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PPP polled the likely match-ups in the New Hampshire Senate race before the primary.

Public Policy Polling (PDF) 9/11-12 (7/23-25 results). MoE 2.2%

Kelly Ayotte (R) 47% (45)
Paul Hodes (D) 43% (42)

Not much change in the head-to-head from July, but check out Ayotte's favorables:

But while Ayotte had cast herself as a nonpartisan moderate, looking toward the general election, Lamontagne’s strong challenge from the right forced her to tout Sarah Palin’s endorsement in the primary, and her favorability rating has precipitously declined from 34-24 in April to 36-39 in July to 35-47 now. Though Ayotte has slightly strengthened her standing in the horse race with her own party’s voters and with unaffiliateds, 47% of Granite State voters think the Republican Party is too conservative, and by a 52-18 margin, they say they are less likely, rather than more likely, to vote for a Palin endorsee.

For most of the past year, commentators and many in the Democratic establishment have seemed to think Ayotte was invulnerable. But this is who she has always been -- an inexperienced candidate with significant negatives to exploit, more attractive as a generic than a reality. Someone whose favorables would decline from plus 10 to minus twelve between April and September in the course of a normally competitive primary campaign.

There's no guarantee Paul Hodes will effectively exploit that, but the Kelly Ayotte of September should not be seen as a surprise or a necessarily passing phenomenon. This is a pick-up Democrats have a chance at.

Update: In comments, Davidsfr points out this poll switches from a registered voter to likely voter model, which improves the picture further.

Originally posted to Daily Kos on Thu Sep 16, 2010 at 08:02 AM PDT.

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Comment Preferences

  •  so does that mean we won't be (6+ / 0-)
    seeing Sarah Palin campaigning in New Hampshire either this year?

    Geeze how I wish Sarah and W. would go on a bus tour of key races.  That would help our party out tremendously.

    Republicans===the party of the 1% rich people in America. Or in other words..The Party of NO!

    by jalapeno on Thu Sep 16, 2010 at 08:03:45 AM PDT

    •  Nice signature... (0+ / 0-)

      I like statistics too!
      According to the demographics stats at the bottom of this page, stats, the democrats are a bunch of liberal black jewish senior women without a high school education earning under 20k a year.
      Yea! Sounds like a bunch of real winners!

      Is rich supposed to be an insult? Republicans are the party of post-college educated white evangelical senior males earning over 75k a year. Hmm which sounds more qualified to run an entire nation?

      The education statistic says it all for me. Which group do you really want making complex economic and geopolitical decisions that affect the entire world? A group whose majority failed to graduate high school or a group whose majority completed college and post-grad education?

  •  How many Tea Partiers will pass on the vote (6+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    Matt, askew, Danali, mconvente, SusanL143, Prairie D

    because Ayotte isn't their man?

    Notice: This Comment © 2010 ROGNM

    by ROGNM on Thu Sep 16, 2010 at 08:07:31 AM PDT

    •  Ayotte has the Palin endorsement... (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      blue aardvark

      I suspect she'll get TPX funding now as well - though she might not want it because while it's great for a primary, having that support in the general in a State like NH is a hindrance.  

      Sen. Reid on GOP threat of filibuster on tax cuts - "by Republican logic, until rich CEOs get what they want, middle-class families can't get what they need."

      by Jonze on Thu Sep 16, 2010 at 08:13:42 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  TPX is funded by Koch Industries. (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        sable, mconvente

        They are not happy with New Hampshire because of its participation in the Regional Cap and Trade program.  They refer to it as Obama's Cap and Trade, but the fact is the Senate refused to act and the northeaster states have taken the matter into their own hands.  It's been in place for two years and the gigantic increase in electric rates that were predicted have not materialized.

        Of course, energy consumption in New England has never kept up with the projected 7% per annum that was used to justify the building of nuclear plants that then went bankrupt several times.

        Koch Industries denies funding TPX because they are laundering the money through various "charitable" organizations such as the Charles R. Lambe Foundation and Americans for Prosperity.

