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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.

Poll Results

Crosstabs

NH1 News

 

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

August 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 Also Offers Starting Point in 2014 Governor’s Race

March 5, 2014

Posted in NEC Poll

An overwhelming number of Granite Staters supports the compromise Medicaid plan being considered this week in Concord. In a poll of 774 registered voters, the plan to extend private insurance to 50,000 New Hampshire citizens enjoys wide public support. Voters also strongly support any effort by lawmakers to extend health insurance coverage to the working poor.

According to the latest NEC Poll, 66% of respondents support the compromise proposal before lawmakers, 25% oppose the idea, and 10% say they are unsure.   Voters were asked if they could support the compromise plan supported by Governor Maggie Hassan and a bipartisan group of New Hampshire Senators.  In addition, 64% of respondents support increasing eligibility of Medicaid to families with incomes up to $32,000 per year.  26% of respondents oppose the idea.  11% said they were unsure. The margin of error in this poll is 3.57%.

“This is a clear message to lawmakers in Concord,” concludes Dr. Ben Tafoya, Director of the NEC Poll. “The public is telling our state leaders to move forward with this plan to expand health coverage to those who can least afford it.  They support the bipartisan approach between the Governor and republicans in the New Hampshire Senate.”

New Hampshire voters were also their opinion about a proposal for universal background checks for any guns purchased through dealers, gun shows or individual sales.  76% of respondents said they support background checks to just 22% who oppose the idea.  3% said they were unsure.

“This result mirrors numbers we have seen in previous polls on this issue,” explains Dr. Wayne Lesperance, Director of the Center of Civic Engagement at NEC. “Even though this has been a deeply partisan debate at the state house and even in Washington, the public views this issue differently.  Republicans, democrats and independents in New Hampshire support background checks for gun purchases.”

These issues will no doubt surface in the 2014 elections. Campaigns for major office have already begun in New Hampshire, and the race for Governor shows the republican challenger is a complete unknown.

Among 774 respondents, Democrat Maggie Hassan, the incumbent Governor, received 42% support.  Republican challenger Andrew Hemingway, the only announced candidate, received just 6% support.  25% of voters said they would prefer a third option, and 27% percent way they do not yet know who they will vote for in November of 2014.

“While the Governor clearly enjoys a sizeable lead in this poll, both candidates can look at these numbers with some level of optimism,” explains Dr. Tafoya.  “When an incumbent crosses the 50% threshold, it is very difficult to unseat him or her.  Governor Hassan is at 42% with many voters undecided. That gives her a deep pool of potential supporters to win over.”

However, Dr. Tafoya believes similar conclusions can be reached for the Republican challenger.  “Although Mr. Hemingway is only at 6%, this poll shows that more than 50% of voters have not decided between the two candidates.  If no other republican joins this race, then Mr. Hemingway can try to win over those voters who are not supporting Governor Hassan.”

That will be a tough task. “Governor Hassan’s job approval rating of 60% in this poll, versus 27% who do not approve of her job in the corner office, gives her a strong base of support from which to grow her support,” explains Tafoya.  “A +33 rating will make it difficult for any GOP challenger to defeat her in the fall.”

Interestingly, when asked which party should have control of the New Hampshire legislature, the results show an even split.  41% believe Democrats should hold the majority, 40% prefer the Republicans to have the majority in Concord, 15% said they were not sure.

“A popular Governor will have coattails on the ballot, which helps all democrats who are running for office,” says Dr. Lesperance.  “But one thing we have learned about New Hampshire voters; they like to see balance between the parties.  These numbers suggest both major parties are on somewhat even footing as we begin the 2014 campaign.”

NEC Poll Shows 2012 GOP Nominee Holds Early NH Lead; Democrats Still Love Hillary Clinton

Posted in NEC Poll

While the love affair between New Hampshire Democrats and Hillary Clinton shows no sign of cooling down, the GOP field in the 2016 campaign for President is filled with plenty of choices and no clear leader.  Given the recent fundraising efforts of former Republican Presidential nominee Mitt Romney, our most recent poll reserved a slot for the former Massachusetts Governor. And what do you know?

