Yes, it’s very early — but a new poll released Sunday morning shows that after New Hampshire gets past the first-in-the-nation presidential primary nearly a year from now, the state could be in for another battle royale for a U.S. Senate seat.
As Sen. Kelly Ayotte ramps up a reelection campaign, and as Gov. Maggie Hassan hints at a Senate run as she prepares for a potentially tumultuous budget battle with the Legislature, a new NBC News/Marist poll shows that in a potential 2016 general election match-up, Hassan is a narrow favorite among Granite Staters to oust the Republican incumbent.
The survey of 887 registered likely voters from Feb. 3 to 10 shows Hassan leading Ayotte, 48 to 44 percent, with 7 percent undecided and a margin of error of 3.3 percent. And 70 percent of the registered voters polled approved of the job Hassan is doing as governor while only 24 percent disapproved. Ayotte approval/disapproval rating was not polled. According to NBC and Marist the poll was conducted via landlines only.
The Senate match-up was part of a larger poll on the 2016 New Hampshire Primary and possible 2016 general election matchups. It also measured Granite Staters’ views on a number of key issues.
On issues that could relate to a Senate match-up, 56 percent found “acceptable” and 34 percent found “unacceptable” a candidate who supports the Common Core education standards, while 55 percent found “acceptable” and 42 percent found “unacceptable” a candidate who supports immigration reforming including a “pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants.”
But 53 percent found “acceptable” and 42 percent found “unacceptable” a candidate who wants to repeal the federal Affordable Care Act.
Click here for the poll results.