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NEC Poll for NHJournal.com: Ayotte with Small Lead Over Hassan in Possible 2016 Senate Matchup

December 10, 2014

Posted in NEC Poll News Press Release

In a potential 2016 US Senate matchup, a recent New England College poll, conducted for the New Hampshire Journal, shows Senator Kelly Ayotte with a small lead over Governor Maggie Hassan. Please visit NH Journal for the full article.

NEC Poll: Granite Staters Optimistic about Economy & Personal Finances but Hold the Line on Holiday Shopping

November 24, 2014

Posted in NEC Poll News Press Release

While Granite Staters appear to be optimistic about the nation’s economy and their personal finances, that optimism does not extend to plans for holiday shopping. According to the New England College Poll, 47.8% of Granite Staters said they agreed that the US economy will be stronger in the coming year. 34.3% disagreed and 17.9% were unsure or had no opinion. Respondents also indicated they are hopeful about their own personal finances. 42.6% of Granite Staters said they agreed that their personal finances will be stronger in the coming year. 32.5% disagreed and 24.9% were unsure or had no opinion.

Dr. Wayne Lesperance, Professor of Political Science at New England College and Director of the New England College Polling Institute said, “Optimism about the economy and personal finances does not appear to translate into big increases in holiday spending. When asked about their shopping plans this holiday season, 52.4% of respondents said they’d be spending less and 27.5% said they’d be spending about the same. Only 20.1% said they would be spending more.”

“Interestingly, in New Hampshire, holiday shoppers don’t want shopping on Thanksgiving,” added Lesperance. “We asked Granite Staters if they thought stores should be open on Thanksgiving Day and they replied overwhelmingly, no.” 76.1% of respondents said that stores should be closed on Thanksgiving, while only 8.2% said that they should be open.
39.4% of respondents said they planned on doing some of their holiday shopping at locally-owned stores. 73.5% of Granite Staters said they plan on purchasing online this holiday season.
There’s good news for Granite State children. There’s still time to do your wish list. According to Lesperance, “Over half of our respondents (53.6%) say they haven’t started their holiday shopping. Another 24.3% are about a quarter finished, and 11% are halfway done. So it’s not too late to turn in your holiday wish list!”

This New England College Poll was conducted on November 20 and 21, 2014 using Interactive Voice Response technology, an automated polling system. A total of 563 responses were obtained. The margin of error for the poll is +/- 4.13%.
For additional information, including previous NEC Polling Institute polls, please visit:

NEC Polling

NEC Poll: Shaheen and Brown Deadlocked. Guinta Builds Momentum.

November 2, 2014

Posted in NEC Poll News Press Release

Hillary Clinton, Jeb Bush, and Chris Christie Early Presidential Primary Favorites

In its final poll before Election Day, Tuesday, November 4, the New England College Polling Institute finds that the race for US Senate between incumbent Democrat Senator Jeanne Shaheen and Republican challenger Scott Brown is a virtual tie. Dr. Wayne Lesperance, Professor of Political Science at New England College and Director of the Center for Civic Engagement which includes the New England College Polling Institute, said “This poll follows the final set of televised debates and comes just a few days before Election Day. It is the fourth week in a row that the Senate race is a statistical tie, and the third week in row that Scott Brown enjoys a very modest lead. The Senate race will come right down to the wire.”

Former Representative Frank Guinta continues to build his lead over Representative Carol Shea-Porter in the First Congressional District. Incumbent Governor Maggie Hassan and Second Congressional District Democrat Representative Anne McLane Kuster maintain what appear to be solid leads.

This week the New England College Poll also asked voters to look ahead and share their candidate preference for New Hampshire’s First in the Nation Presidential Primary. Response options were randomized. On the Democratic side, Hillary Clinton far outpaces her rivals. On the Republican side, Jeb Bush placed first followed by Chris Christie.

United States Senate

Scott Brown continues to hold a very small lead over Senator Jeanne Shaheen, 48.7% to 48.2%. According to Lesperance, “A half percent margin is exceedingly narrow. This race is a complete toss-up.” 1.4% of respondents would prefer another candidate and 1.7% are unsure. “Looking inside the numbers,” continued Lesperance, “It is interesting to note that Senator Shaheen’s lead among women is 6.8% while Scott Brown leads among men by 8.9%. Independents appear relatively evenly split, leaning towards Scott Brown by a modest 2.6%.”