Among 346 likely republican New Hampshire voters, Mitt Romney posted a narrow lead in a crowded field of GOP hopefuls.  Romney grabs 22% support, followed by Senator Rand Paul at 16% and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie in third at 13%.  Texas Republican Ted Cruz received 10%, and Marco Rubio and Paul Ryan each took 7% in this poll.  Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker earned 5%, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal received 3%, and Rick Santorum received 2%.  15% of respondents said they were unsure.  The margin of error in this poll is 5.25%

“This race is wide open and for now, it looks like the only thing that really shakes up the race is the presence of Mitt Romney as an option for voters,” concludes Dr. Ben Tafoya, Director of the NEC Poll. “Chris Christie’s political troubles in his home state have not affected his polling numbers.  But we have seen early visits from some of these names, such as Bobby Jindal, and that also has had no effect on the polls.  It’s early and voters are still gravitating to the most familiar names in the race.”

Of the GOP candidates, Mitt Romney’s support cuts across all ideological sides as measured by New Hampshire’s support for Medicaid expansion from the most recent NEC Poll. While Rand Paul’s support is stronger among those who oppose expansion; Romney sees consistent support across the board. Chris Christie does better among those favoring Medicaid expansion than those opposed. Interestingly, those who favor Medicaid expansion have the highest level of “unsure” picks in this poll.

On the Democratic side, Hillary Clinton dominates.   Among 318 likely New Hampshire Democratic primary voters, Secretary Clinton receives 60% support, followed by Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren at 13%, Vice President Joe Biden with 4%, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo at 3%, and Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley with 1%. 19% of respondents say they are unsure. The margin of error is 5.52%

“The only truly notable shift in the numbers is the rise in support for Elizabeth Warren and a drop in support for Vice President Biden,” explains Dr. Wayne Lesperance, Director of the Center of Civic Engagement at NEC. “This poll does not bode well for the Vice President.  Despite his daily connection to President Obama and this White House, it is not translating into any measureable democratic party support.”

A final footnote about the democrat’s primary poll: Hillary Clinton enjoys nearly identical support among both men and women; there is virtually no gender gap in this poll.  61% of women support the former Secretary of State and 58% of men support her.

NEC Poll: NH Cautious About Personal Finances and National Economy; Oppose Shopping on Thanksgiving

December 6, 2013

Posted in NEC Poll

Support increased Social Security benefits and Medicaid Expansion

The polling program of New England College frequently connects with residents, voters, and client customers to understand opinions and preferences and identify trends.  Earlier this week when New Hampshire residents were asked if they thought the country’s economy would be stronger over the next year, they cautiously said yes.  In a New England College poll of 675 New Hampshire residents, 43% of respondents expect an improved economy, while 38% do not expect improvement, and 19% are unsure.  The NEC Poll, a nonpartisan entity that is part of the New England College’s Center for Civic Engagement, polled New Hampshire residents who are registered to vote in a telephone survey November 24 and 25, 2013.  The margin of error is 3.77% on all questions.

When asked about their personal finances 42% indicated the next year would be better, while 31% said they disagreed, and 27% were unsure. Poll respondents were also asked about their holiday spending plans and 17% expected to spend more than last year. “NH voters are very cautious about conditions over the next year,” explains Director of the NEC Poll, Dr. Ben Tafoya. “The NEC poll shows voters less optimistic than at this time last year when 49% were expecting better economic conditions. There is a substantial increase in the number of voters unsure about the next year.”

The NEC Poll reports 17% of Granite Staters expect to spend more on holiday shopping this year, slightly down from 19% last year.  57% of those polled said they expected to spend less and 26% said they were unsure which is higher than the 24% who indicated they were unsure last year.

“An interesting finding in the poll is that women are a bit more cautious than men on the future of their personal finances and the national economy,” explains Dr. Wayne Lesperance, Director of the Center of Civic Engagement at NEC.  “This could be a function of the challenging economic conditions that women face particularly in light of slow wage growth in the service sector.”

Thanksgiving Retail Unpopular

The poll also found the trend of retailers opening on Thanksgiving Day to be unpopular with New Hampshire voters. Only 15% of voters support seeing general consumer goods retailers open on Thanksgiving Day with 70% opposed, including 53% of voters who indicated they “strongly disagree” with the growing practice.

NEC also took a snapshot of voter opinion on federal and New Hampshire issues.