        The Constitution is not a menu for an exclusive diner.

        by hannah on Thu Sep 16, 2010 at 08:22:37 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

    •  my thoughts exactly (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I know the "Kosventional" wisdom had us rooting for an Ayotte loss the other night, but I think this very, very narrow Ayotte win actually helps us more. If Lamontagne had gotten stomped, the teabaggers could have just shrugged and put their GOP hat back on. As it stands, I'm not sure they'll be willing--especially since the teabag vote was actually split three ways.

      The teabag wing is what accounts for all of the enthusiasm gap between the parties. Take them out of the equation and she's going to be scrambling to the right exactly when she ought to be tacking to the center in this genuinely purple state.

  •  Here's hoping Hodes exploits… (13+ / 0-)

    …Ayotte's negatives effectively.

    But I also hope that Lee Fisher can effectively paint Rob Portman as the architect of our current economic disaster and that Kendrick Meek stops attacking a damaged Christ and goes full anti-Rubio, for his only hope of winning is to ensure that Rubio is damaged goods.

    Teh stoopidTM, it hurts. Buy smart, union-printed, USA-made, signs, stickers, swag for everyone:

    by DemSign on Thu Sep 16, 2010 at 08:09:27 AM PDT

    •  He's gotta stop with the Republican lite... (0+ / 0-)

      ... frames that he seems to have recently adopted, and start doing direct comparisons, now that he knows his opponent is Ayotte.

      She's going to keep pumping the "tough on crime" canard, because it's all she's got. But her record as AG is simply NOT as good as his record as Assistant AG.

      Certainly one can point at her GLARING failure to investigate the FRM Ponzi scheme, while Hodes has a number of successful white collar prosecutions under his belt. That sort of thing has resonance, when you're shoulder deep in a recession that was brought on by criminals in corner offices.

      The final result of 'Ayotte v. Planned Parenthood', and her involvement in the Joint Underwriters debacle would further underscore her lack of fiscal responsibility.

      Corporate Dog

      We didn't elect Obama to be an expedient president. We elected him to be a great one. -- Eugene Robinson

      by Corporate Dog on Thu Sep 16, 2010 at 08:56:26 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Slightly O/T, but PPP....R's want to dump leaders (9+ / 0-)

    Dissension in the GOP ranks

    Only 21% of Republicans think the party should retain its current Congressional leadership if the party gains control with 57% saying it should be replaced.

    When to comes to John Boehner and Mitch McConnell in particular the Republican base isn't too impressed either. Just 33% want Boehner to become Speaker with 34% saying it should be someone else and 33% unsure. For McConnell the numbers are even worse. Only 27% would like to see him as Majority Leader with 33% definitively wanting someone else and 40% not sure.


    ....but it's the Democrats in disarray, right?

    Someone should diary and/or frontpage this also, imo.

    Here we are now Entertain us I feel stupid and contagious

    by Scarce on Thu Sep 16, 2010 at 08:10:10 AM PDT

    •  GOP can use this (0+ / 0-)

      When we started targeting Boehner(rightfully so) as he would become speaker the GOP can pledge(Not that they'll keep it) that there will be new management if you give us(GOP) the vote.

      We Destroyed this Village in order to save it from the Viet Cong er um Taliban

      by JML9999 on Thu Sep 16, 2010 at 08:13:13 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  If there's a Republican wave (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      askew, Superribbie, angry marmot

      sufficient to give them the majority in the Senate, look for Jim DeMint to cash in some chips.

      We would miss Mitch very, very quickly.

      In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice; but in practice, there always is a difference. - Yogi Berra

      by blue aardvark on Thu Sep 16, 2010 at 08:23:39 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  The folks that are running TPX have a (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      nice list of their expertise:

        * Message Development
        * Market Research Methodology
        * Audience Targeting
        * Coalition Building
        * Fundraising
        * Campaign Ground Operations
        * Public Relations
        * All Advertising Techniques

      which of these, do you think, accounts for the stories that Democrats are in disarray?

      Besides, think of it as a football game.  Don't you want the opponents line to be in disarray?  Don't you want the fans to "get into the game" and drown out the quarterback's call?  "The best defense is a good offense."  Republicans are being offensive.  Their coaches don't even want them to score because "try and try again" brings in more money for the consulting crew.