“With a race this close, all eyes turn to the little things,” noted Lesperance. “Do voters who need transportation have a way to get to the polls? Will the lines be long? Will same day registrants have any trouble casting their vote? Judging by the number of calls being made this weekend to prospective voters, both campaigns are grasping for every single vote. There is of course one factor campaigns cannot control,” added Lesperance, “the weather.”

Congressional District-1

For the second week in a row, the New England College Poll shows Republican Frank Guinta expanding his lead over incumbent First Congressional District Democrat Representative Carol Shea-Porter 52.2% to 42.9%. “This week’s poll results show continued momentum for Guinta’s campaign,” said Lesperance. “Of particular interest is that Guinta and Shea-Porter nearly evenly split female voters.” According to the poll, 2.3% said they preferred another candidate while 2.6% of respondents were not sure who they would support.

Congressional District-2

Second Congressional District Democrat Representative Anne McLane Kuster remains ahead of Republican challenger Marilinda Garcia. In this week’s poll, Kuster leads Garcia 52.8% to 41.7%. According to Lesperance, “This week’s poll results are encouraging for Representaive Kuster as she has sustained a solid lead. Kuster has a significant lead among independents 53.4% to 39.6%, and among women 57.5% to 36.2%.” Respondents preferring another candidate were at 3.2% with 2.3% not sure.

Governor’s Race

Once again, Democrat Governor Maggie Hassan has a significant lead over Republican challenger Walt Havenstein 51% to 43.7%. “This margin over Havenstein is a return to similar results from weeks’ past,” observed Lesperance. It may indicate that last week’s poll results for Governor, which showed Havenstein gaining, were an outlier.” 2.4% indicated they would vote for another candidate and 2.9% said they were not sure.

NH Voter Opinion: Presidential Primary Candidate Preference

This week’s New England College Poll asked voters to share their initial candidate preference for New Hampshire’s First in the Nation Presidential Primary. On the Democratic side, Hillary Clinton easily beats the second place choice, Elizabeth Warren, 53.1% to 16.8%. Rounding out the top five other Democrats were Bernie Sanders (7%), Joe Biden (5.8%), and Martin O’Malley (2.3%). 10% of respondents indicated they would prefer ‘someone else’.

On the Republican side of the Presidential primary question, Jeb Bush placed first with 17.3% followed by Chris Christie (14.7%), Ted Cruz (10.4%), Mike Huckabee (9.9%) and Rand Paul (7.9%). 22% of respondents selected the ‘someone else’ option. The New England College Poll did not include Mitt Romney as an option.

This New England College Poll was conducted on October 31, and November 1, 2014 using Interactive Voice Response technology, an automated polling system. A total of 1,526 responses were obtained: 778 from registered likely NH voters in Congressional District 1 and 748 from registered likely NH voters in Congressional District 2. The margin of error for questions about the Gubernatorial and Senate races is +/- 2.51%. The margin of error for questions about the CD1 race is +/- 3.51%, and for CD2, +/- 3.58%. The margin of error for the question about the Republican Presidential Primary is +/- 3.66%, and for the question about the Democratic Presidential Primary is +/- 4.06%.

This is the eighth and final in a series of weekly polls conducted by New England College through Election Day, November 4, 2014. For additional information, including previous polls, please visit:

Poll Results & Crosstabs

NEC Poll: Guinta Builds Lead in CD-1. Race for Governor Tightens.

October 27, 2014

Posted in NEC Poll News Press Release

Voters Also Say Debates have Little Impact on Their Decisions

As political campaigns enter their final week before elections next Tuesday, former Representative Frank Guinta has opened a small lead over Representative Carol Shea-Porter in the First Congressional District. The Governor’s race has also tightened up and the US Senate race remains a toss-up, according to the seventh weekly general election poll from New England College.

Dr. Wayne Lesperance, Professor of Political Science at New England College and Director of the Center for Civic Engagement which includes the New England College Polling Institute, said “In addition to jam packed campaign schedules, this past week voters had the opportunity to see all of the candidates in televised debates. Still, there has been only modest movement in the numbers.”

