UNH polls: Dems lead for president, governor, Senate and House, but margins shrinking

Monitor staff
Published: 11/2/2016 12:15:52 AM

Donald Trump is closing the gap on Hillary Clinton, and the gubernatorial, U.S. Senate and 1st Congressional District races are statistical ties, according to new polls.

Democratic U.S. Rep. Annie Kuster is the only New Hampshire candidate for federal office or the governor’s seat who has a comfortable lead, according to the University of New Hampshire Survey Center polls released Monday.

Democrats across the board are still slightly ahead, but their leads have shrunk to near statistical insignificance, the polling found.

Constituents in the 1st Congressional District are less sure now about whom they’ll send to Congress than they were two weeks ago, while a third-party candidate cuts into the Democrat Carol Shea-Porter’s lead.

Shea-Porter is at the front of the pack with 34 percent of the vote, but her share of the vote dwindled from 43 percent in the previous WMUR Granite State Poll released Oct. 17.

Meanwhile, independent Shawn O’Connor saw his share increase from 10 percent to 13 percent. And the share of undecided voters also increased over 13 days from 16 percent to 23 percent.

Incumbent Republican Frank Guinta’s share of the vote stayed flat at 29 percent.

Clinton, the Democratic presidential nominee, held a 45-38 lead over Trump, her Republican counterpart. That seven-point margin has shrunken from the 15-point gap Clinton enjoyed in the Oct. 17 poll.

The story is similar in the 2nd Congressional District. Kuster, the incumbent, holds a 45-31 lead over Republican Jim Lawrence, but the margin tightened significantly from 51-23 two weeks earlier.

It’s nearly a dead heat in the U.S. Senate race. Democratic Gov. Maggie Hassan holds a 44-43 lead over incumbent Republican Kelly Ayotte. The Oct. 17 poll found that Hassan had an 8-point lead.

Including respondents who said they were leaning in one direction, Hassan had a two-point lead, 46-44.

The gubernatorial race has remained more steady than the federal offices. Democrat Colin Van Ostern’s 40-35 lead over Republican Chris Sununu is just one point smaller than it was two weeks earlier.

Including leaners, Van Ostern’s lead is 43-40. That leaves Van Ostern’s and Hassan’s advantages within the 3.9-point margin of error.

Three in five likely New Hampshire voters think Clinton will win the presidency. Just 25 percent thinks Trump will. A press release accompanying the poll results notes: “This measure of electoral races has been shown to be a more accurate predictor of the winner than ‘horse race’ questions, but not necessarily the margin of victory.”

Only 15 percent of respondents answered that they’re unsure who will win the presidential race.

The U.S. Senate race and especially the gubernatorial race have more voters wondering. Thirty-two percent of those surveyed about the Senate race between Hassan and Ayotte said they were unsure about who would win. Meanwhile, 46 percent said they were unsure who would win the gubernatorial race.

“With high profile presidential and Senate races, the race for New Hampshire Governor has flown under the political radar. Only half (50%) of New Hampshire likely voters say they have definitely decided whom they will vote for, 11% are leaning towards someone and 39% are still trying to decide,” the press release said.

(Nick Reid can be reached at 369-3325, nreid@cmonitor.com or on Twitter at @NickBReid.)




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