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.
Full results here