This week the New England College Poll asked voters about the impact of debates. “Most respondents said the debates had little, or no, impact on their candidate preference,” noted Lesperance. “The polling results bear this out.”

United States Senate

For the third week in a row the Senate race between incumbent Democrat Senator Jeanne Shaheen and Republican challenger Scott Brown is a virtual tie. Brown continues to enjoy a small lead, 48.3% to 46.8%. According to Lesperance, “A 1.5% margin is incredibly narrow and makes this race a statistical dead heat. Brown’s recent success comes from narrowing the lead Shaheen had with women to just under 5%.” 2.5% of respondents would prefer another candidate and 2.4% are unsure.

Congressional District-1

Republican Frank Guinta leads incumbent First Congressional District Democrat Representative Carol Shea-Porter 49% to 42.9%. “This week’s poll results provide good news for Guinta’s campaign,” said Lesperance. “While the change from a week ago is relatively small, his lead has expanded beyond the poll’s margin of error.” According to the poll, 4.1% said they preferred another candidate while 4% of respondents were not sure who they would support.

Congressional District-2

Second Congressional District Democrat Representative Anne McLane Kuster remains ahead of Republican challenger Marilinda Garcia. In this week’s poll, Kuster leads Garcia 49.2% to 42%. According to Lesperance, “The CD-2 poll results have been remarkably consistent over the past few weeks. With about one week until Election Day, Garcia must find a game changer moment if she hopes to top Kuster.” Respondents preferring another candidate were at 3.6% with 5.2% not sure.

Governor’s Race

For the first time this general election cycle, the Governor’s race has tightened considerably. Democrat Governor Maggie Hassan leads Republican challenger Walt Havenstein 47.2% to 46.9%. “Hassan has maintained a consistent lead, but over the past week the race has become a toss-up,” observed Lesperance. 2.2% indicated they would vote for another candidate and 3.7% said they were not sure.

NH Voter Opinion: The Impact of Debates

This week’s New England College Poll asked voters about the impact of debates on their candidate preference. 50% of respondents said the debates had no impact on their choice of candidate. Only 9.3% indicated that debates strongly impacted their candidate preference. 31.4% said that debates somewhat impacted their preference.

According to Lesperance, “These results appear to confirm conventional wisdom that debates change the minds of a relatively small number of voters. However, in races that are very tight, just a few voters can make a big difference in the final outcome.” Lesperance added, “A deeper look into the numbers reveals, unsurprisingly, that independents are more likely to be influenced by debates than registered Democrats and Republicans.”

This New England College Poll was conducted on October 24, 2014 using Interactive Voice Response technology, an automated polling system. A total of 1,132 responses were obtained: 556 from registered likely NH voters in Congressional District 1 and 576 from registered likely NH voters in Congressional District 2. The margin of error for questions about the Gubernatorial and Senate races, and candidate debates is +/- 2.91%. The margin of error for questions about the CD1 race is +/- 4.16%, and for CD2, +/- 4.08%.

This is the seventh in a series of weekly polls to be conducted by New England College through Election Day, November 4, 2014. For additional information, including previous polls, please visit www.nec.edu/about/centers-other-locations/the-nec-polling-institute/.

Poll Results & Crosstabs

NEC Poll: Senate and CD-1 Races Remain too Close to Call

October 22, 2014

Posted in NEC Poll News Press Release

Voters Also Respond to the Influence of Endorsements and Political Surrogates

With Election Day nearing, races for US Senate and the First Congressional District couldn’t be tighter, according to the sixth weekly general election poll from the New England College Poll. Governor Maggie Hassan and Representative Anne McLane Kuster continue to maintain their leads. Dr. Wayne Lesperance, Professor of Political Science at New England College and Director of the Center for Civic Engagement which includes the New England College Polling Institute, said “All eyes are on the US Senate race between Senator Jeanne Shaheen and Scott Brown. The race is a dead heat. With time running short, this places greater importance on every campaign event for both candidates.”

