New Hampshire Democrats Gov. Maggie Hassan and U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen are leading their opponents in their races for re-election, says a Public Policy Polling
survey released Wednesday.
Shaheen, who is running for a second six-year term, holds a slim 3-point advantage, 46 percent to 43 percent over Republican Scott Brown, the former Massachusetts senator who moved back to his home state. Brown has not declared he is running.
Shaheen has an even wider lead over the remaining three GOP contenders: former state Sen. Bob Smith by 48 to 34 percent, former Sen. Jim Rubens by 49 percent to 33 percent, and social conservative Karen Testerman by 47 percent to 30 percent.
That's good news for Shaheen because only 41 percent of state voters think President Barack Obama is doing a good job, compared to 53 percent who disapprove.
Voters are nearly evenly split over Shaheen, however, with a 44 percent job approval rating compared to 43 percent negative.
Brown, who lost his Massachusetts seat to Sen. Elizabeth Warren, has a negative favorability rating, with 34 percent of voters liking him and 40 percent who do not.
Still, he's the most popular of the GOP candidates, with 42 percent of voters preferring him to other Republican contenders.
The poll found Brown faces an uphill battle if he decides to thrown his hat into the Senate race, since 48 percent of primary voters say they would be less likely to support a candidate who backs a federal assault weapons ban, to 22 percent more likely to.
He could also face attacks from opponents on his residency. Although he grew up in the Granite State, 37 percent say they are less likely to vote for a candidate who moved to the state to run for office, with 4 percent more likely.
Thirty-four percent were less likely to support a pro-choice candidate on abortion and 20 percent more likely. Brown has said he's pro-choice, and also is in favor of a federal assault weapons ban.
In the race for governor, Maggie Hassan continues to be in a very strong position.
Fifty-two percent of voters approve of the job she's doing, to only 27 percent who disapprove. Her recent popularity numbers have hiked from the last poll in September, which favorably rated her 51 percent to 33 percent.
Hassan leads all four Republican hopefuls by at least 20 points. Her closest contender is industrialist Bill Binnie, with a 51 percent to 31 percent lead. Also trailing is Chuck Morse, president of the state Senate, by 50 percent to 27 percent, state Rep. George Lambert 50 percent to 26 percent, and conservative Andrew Hemingway 51percent to 25 percent.
Hassan gets at least 16 percent of the Republican vote while losing only 2 percent of the Democratic nod. She also holds a strong lead with independents.
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