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Two new polls show Shaheen, Hassan and Ayotte popular with N.H. voters

New Hampshire voters approve of the work being done by Gov. Maggie Hassan and U.S. Sens. Kelly Ayotte and Jeanne Shaheen, though Ayotte is less popular than the two Democrats, according to a new poll from New England College.

The survey, released yesterday, showed 48 percent approving of Ayotte’s job performance and 43 percent disapproving of the Republican’s work.

The same survey showed 61 percent approving of Shaheen, a Democrat, versus 27 percent who disapproved. And 55 percent approved of the work being done by Hassan, also a Democrat, versus 25 percent who disapproved.

The poll of 807 registered voters was taken May 2 to 5 and had a margin of error of 3.3 percent.

Ayotte has taken heat from gun-control advocates since her vote April 17 against expanded background checks. But NEC Polling Center Director Ben Tafoya noted in a statement that Ayotte isn’t up for re-election until 2016, “so that gives her more time (to) solidify her position.”

Shaheen, on the other hand, will be on the ballot next year. The NEC poll showed her in good shape in a potential race with former Massachusetts senator Scott Brown, a Republican who has a home in Rye and has expressed some interest in a Granite State run: 54 percent for Shaheen, 35 percent for Brown and 11 percent undecided.

The NEC poll came after Dartmouth College’s Nelson A. Rockefeller Center released its “State of the State” poll on Friday.

Dartmouth’s poll showed 46 percent of registered voters holding a favorable opinion of Shaheen versus 22 percent with an unfavorable opinion. It showed 37 percent of voters with a favorable opinion of Ayotte versus 31 percent with an unfavorable opinion, and 31 percent with a favorable opinion of Hassan versus 15 percent with an unfavorable opinion.

In a 2014 match-up with Brown, the Dartmouth poll showed Shaheen leading, 44.2 percent to 29.5 percent with 26.3 percent unsure. Against state Senate Majority Leader Jeb Bradley, a Wolfeboro Republican, Shaheen led with 47.9 percent to 25.2 percent for Bradley and 26.9 percent who were unsure.

Dartmouth’s poll of 433 registered voters was taken April 22 to 25 and had a 4.7 percent margin of error.

(Ben Leubsdorf can be reached at 369-3307 or or on Twitter @BenLeubsdorf.)

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