This week the New England College Poll asked voters about political endorsements and surrogates. In both cases, respondents overwhelmingly said that both endorsements and surrogates have no impact on their preferences for candidate. “Still,” said Lesperance, “In very tight races where voter turnout means everything, surrogates and endorsements can have a significant impact.”

United States Senate
Republican Scott Brown has the narrowest of leads over incumbent Democrat Senator Jeanne Shaheen 47.7% to 47.3%. For the fourth week running, the New Hampshire senate race is a dead heat. 2.7% of respondents would prefer another candidate and 2.3% are unsure. According to Lesperance, “The big news is that Senator Shaheen’s advantage among women is dwindling. Looking back to our September 24th Poll, Senator Shaheen enjoyed a 12 point lead among women over Brown. In this most recent poll, her lead among women is down to just over three percent. What’s more, independents in this poll are breaking Brown’s way 48.7% to 44%.”

Congressional District-1
For the third week in a row, the First Congressional District race is too close to call. Republican Frank Guinta leads Democrat Representative Carol Shea-Porter in this week’s poll 47.4% to 45.7%. “After three election cycles of the same two candidates in CD-1, voters appear nearly evenly split,” said Lesperance. “While Guinta enjoys a very small lead, this is another race that looks like it will come down to the wire.” According to the poll, 3.5% said they preferred another candidate while 3.4% of respondents were not sure who they would support.

Congressional District-2
In the Second Congressional District Democrat Representative Anne McLane Kuster continues to lead Republican challenger Marilinda Garcia. The results of the Second Congressional District poll for this week show Democrat Representative Kuster’s lead is up marginally over the prior week’s results, 48.7% to 43.2%. “Still, this is a very close race,” notes Lesperance. Respondents preferring another candidate were at 3.6% with 4.5% not sure.

Governor’s Race
Democrat Governor Maggie Hassan continues to hold a significant lead over Republican challenger Walt Havenstein, increasing marginally over last week’s poll, 50.7% to 42.5%. “Of all of the races we’ve polled since primary day, the Governor’s race has been remarkably consistent, showing a sustained lead for Governor Hassan,” said Lesperance. 2.6% indicated they would vote for another candidate and 4.2% said they were not sure.

NH Voter Opinion: The Impact of Endorsements and Political Surrogates
This week’s New England College Poll asked respondents about the impact of political endorsements and surrogates on their candidate preference. Nearly two-thirds of voters, 65.1%, indicated that political endorsements had no impact on which candidate they would support. 29.9% said endorsements did have an impact on their preference. When asked about the impact of political surrogates on their candidate preference, nearly three-quarters of respondents, 74.2%, said they had no impact. 20.4% indicated that surrogates had an impact on who they would support in an election.

According to Lesperance, “While these results are very clear, the implications in the November election may not be so obvious. Specifically, in very close races like those we are seeing for US Senate and the First Congressional District, every vote is critical. To the extent that endorsements and surrogates generate interest and help with the get-out-the-vote effort, even low percentages can have a meaningful impact on the final outcome.”

This New England College Poll was conducted on October 16, 2014 using Interactive Voice Response technology, an automated polling system. A total of 921 responses were obtained: 461 from registered likely NH voters in Congressional District 1 and 460 from registered likely NH voters in Congressional District 2. The margin of error for questions about the Gubernatorial and Senate races, and candidate endorsements and surrogates is +/- 3.23%. The margin of error for questions about the CD1 race is +/- 4.56%, and for CD2, +/- 4.57%.

This is the sixth in a series of weekly polls to be conducted by New England College through Election Day, November 4, 2014. For additional information, including previous polls, please click here.

Poll Results & Crosstabs

NEC Poll: As the Election Nears, All Races Up for Grabs

October 14, 2014

Posted in NEC Poll News Press Release

Voters Also Express Concerns about Ebola in NH

As Election Day approaches, all of the races surveyed in the newest New England College Poll are tightening. Dr. Wayne Lesperance, Professor of Political Science at New England College and Director of the Center for Civic Engagement which includes the New England College Polling Institute, said “Responses from our fifth weekly general election poll of 1,081 registered likely voters show that three of the four races – the Senate race, and the First and Second Congressional District races – are too close to call within this poll’s margin of error. Only Governor Hassan has a lead outside of the margin of error, and that lead has shrunk when compared to last week’s poll.”

