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Capital Beat

NEC poll shows Ayotte with +5 approval rating, Shaheen with +34 rating

A poll out today from New England College shows U.S. Sen. Kelly Ayotte with a positive approval rating from New Hampshire voters, though the Republican is less popular than her Democratic colleague, U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen.

In the survey, 48 percent said they approve of Ayotte’s job performance versus 43 percent who said they disapprove of her job performance.

Some 61 percent of voters said they approve of Shaheen’s job performance versus 27 percent who said they disapprove. In a potential 2014 match-up with Republican former Massachusetts senator Scott Brown, Shaheen drew 54 percent to 35 percent for Brown, with 11 percent undecided.

Also popular is Gov. Maggie Hassan, a first-term Democrat, with 55 percent approving of her job performance and 25 percent disapproving.

The poll of 807 registered voters was taken May 2-5 and has a margin of error of 3.3 percent, according to NEC.

The NEC poll is the latest in a string of surveys over the last month or so that have showed Shaheen in good shape headed into next year’s election.

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 news release that Ayotte isn’t up for re-election until 2016, “so that gives her more time solidify her position.”

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

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