CONCORD, NH — A new University of Massachusetts-Lowell poll reveals just how schizophrenic politics in New Hampshire can be — with those voters polled splitting their tickets as the candidates continue to campaign to the Nov. 3 election.
The school's Center for Public Opinion spoke to more than 657 "likely" New Hampshire voters last week after interviewing 771 respondents and found that voters overwhelmingly support Republican Gov. Chris Sununu by a 26-point margin over state Sen. Dan Feltes, a Democrat, and Democrat U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen over her Republican rival Bryant "Corky" Messner by 19 percent. Voters in the poll also favored former Vice President Joe Biden over President Donald Trump by 8 points with Green Party candidate Howie Harkins earning 2 percent and Libertarian Jo Jorgensen receiving 1 percent.
Both Shaheen and Sununu were buoyed by voters from their opposing parties splitting their tickets — with Shaheen earning 17 percent of Republican voters and Sununu earning 27 percent of Democrat voters. Voters who described themselves as "moderate" also backed Sununu and Shaheen by two-to-one margins over their opponents.
Respondents were also asked to judge political figures in the state and gave Sununu, Dr. Anthony Fauci, and former President Barack Obama favorable reviews while giving Trump, Vice President Mike Pence, and U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, an independent from Vermont who won the first-in-the-nation primary during the past two cycles, high unfavorables. Forty percent of respondents said they had never heard of Bill Gardner, the nation's longest serving Secretary of State, while 43 percent said they had never heard of former Executive Councilor Colin Van Ostern — who lost to Sununu in 2016 by more than 2 percent and the Secretary of State's job in 2018 by four votes to Gardner.
Regional personalities and products were also surveyed with voters saying they like Hannaford supermarkets, The Common Man Restaurants, clam chowder, and people from Vermont but did not like people from Massachusetts. Large numbers of voters said they had never heard of Brown's Lobster Pound or Markey's Lobster Pool — meaning they had never taken Route 286 through Seabrook to get to the beach.
According to pollsters, 28 percent of those polled identified themselves as Democrats and Republicans while 42 percent called themselves independents; 44 percent of those polled said they leaned Democrat while 40 percent leaned Republicans and 15 percent called themselves independents.
The poll has a margin of error of nearly 5 percent.
110 Republicans Back Shaheen
Shaheen's campaign announced 110 members of the Republican Party in New Hampshire backing her reelection effort.
The Republicans cited the Senator's response to the opioid crisis, assistance for veterans, and securing relief for tens of thousands of small businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Endorsers from Patch communities include: Charles Glover from Amherst; Tom Boucher, Terence Flahive, Bill Greiner, Craig Nussbaum, Matt Pierson, Tom Riley, and Mireille Sfeir of Bedford; Christine Sconsa and James Boujoukos, Scott Harris, and Jim Steiner of Concord; Marguerite Kelley, Susan MacLeod, and Gail and Leon Morse of Exeter; Lynn Bollengier and Sherrill Crow of Londonderry; Michael Boyle of Merrimack; Robert Condon, Brian Jackson, James Lowe, and Mark Thornton of Nashua; Erik Anderson, Joseph Calderara, Cornelius Demorest, Ruth Griffin, Jeff Wade, Peter G. Weeks of Portsmouth; Han-Tin Lin of Salem; and Dennis Butterfield, Doug MacDonald, Linda MacDonald, and Robert Mague of Windham.
"There’s too much division in Washington, and to get anything done for New Hampshire, we need to work across the aisle," Shaheen said. "Making a difference for New Hampshire families continues to be my number one priority, and I am grateful to have so many Granite State Republicans supporting my re-election campaign. Confronting the opioid crisis, protecting our national security, and supporting small businesses should be bipartisan priorities, and I will continue to work across the aisle to protect our nation and our state, no matter what."
Can Corky Ride Guv's Coattails?
After a bruising primary with a longtime resident and dedicated war hero right out of central casting, former Gen. Don Bolduc, Corky Messner has the backing of Sununu now — with the governor endorsing him in a new ad.
“With Corky, it’s never about big government or politics. It’s just about putting people first.”
WATCH our new ad featuring @ChrisSununu here! #nhpolitics #nhsen pic.twitter.com/ZMxVV6B5RK
— Corky Messner for Senate (@CorkyForSenate) September 29, 2020
How About Those Tax Returns, Guv?
While the president is embroiled in another fight with the press over not releasing his tax returns, audits, and what is wealth actually is, Democrats are hoping to get a bit of traction with the issue themselves, in two different ways.
First, the New Hampshire Democratic Party has launched a new website, SununuTaxReturns.com, in an effort to make hay about the fact that the governor has not released his take returns either — while also giving himself a $31,000 raise while refusing to support establishing a state minimum wage for workers, according to party activists.
"Just like Donald Trump, Chris Sununu refuses to release his tax returns and refuses to come clean about the conflicts of interest that are likely driving his decisions in the corner office," Ray Buckley, the chairman of the party, said. "Corruption has no place in Donald Trump’s Oval Office and has no place in Sununu’s Corner Office."
But the release of tax returns request does not end there.
Feltes has tried to make the tax return an issue for months against the governor and during the primary as well as the Concord attorney he bested, Andru Volinsky. Feltes released 10 years of returns in June on his website under "transparency" located here.
"Chris Sununu is a Trump guy 'through and through' when it comes to abusing his position for his own family's profit at Granite Staters’ expense," Feltes said. "Just like Donald Trump, Chris Sununu has been enriching himself, his family, and his donors at the expense of taxpayers. And just like Donald Trump, Chris Sununu has refused to release his tax returns, raising serious questions about whether Sununu is paying his fair share and exactly how he is using and abusing his position to benefit himself and his family."
Electrical Workers Back Sununu
The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 104 endorsed Sununu last week citing his focus on creating jobs, championing job training, and supporting first responders.
The org said the governor had earned the confidence of the men and women who put their lives on the line working keep the lights on during storms and saving people's lives, too. He is the only Republican the org has endorsed for governor since his father ran in the early 1980s.
"Governor Sununu has prioritized investment in infrastructure, training, and efforts to ensure New Hampshire workers get first crack at local construction jobs," said Tiler Eaton, representative of the union. "For those of us who are many times at the front lines during emergencies, it is important to know that you have a committed, responsive partner and leader in the governor's office, and we also applaud the governor's leadership and management experience in these uncertain times."
Sununu thanked the union for their support and from their work in the field.
Trump-Pence Campaign Sends Surrogates
While the president's reelection effort has led both Trump and Vice President Mike Pence to make trips to the state, the campaign has also sent a flurry of surrogates.
John Pence, the vice president's nephew, made a round of stops including the NH GOP office in Concord, where he spoke to supporters and gave one young volunteer a signed MAGA hat. While he was drowned out, at times, by a diesel train parked outside of the GOP's headquarters on Water Street, he said he was enjoying his trip. He also said New Hampshire had some of the best craft beer in the country, after vising a brewery in Littleton.
Not long after Pence's trip, Eric Trump, the president's son, also made a stop in the state at the campaign's Portsmouth field office as well as a stop in Saco, Maine, for a "Fighting for Maine Lobster" event.
Former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, who also served in the United Nations as ambassador, will be in Manchester on Wednesday, working with former U.S. Sen. Kelly Ayotte, to raise money to support more than 100 "strong, empowered NH Republican women candidates."
That means 2024 is not far behind us.
Jill Biden Coming Back To NH
Speaking of surrogates, Jill Biden, the Democrat nominee's wife, will be back in New Hampshire Friday. No details yet on where and when she will be appearing.
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