United States Senate

For the third straight week, the US Senate race in New Hampshire is statistically a dead heat. According to Lesperance, “This week Republican Scott Brown leads Democrat Senator Jeanne Shaheen 48% to 46.9%. However, this is well within the 2.98% margin of error. So the Senate race is just too close to call.” 2.8% of respondents would prefer another candidate and 2.3% are unsure.

Congressional District-1

Republican challenger Frank Guinta leads Democrat Representative Carol-Shea Porter 46.3% to 43.5%. “The results in the First Congressional district remain very tight,” said Lesperance. “Last week, Carol Shea-Porter led. In both polls the advantages have been within the margin of error.” According to the poll, 5.7% said they preferred another candidate while 4.6% of respondents were not sure who they would support.

Congressional District-2

In the Second Congressional District Democrat Representative Anne McLane Kuster continues to lead Republican Marilinda Garcia 46.1% to 42.5%. “Challenger Marilinda Garcia has closed a substantial gap with Representative Kuster,” noted Lesperance. “The incumbent’s lead has shrunk from prior polls to 3.6%. Looking inside the numbers, Representative Kuster’s strength remains in her 9% lead among women. Garcia leads among men by 2.6%.” Respondents preferring another candidate were at 6.6% with 4.9% not sure.

Governor’s Race

Registered likely voters continue to prefer Democratic Governor Maggie Hassan over Republican Walt Havenstein 48.7% to 43.5%. However, that lead has shrunk. “Walt Havenstein is gaining ground on Governor Hassan, cutting her lead to just over 5%,” said Lesperance. 2.7% indicated they would vote for another candidate and 5.1% said they were not sure.

NH Voter Opinion: Concerns about Ebola

This week’s New England College Poll asked respondents about the Ebola virus outbreak. 58.4% of respondents said they somewhat or strongly approve of the federal government’s actions to prevent the spread of the Ebola virus in the US. While most Granite Staters approve of the federal government’s handling of the Ebola virus in the US, nearly two-thirds of respondents are concerned that the virus will affect New Hampshire.

According to Lesperance, “When asked how concerned they were that the Ebola virus would affect New Hampshire, 61% indicated they were very or somewhat concerned. 25.4% indicated little or no concern. Interestingly, among those concerned about Ebola affecting New Hampshire, women expressed more concern than men 67.6% to 53.6%.”

This New England College Poll was conducted on October 9, 2014 using Interactive Voice Response technology, an automated polling system. A total of 1,081 responses were obtained: 536 from registered likely NH voters in Congressional District 1 and 545 from registered likely NH voters in Congressional District 2. The margin of error for questions about the Gubernatorial and Senate races, and the Ebola virus is +/- 2.98%. The margin of error for questions about the CD1 race is +/- 4.23%, and for CD2, +/- 4.20%.

This is the fifth in a series of weekly polls to be conducted by New England College through Election Day, November 4, 2014. For additional information, including previous polls, please visit www.nec.edu/about/centers-other-locations/the-nec-polling-institute/.

NEC Poll Results October 9 2014

NEC Poll: Senate and CD-1 Races Neck and Neck

October 8, 2014

Posted in NEC Poll News Press Release

NH Voters Also Oppose Ground Troops in ISIS Fight

While Governor Hassan and Representative Kuster continue to enjoy strong leads, small margins for Senator Shaheen and Representative Shea-Porter make those races too close to call according to the latest New England College Poll.

Dr. Wayne Lesperance, Professor of Political Science at New England College and Director of the Center for Civic Engagement which includes the New England College Polling Institute, says “Responses from our fourth weekly general election poll of 1,286 registered likely voters show that both the US Senate and First Congressional District races are statistical dead heats. Importantly, in all four races, unenrolled or independent voters are leaning towards the Democrats. It is difficult to imagine Republican successes without attracting more independent voters.”

United States Senate

For the second straight week, the US Senate race in New Hampshire is statistically even with Democrat Senator Shaheen leading over Republican Scott Brown 48.5% to 45.9%. “Senator Shaheen’s 2.6% lead over Republican challenger Scott Brown is within our 2.73% margin of error,” said Lesperance. 3.2% of respondents would prefer another candidate and 2.3% are unsure.

