NEC Poll About Shutdown & NH Races | New England College
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NEC Poll About Shutdown & NH Races

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.