Ovide Lamontagne is already understood to be the GOP’s gubernatorial nominee-in-waiting. But how would he match up against Democratic Gov. John Lynch should Lynch seek yet another two-year term?
Lynch would defeat Lamontagne 56-percent to 35-percent, with 9-percent undecided, according to a new survey by Magellan Strategies for the Journal. The survey was conducted among 536 likely General Election voters between May 25th and May 26th.
The problem for Lamontagne is that Lynch earns significant support from Independents, 57% of whom say they would favor the Governor over Lamontagne, who earns the support of only 30%
In addition, Lynch’s vote is solid. Forty-five percent of respondents say they would definitely vote for Lynch. Only 21% would definitely vote for Lamontagne.
One other challenge for Lamontagne: Only 73-percent of Republicans would throw their votes to Lamontagne in a hypothetical match-up, whereas Lynch earns 93% of Democrats.
The poll demonstrates the challenge Republicans will have as they try to build on their momentum from the 2010 midterm elections. It would be difficult to overstate Lamontagne’s position of strength among the potential GOP field. A January poll showed Lamontagne was the clear frontrunner if he decides to run for the Corner Office in 2012 in a field consisting of Manchester Mayor Ted Gatsas, former-HHS Commissioner John Stephen and State Senator Jeb Bradley.
Nevertheless, the Democrats might want to pause before popping the corks off their Champagne bottles. For as long as we have known him, Lamontagne has over-performed his poll numbers – by a lot, not a little. What’s more, Lamontagne has a few aces up his sleeve. For example, he could improve his image with Independents with a strategic endorsement in the 2012 Republican presidential primary. Lamontagne has said he will endorse before Thanksgiving. He strongly supported former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney in 2008.
Watch for more on the Journal’s most recent poll throughout the week.