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