Poll: Ayotte Widens Lead in NH Senate Contest

By Steve Peoples, CQ

Kelly Ayotte is showing no ill effects from her bitter GOP primary earlier in the month.

Just two weeks after eking out a victory, the New Hampshire Republican is leading Democratic challenger, Rep. Paul Hodes, by 15 points, according to a University of New Hampshire poll released Thursday.

Ayotte took 50 percent compared to Hodes’ 35 percent in the survey of of 472 likely voters taken between Sept. 23 and 29. The margin of error is 4.5 percent.

“The primary contest seems to have helped Ayotte as she has widened her lead over Hodes since July,” said Andy Smith, director of the UNH Survey Center, noting that Ayotte led by just 8 points in July, long before her primary victory.

But Smith highlights a key finding: only 31 percent of likely voters say they have definitely made up their minds.

See the full poll results here.


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