      Republicans want to win.  But, in Republican speak, where there are always only two alternatives, they win when the other guy loses, without ever accomplishing anything.  

      The Constitution is not a menu for an exclusive diner.

      by hannah on Thu Sep 16, 2010 at 08:33:03 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Negative Campaigning (0+ / 0-)

    The "Heads" were saying that Castle lost votes among DE women when he went negative.

    1. Is this valid
    1. Is this a problem for Hodes?

    We Destroyed this Village in order to save it from the Viet Cong er um Taliban

    by JML9999 on Thu Sep 16, 2010 at 08:10:59 AM PDT

    •  What's attractive about pretending that (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      a candidate decides the election is that there's only a few people to focus on.  Paying attention to the voters is a lot of work.  Even if you just do sampling.

      Besides, when candidates are convinced that they have to do fund-raising and train their sights on the other candidates for a job, they have less time (there are only 24 hours in a day) to focus on developing issues and interacting with the voters.  And, when they have less time to do that, they can be persuaded to rely on media buys and that's good for the communications industry.  Two NH self-funders returned over seven million dollars to the economy.  That's money that wasn't spent on Swiss watches.

      The Constitution is not a menu for an exclusive diner.

      by hannah on Thu Sep 16, 2010 at 08:38:47 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Ayotte's negatives have been attacked... (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    JML9999, mconvente, Prairie D

    There will be no breaking of new ground by the Hodes campaign, and yet she is still polling ahead of him.  Hodes really needed Lamontagne to win, as he was running third for so long, nobody bothered to attack him.  

    Hodes has been getting hit in NH though, as the CoC has been on the air against him.  

    I guess Hodes can bring Ayottes issues to the broader electorate and see what happens.  I believe 53% of general voters think Palin's endorsement is a negative in it's own right.  I think Hodes really has to hit on the ponzi scheme that Ayotte totally flubbed, and then tried to pass the blame on.  I might go after her for her lying - both in letting folks think she won the Planned Parenthood case when in reality she paid $300,000 settlement to them and for promising to serve a full four year term as AG only to jump into this race after two years.  Actually on this point, I might draw a correlation to Palin - as both Palin and Ayotte quit after two years on their current job.  

    Sen. Reid on GOP threat of filibuster on tax cuts - "by Republican logic, until rich CEOs get what they want, middle-class families can't get what they need."

    by Jonze on Thu Sep 16, 2010 at 08:11:15 AM PDT

  •  Paul will do better promoting himself (5+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    hannah, askew, Vicky, mconvente, Prairie D

    than attacking Ayotte. Attacks from Hodes will re-unify the GOP in NH.  I'm not saying don't get her negatives out there but the negatives are better coming from someone other than Hodes himself. Considering how quickly Ayotte was losing ground in the primary, I don't doubt that given another day or two, she would have lost. Lets hope that enthusiasm for her among the GOP continues to sink.

    •  I tend to agree in part. (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      Egalitare, SusanL143

      I think he needs to tread carefully in bringing up her negatives, because while it's bullshit that it's so, I do think he runs the risk of bad optics if he goes too negative on a young wholesome-looking woman like Ayotte. Tough balance to strike, but we've seen clearly that she does have negatives at least.

      But I think it's not just promoting himself.  It's drawing tough contrasts on policy linking her to unpopular Republican positions -- while, as you say, letting the direct negatives on her come from elsewhere.

      •  What you said! (0+ / 0-)

        I very much believe that pointing out why he'll be better governing than Ayotte is very much promoting himself.  Drawing the contrasts is a large part of that.

      •  Financial Resources Mortgage Inc. (0+ / 0-)

        Hodes needs to pointedly focus on what she did - and did NOT do - in this and related matters as AG.

        And with Warren now clearly going to have some hand in Consumer Protection in this administration, getting her to admit that she's going to toe the GOP position against the CFPA actually protecting consumers is an easy transition into getting undecided voters to wonder just who Ayotte is going to answer to when she gets to Washington: Wall Street or Main Street.

