Tuesday, September 14, 2010

What's happening in New Hampshire

Although Delaware's getting most of the attention so far tonight it's also looking like there's strong potential for an upset in New Hampshire where Kelly Ayotte led two weekend polls of the race by 7 and 4 points. So far Ovide Lamontagne holds the lead.

It's self serving but if Ayotte ends up losing I don't think the polls were necessarily wrong, or at least not that wrong. Rather it looks like supporters of Bill Binnie and Jim Bender ended up abandoning their candidates when it became clear they couldn't win and went over to supporting Lamontagne.

Our weekend poll found Binnie and Bender combining for 25% and the Magellan Poll found them getting 24%. Based on returns so far the two of them are only getting 18%. Here's the thing about their supporters on our weekend poll. They liked Ovide Lamontagne, giving him a 34/23 favorability rating. They hated Kelly Ayotte, giving her a 26/47 favorability rating. It looks to me like some of the second tier candidates' supporters jumped ship and that it was to Lamontagne's advantage.

The 36% Ayotte's getting based on results so far is pretty much identical to the 37% we showed for her in our poll and the 35% Magellan had for her. But it's possible that just about represented her peak support with Lamontagne surging toward the end. I don't know who's going to end up winning but those are some thoughts on why Lamontagne is doing better than expected.


Anonymous said...

Well, Ayotte seems to be headed for victory as of now... So you're probably partially right. Congrats on calling both races (As it seems now!), did you see on Twitter how Cook House editor Wasserman degraded you and now retracted and respects your polls?

Anonymous said...

My understanding is that new Hampshire is a "free" recount state, meaning this could easily be contested further, but it does not seem to have the intra-party acrimony we saw in Delaware so that may be avoided in the end.

(NH state law provides that if the person requesting the recount is declared the winner after the recount or loses by a margin of less than one percent of the total votes cast, the fees for the recount will be refunded by the State.)

Anonymous said...

Wow! Chief skeptic of PPP, Cilliza of WaPo calls PPP one of yesterday's biggest winners.

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