New UNH poll shows Shea-Porter, Kuster could be vulnerable in 2014 election
New Hampshire’s two Democratic congresswomen could be vulnerable in next year’s election, according to poll numbers released yesterday by the University of New Hampshire Survey Center.
Just 26 percent of 2nd District residents say U.S. Rep. Annie Kuster deserves a second term, while 39 percent say they’d prefer someone else in 2014. In the 1st District, 36 percent say U.S. Rep. Carol Shea-Porter should be re-elected, versus 42 percent who say they’d prefer someone else.
The WMUR Granite State Poll was taken July 18-29 and surveyed 283 adults in the 1st District, which includes Manchester and Portsmouth, and 233 people in the 2nd District, which stretches from Nashua to the North Country and includes Concord.
The margin of error was 5.8 percent for the 1st District and 6.4 percent for the 2nd District.
The poll did have a silver lining for Shea-Porter and Kuster: Most of their possible Republican opponents are unpopular or unknown.
In the 1st District, former congressman Frank Guinta of Manchester was viewed favorably by 27 percent, versus 36 percent who had an unfavorable opinion of him and 37 percent who were neutral or said they didn’t know. A full 85 percent of residents were neutral or didn’t know enough to have an opinion about Dan Innis of Portsmouth, dean of UNH’s Peter T. Paul College of Business and Economics, or 2010 congressional candidate Rich Ashooh of Bedford.
In the 2nd District, 22 percent had a favorable opinion of state Rep. Bill O’Brien, while 25 percent had an unfavorable opinion of the former House speaker from Mont Vernon and 53 percent were neutral or didn’t know.
Kuster, a Hopkinton resident, lost to Republican Charlie Bass in 2010 but defeated him in a rematch last November. Shea-Porter, who lives in Rochester, won the 1st District seat in 2006 and re-election in 2008, lost to Guinta in 2010, then won the seat back in 2012.
Meanwhile, the poll showed Democratic U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen in good shape ahead of next year’s election. A majority, 53 percent, said they have a favorable impression of Shaheen, versus 23 percent who said they have an unfavorable opinion of her. And 50 percent said she should be re-elected versus 34 percent who said someone else should be elected in 2014.
As for her potential GOP opponents, former state senator Jim Rubens of Etna is largely unknown: 8 percent had a favorable opinion of him, 8 percent had an unfavorable opinion and 85 percent were neutral or didn’t know.
Senate Majority Leader Jeb Bradley was viewed favorably by 29 percent, while 19 percent had an unfavorable opinion of the former U.S. congressman
from Wolfeboro and 52 percent were neutral or didn’t know.
The U.S. Senate numbers were based on responses from 516 New Hampshire adults, with a margin of error of 4.3 percent.
(Ben Leubsdorf can be reached at 369-3307 or
firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @BenLeubsdorf.)