DURHAM, N.H. -- All four members of the New Hampshire Congressional delegation, three of which were newly elected in November, begin the new year in Washington with positive favorability ratings.
These findings are based on the latest WMUR Granite State Poll, conducted by the University of New Hampshire Survey Center. Five hundred twenty (520) randomly selected New Hampshire adults were interviewed by telephone between Jan. 27 and Feb. 6, 2011. The margin of sampling error for the survey is +/- 4.3 percent. Included was a subsample of 236 adults in the NH First Congressional District (margin of sampling error +/-6.4 percent), and a subsample of 284 Second Congressional District adults (margin of sampling error +/-5.8 percent).
Favorability Ratings – Senator Jeanne Shaheen
Democratic Senator Jeanne Shaheen has remained largely out of the political limelight as she did not face an election battle in 2010. Despite lower visibility, Shaheen’s popularity has remained stable over the past year. In the most recent Granite State Poll, 48 percent of New Hampshire adults view her favorably, 36 percent view her unfavorably, and 16 percent are neutral or don’t know enough about her to say. Shaheen’s net favorability rating, the percentage that have a favorable opinion of her minus those that have an unfavorable opinion, is a modest +12 percent. Shaheen is viewed very favorably by Democrats (net +73 percent), favorably by Independents (net +24 percent), but very unfavorably by Republicans (net –42 percent).
Favorability Ratings – Senator Kelly Ayotte
Newly elected Republican Senator Kelly Ayotte has seen her favorability ratings improve significantly in recent months now that the election is over. Currently, 51 percent of New Hampshire adults have a favorable opinion of Ayotte, 20 percent have an unfavorable opinion of her, 8 percent are neutral, and 21 percent don’t know enough about her to say. Ayotte’s net favorability, is a solid +31 percent, up from +12 percent in September. Ayotte’s net favorability among Republicans is +69 percent, +27 percent among Independents, and -9 percent among Democrats.
First Congressional District – Frank Guinta
Newly elected Republican Congressman Frank Guinta has seen a slight decline in his favorability ratings since defeating incumbent Carol Shea-Porter in November. Currently, 30 percent of 1st District adults have a favorable opinion of Guinta, 22 percent have an unfavorable opinion of him, and 47 percent are either neutral or don’t know enough about him to say. Guinta’s net favorability rating is +8 percent, down from +13 percent in September. Guinta’s net favorability ratings show him to be very polarizing -- among Republicans he rates a relatively low +46 percent, a low -2 percent among Independents, and -37 percent among Democrats.
Second Congressional District – Charlie Bass
Republican Charlie Bass regained his 2nd District seat after losing it in 2006 and his favorability ratings have improved since the election. Currently, 41 percent of 2nd CD adults have a favorable opinion of Bass, 28 percent have an unfavorable of him, and 32 percent are neutral or don’t know enough about him to say. Bass’ net favorability rating is +13, up from +2 percent in September. Bass’ net favorability ratings among Republicans are relatively low at +38 percent, +14 percent among Independents, and -19 percent among Democrats.
For complete tabular results, visit http://www.unh.edu/survey-center/news/pdf/gsp2011_winter_congapp021111.pdf.
The UNH Survey Center has conducted survey research projects at the University of New Hampshire since 1976. The center has grown rapidly during the past 30 years and now conducts approximately 40 to 50 major survey projects each year. More information: http://www.unh.edu/survey-center/.
The University of New Hampshire, founded in 1866, is a world-class public research university with the feel of a New England liberal arts college. A land, sea, and space-grant university, UNH is the state's flagship public institution, enrolling 12,200 undergraduate and 2,300 graduate students.
Andrew Smith, director of the UNH Survey Center.