        If that is "negative campaigning" so be it.

        "Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will." -- Frederick Douglass

        by Egalitare on Thu Sep 16, 2010 at 10:44:54 AM PDT

        [ Parent ]

  •  It seems like there are no Senate hopefuls on our (0+ / 0-)

    side who can run a good campaign. Glassman and Conlin are way down the last I saw, Meek's in third, Conway has yet to lead Paul, Fisher and Carnahan and Sestak have ten-point deficits, and Hodes is struggling against Ayotte. Sigh. I do hope they figure out what they're doing very soon.

    They tortured people to get false confessions to fraudulently justify our invading Iraq.

    by Ponder Stibbons on Thu Sep 16, 2010 at 08:14:58 AM PDT

    •  Bringing home some troops from Afganistan (0+ / 0-)

      would probably help our Democratic Candidates more than anything they can come up with themselves.

      •  Jobs and taxes will resonate more (1+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:

        If the frame is that GOP is fighting for the top 2% and the DEMS are fighting for the middle class, then we win.

        Congress is setting up that frame right now with the Obama tax cuts for the middle class. It'll put a lot of GOP candidates out on a ledge they may fall from.

        •  I wonder (0+ / 0-)

          Jobs aren't likely to come to fruition before the election. The conservative NH voters seem insane on the subject of taxes. They want excellent government services when they receive them for themselves, the strongest of militaries, and lots of subsidies for the wealthy  -- all the while resenting paying even one of the lowest tax rates in the nation and calling for taxes to disappear. They want a good infrastructure but don't want to invest anything to keep it that way. Facts don't seem to be meaningful to the voters who always want taxes lower. I doubt it will win their vote even though most NH voters received a tax break under Obama.

    •  or (0+ / 0-)

      maybe the political climate is dragging them down. It's not easy to win a Senate race when Obama's approval in the state is at or below 40%, like in Pennsylvania, Ohio, or Kentucky.

      McCain and Grassley are entrenched incumbents; we were fools to think we could take them out this year. Meek is losing because of Crist, and would likely be losing a two-way race as well.

      You can't always blame the campaigns. No great campaign can save you if your party is unpopular.

      People panic too much on this site.

      by thematt523 on Thu Sep 16, 2010 at 08:17:33 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

    •  The purpose of polling is to depress (2+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      shpilk, Egalitare

      the turnout.  One way to depress the turnout is by convincing the voters that politics is a dirty enterprise.  Another way is to convince the voters there's no chance of their candidate being elected, so why bother?

      As Biden said, quoting White of Boston, "Don't compare me to the almighty; compare me to the alternative."

      The Constitution is not a menu for an exclusive diner.

      by hannah on Thu Sep 16, 2010 at 08:43:17 AM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  As a NH resident (4+ / 0-)

    and a Hodes supporter he truly pissed me off last night. The Hodes campaign started a new TV campaign in rotation yesterday where he claims to be a "fiscal conservative" exact words. Seriously what is he thinking. A) No one is going to believe it and B) he will lose if he tries to out conservative Kelly. Better to say he is fiscally responsible.

    In the choice between changing ones mind and proving there's no need to do so, most people get busy on the proof.

    by jsfox on Thu Sep 16, 2010 at 08:15:12 AM PDT

  •  I think it was a matter of vote for (0+ / 0-)

    the Republican now and the Democrat later.  It's a way for independents to have both cake and pie.

    The Constitution is not a menu for an exclusive diner.

    by hannah on Thu Sep 16, 2010 at 08:16:24 AM PDT

  •  GOP Nightmare: Democrats Can Flip 10 (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    shpilk, blue aardvark

    Ohio (1), New Hampshire (2), North Carolina (3), Alaska (4), Missouri (5), Kentucky (6), Iowa (7), Louisiana (8), Florida (9), Arizona (10).

    With the GOP fielding weird, weak, and fringe candidates, we have a better shot than most pundits think IF we close the enthusiasm gap.

    We can do it.

