%. And Kasich is also winning over 14% of the Democratic vote to Clinton’s 10% of Democrats.

2 other Republicans come close to Clinton in the state. Her lead over Donald Trump is just 2 points at 46/44, and her advantage over Carly Fiorina is 3 points at 45/42. On the other side of the spectrum Clinton has double digit leads against Rand Paul (10 points at 47/37), Ted Cruz (11 points at 49/38), and Mike Huckabee (13 points at 49/36). Everyone else Clinton leads by 7 or 8 points- 46/39 over Jeb Bush, 46/38 over Chris Christie, 47/39 over Marco Rubio and Scott Walker, and 48/40 over Ben Carson.

Bernie Sanders is the most popular candidate on either side of the aisle in New Hampshire and actually does an average of 3.5 points better than Clinton in comparable head to head match ups. Sanders has a 46/36 favorability rating. The only other candidates who come out positively with the overall electorate are Kasich at 36/30 and Carson at 36/33. Sanders does similarly to Clinton against Bush (he leads him by 8 at 46/38, she leads him by 7), and Walker (they both lead him 47/39). Against Trump and Rubio, Sanders actually fares a good deal better than Clinton. He leads Trump by 9 at 50/41, compared to Clinton’s 2 point advantage, and he leads Rubio by 13 at 48/35, compared to Clinton’s 8 point advantage.

New Hampshire provides more evidence of what a disaster not nominating Trump could potentially be for the GOP. Running as an independent candidate he actually beats out Jeb Bush for second place 28% to 22% for Bush- leaving Hillary Clinton with a double digit lead over both of them at her 43% standing. Trump gets 41% of Republicans, 30% of independents, and 11% of Democrats running third party.

Finally we checked in once again on our favorite independent candidate, Deez Nuts. Despite a torrent of nationwide publicity over the last week Nuts gets just 6% in a match up with Clinton and Trump, less than the 7-9% we found him getting in polls before he was outed to the nation as a 15 year old boy. Perhaps Americans unhappy with their choices are now moving more towards Limberbutt McCubbins,  Dat Ass, and Butt Stuff.

Full results here

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