Congressional District-1

Democrat Carol Shea-Porter holds a modest lead, 46.7%, over Republican Frank Guinta with 44.2%. According to the poll, 5.1% said they preferred another candidate while 4.0% of respondents were not sure who they would support.

“This race has been a rollercoaster since the primaries,” noted Lesperance. “While Guinta led in last week’s poll, in this particular cycle there have been an extraordinary number of negative ads. This may have had an impact. The race is a virtual tie with less than a month to go.”

Congressional District-2

According to Lesperance, “Second Congressional District results show that Democratic Representative Anne McClane Kuster continues to hold a significant lead over Republican challenger Marilinda Garcia 50.1% to 38.1%. This week’s poll results are largely unchanged over last week’s results.” Respondents preferring another candidate were at 6.3% with 5.5% not sure.

Governor’s Race

Registered likely voters continue to prefer Democratic Governor Maggie Hassan over Republican challenger Walt Havenstein 51.4% to 41.3%. 3.0% indicated they would vote for another candidate and 4.4% said they were not sure.

“Governor Hassan’s lead over Walt Havenstein includes support from 16% of self-identified Republicans,” explained Lesperance. “Conversely, Havenstein is garnering only 5.4% support from self-identified Democrats. The path to victory for Havenstein remains a difficult one, especially when a significant portion of his own party is supporting his opponent.”

NH Voter Opinion: Action Against ISIS

This week’s New England College Poll asked respondents about US attacks on the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS). According to Lesperance, “Granite Staters overwhelmingly support airstrikes 89.1% to 8%. But, no such support exists for introducing ground troops. 42.9% favor sending ground troops into combat while 52.9% are opposed.”

This New England College Poll was conducted on October 3, 2014 using Interactive Voice Response technology, an automated polling system. A total of 1,286 responses were obtained: 626 from registered likely NH voters in Congressional District 1 and 660 from registered likely NH voters in Congressional District 2. The margin of error for questions about the Gubernatorial and Senate races, and ISIS response is +/- 2.73%. The margin of error for questions about the CD1 race is +/- 3.92%, and for CD2, +/- 3.81%.

This is the fourth in a series of weekly polls to be conducted by New England College through Election Day, November 4, 2014. For additional information, including previous polls, please visit www.nec.edu/about/centers-other-locations/the-nec-polling-institute/.

NEC Poll Results October 3 2014

NEC Poll: Leads Vanishing for Most NH Incumbents

October 2, 2014

Posted in NEC Poll News Press Release

Brown pulls even. Guinta surges ahead.

The early advantage held by New Hampshire’s incumbents is largely gone according to the latest New England College Poll. The weekly general election poll of 1,331 registered likely NH voters shows that while three democratic incumbents retain a their leads, the ground has shifted and most margins have become smaller.

Dr. Wayne Lesperance, Professor of Political Science at New England College and Director of the Center for Civic Engagement which includes the New England College Polling Institute, says “The major takeaway from this week’s poll is that the US Senate race is now a statistical dead heat. Senator Shaheen’s half a percent (.5%) lead over Republican challenger Scott Brown is well within our 2.69% margin of error.

United States Senate

The contest for US Senate in New Hampshire is now statistically even, with Shaheen at 47.1% and Brown at 46.6%. 3.3% of respondents would prefer another candidate and 2.9% are unsure.

“Senator Shaheen continues to enjoy a significant advantage among women with a nearly 13 point lead over Brown,” said Lesperance. “Among men, however, Brown has expanded his lead since last week’s New England College Poll to 11.5 points.”

Congressional District-1

Locked in a dead heat last week, former Congressman Frank Guinta has pulled ahead of Representative Carol Shea-Porter, 50.8% to 40.5%. According to the poll, 4.3% said they preferred another candidate while 4.4% of respondents were not sure who they would support.

According to Lesperance, “Former Representative Frank Guinta has taken a significant 10.3% lead over Representative Carol Shea-Porter. This represents the largest swing in polling results since the first New England College poll of the 2014 general election cycle.”