Unemployment Dominant Concern

When asked to choose the most important in a list of issues voters chose “lowering unemployment” as the most significant issue for the second year in a row at 40% followed by the federal deficit at 30%, holding down taxes at 16% and holding down prices at 7%.  Among democrats unemployment was cited by 63% of voters while among Republicans the federal deficit was first with 42%; with unemployment and taxes second at 25% each. Voters not in one of the two major parties picked unemployment as their top issue, but by a narrow margin. Women picked unemployment as their top issue at a significantly higher rate than men (43 to 36).

Social Security Benefits & Medicaid Expansion Popular

Increasing Social Security benefits is extremely popular with NH voters with 67% in favor of the action while only 20% oppose. A majority of Democrats (79%), Republicans (55%) and Independent minded voters (69%) all support increased benefits.

New Hampshire voters support the expansion of state Medicaid benefits to families up to $32,000 in income by a 52% to 33% margin, with 15% unsure. The question was designed to solicit feedback on the proposals for Medicaid supported by Governor Maggie Hassan and the House of Representatives. Here again we see a big partisan divide with only 29% of Republicans supporting the idea and Democrats favoring it by an overwhelming 84%. Voters un-enrolled in either party split 51% to 33% in favor of expansion.

NEC Poll About Shutdown & NH Races

October 15, 2013

Posted in NEC Poll

If you ask voters in New Hampshire who is to blame for the current government shutdown in Washington, a clear majority believe the Republicans in Congress are responsible.  In a poll of 1063 registered voters last week, the results show 49% blame the GOP and 30% blame the President for the ongoing gridlock.  16% of those who responded blamed both sides equally.  NEC polled voters in a telephone survey October 7-9.

When asked about their opinion regarding the work of the Tea Party, 49% disapproved of the group, while 40% said they approve of the group, for an overall -9% rating.   The President’s approval rating was 55% to 42% in support of the job he is doing, for an overall +13%.  “We have long known that people are frustrated with what is going on in Washington, but our numbers show where that frustration is aimed,” explains Director of the NEC Poll, Dr. Ben Tafoya. “The NEC poll shows voters lay blame at the feet of Republicans.  As we transition into an election year, there has yet to be any sign of a Republican wave of support for the mid-terms.”

The NEC Poll reports 58% of Granite Staters support the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare.  38% of those polled said they disapprove of the program, 5% said they were unsure.  The margin of error is 3%.

“It is early, and there is plenty of time for shifts in voter opinion, but right now, the momentum rests with one party,” explains Dr. Wayne Lesperance, Director of the Center of Civic Engagement at NEC.  “Republicans may need to regroup and redefine their mission going forward, as they work to present a clear alternative to the President and fellow democrats.”

NEC also took a snapshot of voter opinion in races for US Senate and both New Hampshire district races for Congress:

Former Massachusetts Scott Brown remains the top pick for likely GOP voters in 2014, with 47% support.  Former New Hampshire Congressman Charlie Bass earned 21%, meanwhile, the only formally announced candidate, Jim Rubens, picked up 5%, and conservative activist Karen Testerman received 4% support.  23% of voters admitted they were unsure.

In a head to head match-up, Senator Jeanne Shaheen received 51% and Charlie Bass earned 32% support, with 17% of registered voters saying they were unsure.  Senator Shaheen’s approval rating is 56% approve to 33% disapprove, for an overall +23%.

In the first Congressional district, Republican Frank Guinta is the clear front-runner in his primary race, but the general election match-ups show a dead heat.  Among republicans, Guinta earns 54% of support, radio host Jeff Chidester received 7% and newly announced candidate Dan Innis picked up 6%.  33% of voters say they are unsure.

In a head-to-head contest:

In the first Congressional District, incumbent Carol Shea-Porter received 43%, challenger Frank Guinta received 42%, and 15% said they were unsure.  This race represents what could be the third time these two candidates meet on a ballot in New Hampshire. Shea-Porter carries a +3% overall approval rating among voters.  Men narrowly favor Guinta and women narrowly favor Shea-Porter.  Independent voters narrowly favor Congresswoman Shea-Porter.

In the second Congressional District, incumbent Annie Kuster received 46%, GOP challenger Gary Lambert received 26%, and 28% said they were unsure.  Congresswoman Kuster received an overall +14% approval rating from voters.

In a hypothetical match-up in the Governor’s race, incumbent Maggie Hassan (53%) leads Manchester Mayor Ted Gatsas (25%), with 22% of voters saying they are unsure.  The Governor’s overall approval rating is +33%, the strongest rating in this poll.