NH: Mid-Ticket Closeup: CSP/Hodes v. Shaheen

After taking a look (here and here, on SSP here and here) to see how our two re-elected reps grew in strength from ’06 to ’08, I thought it might be a good idea to see how they fared compared to Jeanne Shaheen, the next step up on the ticket (NH-Sen). It’s an especially interesting question with the first election behind us in many years without straight-ticket voting.

With very few exceptions (Danville, New Boston, and Rindge), both Carol Shea-Porter (NH-01) and Paul Hodes (NH-02) gained higher vote percentages than Jeanne Shaheen in towns big and small, liberal and conservative, rural and urban.

The following charts track the ten biggest percentage discrepancies between Shea-Porter/Hodes and Shaheen for all towns and cities with more than 2000 votes cast for the congressional race in 2008. For ease of use in plugging the numbers into a spreadsheet (full data available here), I chose the lists at NHPR rather than the SoS.  Any mistakes are my own.

Town Shaheen % CSP % % Diff. Votes Cast
Rye 44.2 51.4 7.2 3693
Moltnboro 36.2 41.9 5.7 2967
Greenland 50.9 54.9 4 2227
Conway 55.1 59 3.9 5020
Strafford 50.5 54.2 3.7 2310
Seabrook 45.7 49.2 3.5 3988
Portsmouth 64.7 68.1 3.4 12326
N.Hampton 46.9 49.9 3 2810
Lee 61 64 3 2486

And I’ll throw in number 11 on the list, because ManchVegas is where so many of the votes are to be found in CD1:

Town Shaheen % CSP % % Diff. Votes Cast
Manchester 52.3 55.1 2.8 46268

Now on to CD2 and Paul Hodes.  Even greater discrepancies are to be found in the western half of the state:

Town Shaheen % Hodes % % Diff. Votes Cast
Newport 50.7 59.4 8.7 2845
Littleton 49.9 57.8 7.9 2699
Claremont 56.8 64.2 7.4 5480
Henniker 52.9 59.8 6.9 2405
New London 47.3 54.2 6.9 2788
Pembroke 51.4 56.8 5.4 3580
Weare 43.4 48.7 5.3 4447
Plymouth 62.7 67.9 5.2 3457
Hanover 73.6 78.7 5.1 6912

I’m going to resist interpreting this data too closely, other than to say that it’s clear that Carol and Paul, despite being lower on the ballot, performed better than Shaheen.  There are so many ways to answer why – and some of them non-exclusionary to others – that I’m not sure what conclusions can be drawn fairly.

Factors to consider: John Sununu was arguably a tougher opponent than Jeb Bradley (NH-01), who in turn was tougher than Jennifer Horn (NH-02).  Sununu and Shea-Porter and Hodes were all incumbents.  Shaheen was on the receiving end of far the greatest deluge of negative ads, followed closely by Carol, and finally Paul.

While I have a hard time drawing conclusions about ’08 from these numbers, I will happily draw from them for 2010.  Carol and Paul, by their strong showing relative to a senate nominee with tremendous name recognition, can both point to their results as ammunition for re-election down he road or even a run at the senate.

(Crossposted from Blue Hampshire, because I like to send my geekier vote analysis posts over here to SSP.)

NH-Sen, NH-Gov: New Hampshire Omnibus

Every pollster you can think of, and every pollster’s dog as well, just released New Hampshire numbers. There aren’t any particular surprises (there’s major improvement in Strategic Vision and Suffolk, but that just brings them in line with everyone else), so I’m just going to throw them all out there in a somewhat more space-saving format:

Rasmussen: Shaheen 52 (52), Sununu 44 (46)

SurveyUSA: Shaheen 53 (48), Sununu 40 (40)

Lynch 65 (67), Kenney 28 (24)

Strategic Vision (R): Shaheen 48 (47), Sununu 41 (45)

Lynch 67 (68), Kenney 24 (23)

Suffolk: Shaheen 48 (41), Sununu 39 (40)

Lynch 67 (61), Kenney 15 (16)

Research 2000 for Concord Monitor:

Shaheen 52 (50), Sununu 42 (43)

Lynch 64 (60), Kenney 32 (34)

Shea-Porter 49 (48), Bradley 42 (43)

Hodes 55 (49), Horn 38 (35)

Also, as always, UNH has its daily tracker, which covers all these races plus the presidential and the two congressional races, if you’re a big fan of tiny sample sizes.