Congressional District-2

Second Congressional District results show Democratic Representative Anne McClane Kuster’s lead over Republican challenger Marilinda Garcia is 50.1% to 39.0%. Respondents preferring another candidate were at 4.7% with 6.2% not sure.

“Representative Kuster’s 11.1% lead over Republican challenger Marilinda Garcia is essentially unchanged from last week,” says Lesperance.

Governor’s Race

While the margin has shrunk in the race for New Hampshire Governor, respondents continue to prefer Democratic Governor Maggie Hassan over Republican challenger Walt Havenstein 47.9% to 44.1%. 2.9% indicated they would vote for another candidate and 5.1% said they were not sure.

“Governor Hassan’s lead over Walt Havenstein has narrowed considerably to just under 4%. Inside the poll we see some interesting trends among unenrolled/independent voters who give Havenstein a slight advantage,” explained Lesperance.

This New England College Poll was conducted on September 26, 2014 using Interactive Voice Response technology, an automated polling system. A total of 1,331 responses were obtained: 629 from registered likely NH voters in Congressional District 1 and 702 from registered likely NH voters in Congressional District 2. The margin of error for questions about the Gubernatorial and Senate races is +/- 2.69%. The margin of error for questions about the CD1 race is +/- 3.91%, and for CD2, +/- 3.70%.

This is the third in a series of weekly polls to be conducted by New England College through Election Day, November 4, 2014. For additional information, including previous polls, please visit www.nec.edu/about/centers-other-locations/the-nec-polling-institute/.

Poll Results & Crosstabs

NEC Poll: Races Tighten. Guinta Pulls Even with Shea-Porter

September 24, 2014

Posted in NEC Poll News Press Release

Second poll in series shows Shea-Porter and Guinta in dead heat

In the first full week of post-primary campaigning, the latest results of a New England College Poll show that, with the exception of the 1st Congressional District, incumbent Democrats are holding on to their leads.

According to Dr. Wayne Lesperance, Professor of Political Science at New England College and Director of the Center for Civic Engagement which includes the New England College Polling Institute, NEC’s newest weekly poll also indicates that “Republican candidates have some good news to focus on. In all four New Hampshire races the margins over the prior week’s polls have shrunk.”

United States Senate

In the closely watched race for US Senate, Democrat Senator Jeanne Shaheen leads Republican challenger Scott Brown 50.1% to 42.8%. 4.0% of respondents would prefer another candidate and 3.2% are unsure.

“Former Senator Scott Brown has made some progress in chipping away at Senator Shaheen’s lead in last week’s NEC Poll,” said Lesperance. “Still, Shaheen has a built-in advantage with women voters. Our latest poll shows she leads among women by 12 points.”

Congressional District-1

In what is perhaps the biggest news in the NEC poll, former Congressman Frank Guinta has pulled into a dead heat with Representative Carol Shea-Porter with both earning 45.2% of responses. 6.0% said they preferred another candidate while 3.6% of respondents were not sure who they would support.

According to Lesperance, “This first full week of campaigning has paid off for Team Guinta. Down by a few points in our last poll, former Congressman Guinta has pulled into a dead heat with Representative Carol Shea-Porter, becoming the first challenger to overcome the incumbent’s advantage.”

Congressional District-2

The second Congressional District results show Democratic Representative Anne McClane Kuster over Republican challenger Marilinda Garcia 48.9% to 38.1%. Respondents preferring another candidate were at 6.7% with 6.3% not sure about who they will support.

“The real story in this race is inside the numbers,” notes Lesperance. “Part of the challenge Marilinda Garcia is having is that among self-identified Republicans 15.5% are favoring Democratic Representative Anne Kuster. Kuster also has a 4 point lead among independents, a group Garcia must woo to her side to win in November. Interestingly,” added Lesperance, “this is the only race in which the number of respondents preferring another candidate increased over last week’s poll.”

Governor’s Race

In the race for New Hampshire Governor, respondents continue to prefer Democratic Governor Maggie Hassan over Republican challenger Walt Havenstein 52.0% to 39.6%. 3.8% indicated they would vote for another candidate and 4.6% said they were not sure.

“Governor Hassan continues to enjoy a significant lead over Republican challenger Walt Havenstein, staying above the 50% mark for the second week in a row. Havenstein’s numbers are trending upward, however,” explained Lesperance.

