Poll: Bolduc takes lead

  • This combination of file photos shows Sen. Maggie Hassan, D-N.H., on Oct. 11, 2022, in Rochester, N.H., left, and Don Bolduc, Republican candidate for U.S. Senate in New Hampshire, Oct. 5, 2022, in Auburn, N.H. (AP Photo) Mary Schwalm

For the Monitor
Published: 11/1/2022 4:58:57 PM

A new public opinion poll suggests that Republican U.S. Senate nominee Don Bolduc has erased Sen. Maggie Hassan’s one-time lead and now edges the former governor and first-term Democratic senator by one point, with one week to go until Election Day.

Bolduc stands at 48% support among likely voters, with Hassan at 47%, according to new numbers from the Saint Anselm Survey Center at the New Hampshire Institute of Politics that were released on Tuesday. Bolduc’s one-point edge is well within the survey’s sampling error of plus or minus 2.5 percentage points.

The survey – which was conducted Friday and Saturday (Oct. 28 to 29) – is the first to indicate Bolduc, a former Army brigadier general who served ten tours of duty in the war in Afghanistan, slightly ahead of Hassan. An average of all the most recent public opinion polling in the Granite State still puts Hassan up by 2.5 points, and Hassan held a six-point lead over Bolduc in the previous Saint Anselm survey, which was conducted in late September.

The new poll indicates Bolduc is now viewed slightly more favorably among Granite State voters than Hassan. According to the survey, 54% of voters view Hassan unfavorably compared to 51% a month ago. Meanwhile, the Republican challenger’s numbers are headed in the opposite direction: 49% of voters view him unfavorably compared to 51% in late September.

The survey also highlights that “Republican voters are now more energized than Democratic voters,” with 84% of Republican voters saying they are paying a lot of attention to the election, compared to 77% of Democratic voters. This represents a 10-point improvement for Republicans, and a two-point decline for Democrats on this question since the Survey Center’s last poll in late September.”

Bolduc, who’s making his second straight bid for the Senate, ran an outsider-style campaign as a populist and MAGA-Republican in the race for the GOP nomination, winning the Sept. 13 primary by a razor-thin margin over longtime New Hampshire Senate President Chuck Morse, a more mainstream conservative who was backed by popular Republican Gov. Chris Sununu.

The survey indicates Sununu, who’s running for a fourth two-year term steering New Hampshire, with a 55% to 37% double-digit lead over state Senator Dr. Tom Sherman, the Democratic nominee.

“Sununu is by far the most popular elected official in New Hampshire, with a 62% to 36% favorable image. Only 60% of voters have an opinion of Sherman, putting him in a difficult position as he tries to persuade voters in the closing days of this election,” New Hampshire Institute of Politics executive director Neil Levesque highlighted.

In New Hampshire’s Second Congressional District, which covers the western half of the state and the North Country, and includes Concord, the poll indicates five-term Democratic Rep. Annie Kuster leading GOP challenger Robert Burns 50% to 42%.

But in the First Congressional District, which for two decades has been one of the top swing U.S. House districts in the country, the survey suggests GOP challenger Karoline Leavitt leading two-term Democratic Rep. Chris Pappas 51% to 45%.

Levesque cautioned “polls are snapshots of voter attitudes in time, not predictions. Candidates will have the opportunity to make their final arguments in this week’s closing debates, and in the final days of campaigning.”

The Saint Anselm Survey Center says their poll was based on online surveys of 1,541 New Hampshire likely voters from cell phone users randomly drawn from a sample of likely voters reflecting the demographic and partisan characteristics of the voting population.

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