NH-Sen, NH-01, NH-02: Dems Post Good Numbers

Research 2000 for Concord Monitor (10/17-19, likely voters, 9/22-24 in parens):

Jeanne Shaheen (D): 50 (50)

John Sununu (R-inc): 43 (41)

(MoE: ±4%)

Carol Shea-Porter (D-inc): 48 (44)

Jeb Bradley (R): 43 (43)

(MoE: ±6%)

Paul Hodes (D-inc): 49 (47)

Jennifer Horn (R): 35 (34)

(MoE: ±6%)

Things are looking pretty stable in New Hampshire in the newest round of Research 2000 polls of that state for the Concord Monitor. Probably most notable is the improvement for Carol Shea-Porter, who has posted mostly underwhelming poll numbers this cycle; however, she’s up to a five-point lead from a one-point lead last month. (With a 6% margin of error, though… each CD’s sample seems to be half of the statewide sample… anything could be going on there.)

On the Senate side, John Sununu has gained a couple points on Jeanne Shaheen, probably on the back of major advertising expenditures (he’s got a big warchest; now’s the time to spend it). He’s left with an awful lot of ground to make up over the next few weeks, though.

Obama leads McCain 50-43 at the top of the ticket. And as a bonus, I know everyone has been losing a lot of sleep worrying over the New Hampshire governor’s race; incumbent Dem John Lynch leads John Joe Kenney 60-34.

NH-Sen: Suffolk Reports Dead Heat

Suffolk University (9/21-24, likely voters):

Jeanne Shaheen (D): 41

John Sununu (R-inc): 40

Ken Blevens (L): 3

(MoE: ±4%)

We’re getting a deluge of New Hampshire polls now, and we’re getting a wide range of results. Suffolk seems to fall in the ‘we have a real race on our hands’ camp. Throw this on the pile with all the other polls, and it does look like there’s a general tightening trend.

The same sample shows Obama beating McCain 46-45, and governor John Lynch beating Joe Kenney 61 to a pitiable 16.

NH-Sen, NH-01, NH-02: Granite State Roundup

University of New Hampshire (WMUR Granite State Poll): (9/14-21, likely voters, 7-11/20 in parens)

Jeanne Shaheen (D): 48 (46)

John Sununu (R-inc): 44 (42)

(MoE: ±4.3%)

The University of New Hampshire is back with new polls, and they show a continuation of Shaheen’s four-point lead from July. The July poll was considered a bit out-of-whack at the time, but this week’s poll seems more in line with overall polling trends: still a consistent Shaheen lead (with the exception of that recent wacky Rasmussen poll), but now within the margin of error instead of out in double-digit land. Encouragingly, Sununu’s favorables are dropping, down to 44% from over 50 in July. The same sample gives McCain a 47-45 lead.

University of New Hampshire (WMUR Granite State Poll): (9/14-21, likely voters, 7-11/20 in parens)

Carol Shea-Porter (D-inc): 42 (40)

Jeb Bradley (R): 45 (46)

Undecided 12 (14)

(MoE: ±6.2%)

Paul Hodes (D-inc): 38 (43)

Jennifer Horn (R): 26 (23)

Undecided 33 (32)

(MoE: ±6.0%)

UNH also takes a look at the two Congressional races in New Hampshire. Carol Shea-Porter continues to trail Jeb Bradley (now by 3) in the rematch of their 2006 race in NH-01. The gap has closed a bit from last time, probably as Jeb Bradley emerges from an acrimonious primary covered in mud. Shea-Porter has only a 44% favorable rating (up significantly from the previous sample), but Bradley is even worse at 36% favorable, down from nearly 50 last time, which indicates that his primary battle with John Stephen may have mortally wounded him. Shea-Porter maintains a financial edge and can count on DCCC help, but this still looks to be a close race come November.

The other freshman representative, Paul Hodes, is in much better shape in the more Dem-leaning NH-02, giving Hodes the tie-breaker in the battle of dueling internals we saw earlier this week. Hodes is up by 12, although note the huge number of undecideds in this race (which has only grown since the GOP primary was resolved).

Playing “spot the methodological weaknesses in the UNH poll” has become a favorite netroots pastime, and there are a few things to point out: each of the Congressional samples is only half of the statewide sample, leaving them with sample sizes of only 252 and 271, and enormous 6% MoEs. In addition, these samples seem especially heavy on the Republicans (although New Hampshire may be one state where old school New England Republicans retain their registration even as they increasingly vote Democratic as the national GOP devolves into Theocon Central). This is especially glaring in the 2nd District, where the sample includes 60 Democrats and 91 Republicans (50% more).

NH-Sen: C4O Spotlights Jeanne Shaheen

(Proudly cross-posted at Clintonistas for Obama)

OK, now that the convention is over… It’s time for us to get back to work! And for us here at C4O, this means getting more & better Democrats elected. So today, I’d like to introduce you to a truly awesome person who will make a fantastic Senator from New Hampshire.

Are you ready to meet her?

