New Hampshire Voters Unengaged in Race for Governor
Ahead of next month's primaries, neither party has a significant advantage in the race to replace popular New Hampshire Gov. John Lynch, according to a new poll released late Tuesday.
The only candidate with any significant name recognition is Republican Ovide Lamontagne, who has mounted unsuccessful bids for governor and Senate in the past, but even his profile is limited. The Granite State Poll, conducted by the University of New Hampshire Survey Center for WMUR-TV in Manchester, shows that 47 percent of adults don't know enough about Lamontagne to render a judgment about him. Still, 29 percent view him favorably, and 19 percent view him unfavorably, giving him by far the most name identification in the race.
Voters' ability to recognize Lamontange does not translate to a significant lead when matched up against the Democrats, who are seeking to maintain their control of the statehouse. Lamontagne leads former state Senate Majority Leader Maggie Hassan among likely voters, 33 percent to 31 percent, while his lead over Jackie Cilley, another former state Senator, is also within the margin of error, 35 percent to 31 percent. Lamontagne has a slight lead against Bill Kennedy, a firefighter, 35 percent to 29 percent.
Republican Kevin Smith, a former state representative, fares worse, running neck-and-neck with all three Democrats, with roughly 2-in-5 voters undecided.
The poll did not test the two Sept. 11 primary matchups, but a look at each candidates' favorability rating among their own partisans sheds some light on the landscape. More than 7-in-10 adults don't know enough to form an opinion about either Hassan or Cilley, and while they retain positive numbers among the few Democrats who do know them, neither appears to have an advantage.