  •  Hodes has had too pretty terrible ads... (0+ / 0-)

    His first one wasn't bad, but lacked any real substance or punch, but the second one - the hot dog eating one, was terrible.  You couldn't even hear him speaking over the background noise of the cheering of the eating contest.  

    Sen. Reid on GOP threat of filibuster on tax cuts - "by Republican logic, until rich CEOs get what they want, middle-class families can't get what they need."

    by Jonze on Thu Sep 16, 2010 at 08:20:30 AM PDT

  •  It's a war with dozens of fronts (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    askew, horizontalrule

    And this one should not be neglected.

    On the other hand, Sarah Palin is planning to run in 2012 - and one of the best ways to prevent that is to defeat her endorsed candidates in the general of 2010.

    In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice; but in practice, there always is a difference. - Yogi Berra

    by blue aardvark on Thu Sep 16, 2010 at 08:22:13 AM PDT

  •  PPP switched from RV to LV (7+ / 0-)

    since their last NH poll, so Hodes does hold up well, losing only 1 point on the margin.

  •  I am surprised to see Hodes this close to Ayotte. (0+ / 0-)

    I thought most had given Hodes up for dead. Is there any signs of life in his campaign at all? Or is there any hope that the debate(s) will turn it around for him?

  •  One troubling thing about this (0+ / 0-)

    is that most of these newly poor people, aren't like typical readers of this blog. When they look for explanations for their personal misery, sometimes, unfortunately, they arrive at "uppity women," "uppity brown-skinned people," and "uppity gays."

  •  Paul's website is here (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    Here's a salient point:

    Fought against Wall Street Bailouts.
    Paul stood up and voted against the Wall Street bailout three times because it did not contain enough transparency and accountability to the taxpayers. He has fought against lavish executive compensation and worked to increase regulation on Wall Street.

    Some talking points in this race.


    This is an attractive stance in NH: people were up in arms here over TARP. Both Hodes and Shea-Porter voted against what the majority of Democrats voted for, and bucked Democratic leadership for TARP. Hodes' has a record of bucking what the leadership wants, from either Party: he even voted against resolutions that both D's and R's wanted.

    Republicans may try to paper over Hodes as a 'cookie cutter Pelosi follower', but he hasn't been. In fact, he's remarkably not so.

    While some of Paul's votes aggravated me; I can live with them.


    Ayotte's extremist social views will be her downfall. The Parental Notification fiasco that Ayotte pursued after being asked by Governor Lynch to abandon it cost the State of NH money.

    This is going to come back to bite her in the ass.

    Just watch.

    For months, Senate Republican candidate Kelly Ayotte’s campaign has promoted that she "won" a U.S. Supreme Court decision, defending a 2003 New Hampshire law requiring that a minor girl notify a parent before getting an abortion.

    Yet, as attorney general in April 2009, Ayotte approved spending $300,000 in taxpayer money to settle the case and pay the legal costs of the opposing party, after a U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals judge decided Planned Parenthood of Northern New England was the winner.

    The state paid Planned Parenthood with two payments of $150,000 each in April and August 2009. These payments quietly passed through the state’s budget office and did not require the approval of the Legislature or Gov. John Lynch.  

    Ayotte was asked by Lynch to abandon the case, which could have resulted in a lower amount of money rewarded: she refused and pursued the case.

  •  Disturbing (0+ / 0-)

    What's the most disturbing thing about this poll?  

    18% of NH voters think that the Republican party is "too liberal."

    Let the shuddering begin.

  •  Posting Polls (0+ / 0-)

    If PPP did this poll for Daily Kos, why did it take you almost a day to post it after it was up on the PPP website?
    This poll is old news already.

  •  it seems to me that the key (0+ / 0-)

    to a Hodes victory...will be for him to successfully exploit any "move to the center" by Ayotte between now and November...because any such "move to the center" will only piss off all of her primary opponents' voters.

    If she chooses not to move back to the center, then the key would be to...give emphasis to how far right she is on her positions and how that is out of step with the electorate at large.

    That type of any approach may help give Hode an edge with the all-important independent voters, who likely are fed up with partisanship on both sides of the spectrum.

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