Jeanne Shaheen was the first woman ever elected as Governor of New Hampshire. But not only did Gov. Shaheen make history this way, as she also worked hard as Governor to build a clean, green energy infrastructure in the state, as well as implement real ethics reform, improve New Hampshire’s schools, and advocate civil rights for all. Oh yes, and her list of accomplishments didn’t end after she left office. From 2005-07, she was Director of the Institute of Politics at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government.

Now contrast this with Republican Incumbent John Sununu. He’s an out-of-touch George W. Bush Republican who would rather side with Bush than the people of New Hampshire. The people of New Hampshire are ready for change, but Sununu only offers more of the same.

Fortunately, the race here has become quite competitive. In fact, Democrats may even have a slight advantage here. But still, that doesn’t mean we should take a win here for granted. Bush, McCain, and Sununu will do anything to win New Hampshire this fall, so we Democrats must be ready to fight back!

And guess what? Democrats are lining up to support Jeanne Shaheen! Emily’s List is on board, as well as the DSCC, the Democratic organization that supports our Senate candidates. New Hampshire is poised to be one of our best Senate pick-up opportunities, so we need to be prepared to win!

So please join us in standing up for great Democrats like Jeanne Shaheen! let’s say no more to the GOP and its watys of the past. Let’s say “Yes, We Can” and make real change happen today! 🙂

NH-Sen: Shaheen Still Has Comfortable Edge

ARG (8/18-20, likely voters, 7/21 in parentheses):

Jeanne Shaheen (D): 52 (58)

John Sununu (R-inc): 41 (36)

(MoE: ±4.0%)

Ahoy there, me hearties! Cap’n Jeanne Shaheen be sendin’ th’ scurvy dog John Sununu on a voyage to Davy Jones’ locker, or so say the landlubbers at ARRRRRRRRRRRRG! Ye olde poll may have been a foul outlier, but that scalawag Sununu’s numbers still put him in more trouble than a bilge rat tryin’ to swim the Channel.

Joe Kenney also looks t’ take a long walk off a short plank, 58-32, as Lord Governor John Lynch will be dancin’ a spirited hornpipe come November.

NH-Sen: Rasmussen Shows Tightening Race

Rasmussen (7/23, likely voters) (6/18 in parentheses):

Jeanne Shaheen (D): 50 (53)

John Sununu (R-inc.): 45 (39)

(MoE: ±4.5%)

The UNH poll that came out yesterday showing a 46-42 lead for Shaheen seemed pretty sketchy, especially when looking at the crosstabs. But now along comes the newest poll from Rasmussen and it shows a margin that’s also narrowed quite a bit. (With leaners pushed, it’s 51-45 for Shaheen.)

The same sample shows Obama leading McCain 47-41 (49-45 when leaners are pushed), which is typical for New Hampshire. Just based on that, it doesn’t seem to be an unusually Republican-heavy sample.

NH-Sen: Are We Getting Too Complacent?

Just as we were all settling into the idea that former Governor Jeanne Shaheen's victory in the Senate race this fall was a given, along comes a Granite State poll with some sobering news:

Jeanne Shaheen (D): 46 
John Sununu (R, inc): 42
(MoE: ±4.3%)

Why is this happening?  Has Shaheen not been running enough advertisements?  Have donors been loath to give money to Shaheen's campaign, assuming that this would be a repeat of Casey-Santorum '06, already in the bag?  I worry that these numbers may reflect a complacency in the Democratic base, one that could come back to haunt us on Election Day, and not just in New Hampshire.  Your thoughts?

UPDATE (James L.): I think the answer to the question that CC poses in the title is “no”. I think it’s important to take a look at Miss Laura’s analysis of UNH’s shoddy methodology, including their wildly gyrating sample — one that became 1.6% less Democratic and 3.9% more Republican since April. Shaheen is the only candidate in this race who has gone up on the airwaves with advertisements, and her fundraising has been stellar.

NH-Sen, NH-Gov: Dems Up Big

OK, get all the pirate-themed ARG jokes out of your system. Ready now?

American Research Group (likely voters, 6/13-17):

Jeanne Shaheen (D): 54

John Sununu (R-inc): 40

(MoE: ±4%)

Jeanne Shaheen still faces a big campaign funds shortfall compared with the loaded Sununu, but the polls have consistently had this one in Casey/Santorum wipeout territory, and this is no exception. She owes her edge to indies: Shaheen is up 53-38 among independent and undeclared voters.

Of course, that’s peanuts compared with the beat-down that popular incumbent governor John Lynch is administering to state senator Joseph Kenney, as he seeks another term.

John Lynch (D-inc): 65

Joseph Kenney (R): 21

(MoE: ±4%)

Bear in mind, though, that the top line of the poll also has Obama beating McCain 51-39, so this may be an overly Democratic sample. (Or else the McCain campaign is completely imploding, and there’s enough polling evidence over the last week to actually suggest that.)