This New England College Poll was conducted over two days, September 19 and 20, 2014 and conducted using Interactive Voice Response technology, an automated polling system. A total of 1,494 responses were obtained: 715 from registered likely NH voters in Congressional District 1 and 779 from registered likely NH voters in Congressional District 2. The margin of error for questions about the Gubernatorial and Senate races is +/- 2.54%. The margin of error for questions about the CD1 race is +/- 3.66%, and for CD2, +/- 3.51%.

This is the second in a series of weekly polls to be conducted by New England College through Election Day, November 4, 2014. For additional information, including previous polls, please visit http://www.nec.edu/about/centers-other-locations/the-nec-polling-institute/

Poll Results & Crosstabs

 

NEC Poll: Incumbents Have the Advantage

September 17, 2014

Posted in NEC Poll News Press Release

Election-related poll series will track State’s ballot leaders

In the immediate aftermath of New Hampshire’s 2014 primary elections, voters appear to be favoring incumbent candidates for now. According to the latest results of the New England College Poll, however, in most races Republican challengers are within striking distance. In a polling sample of 630 registered, likely voters, the incumbent candidate leads in each race with the largest margin in the Governor’s race, and most narrow margin in the First Congressional District.

“With less than eight weeks until election day there are no contests out of reach for the challengers,” said Dr. Wayne Lesperance, Professor of Political Science at New England College and Director of the Center for Civic Engagement which includes the New England College Polling Institute. “It is clear from our poll results that incumbents are enjoying an advantage over their challengers.”

United States Senate

In perhaps the most watched race of the cycle for US Senate, democrat Senator Jeanne Shaheen leads republican challenger Scott Brown 51% to 40.2%. 4.5% of respondents would prefer another candidate and 4.2% are unsure.

“This is the race that has captured national attention,” said Lesperance. “Senator Shaheen’s margin is significant but not insurmountable. With the general election less than a week old, Scott Brown has his work cut out for him.”

Congressional District-1

Of the two congressional races, the first Congressional District has the narrowest margin between democratic Representative Carol Shea-Porter (46%) and former Representative and republican Frank Guinta (41.6%). 6.5% said they preferred another candidate while 5.9% of respondents were not sure who they would support.

“There’s no question this is the tightest margin among the races in the Granite State,” said Lesperance. “And in such a close race, voters should expect to see the candidates in a pitched battle for every vote.”

Congressional District-2

The second Congressional District results show democratic Representative Anne McClane Kuster over republican challenger Marilinda Garcia 49.6% to 36.7%. Respondents preferring another candidate were at 6.1% with 7.6% not sure about who they will support.

According to Lesperance, “Representative Kuster’s lead among respondents at just under 13% represents quite a challenge to Garcia. But, in a district that leans democratic and features a relative newcomer in Garcia, this race is closer than some might expect.”

Governor’s Race

In the race for New Hampshire Governor, respondents preferred democratic Governor Maggie Hassan to republican challenger Walt Havenstein 51.3% to 36.2%. 3.9% indicated they would vote for another candidate and 8.6% said they were not sure.

“With one exception in recent memory, voters have rewarded the incumbent Governor with a second term. At this point in the race, Governor Hassan’s lead appears to indicate voters are not ready to replace her with Walt Havenstein,” explained Lesperance.

Presidential Job Performance

Finally, the New England College poll asked respondents to rate President Obama’s job performance. 48.4% indicated they either approved or somewhat approved while 48.3% indicated they disapproved or somewhat disapproved. Only 3.2% indicated they had no opinion.

According to Dr. Lesperance, “the results are a tie for all intents and purposes. President Obama, as the leader of the democratic party, will have no coattail effect in the Granite State and might have an undertow effect on democrats with his job performance approval at under 50%.”

This New England College Poll was conducted over two days, September 10 and 11, 2014. The sample of 630 respondents was pulled from a list of registered voters in New Hampshire and conducted using Interactive Voice Response technology, an automated polling system. The poll’s margin of error is +/- 3.98%

New England College will poll regularly between now and election day, November 4, 2014.

For more information, please contact us at necpoll@nec.edu or at 603.428.2295.

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