On October 19, with the 2018 midterm election in 18 days, both Saint Anselm College Survey Center and the University of New Hampshire Survey Center released poll results. Both revealed that Governor Chris Sununu is popular, while Executive Councilor Chris Pappas, the Democratic candidate, leads in the Congressional race. Democratic interest is high, and the turnout is predicted to be strong.
Sununu strong in gubernatorial race against Kelly
The Granite State Poll, conducted by the University of New Hampshire survey center, showed Governor Chris Sununu with “Broad approval broad approval of his performance as Governor; 59 percent of New Hampshire adults approve of the job Sununu is doing as governor, 22 percent disapprove, and 20 percent neither approve nor disapprove or are unsure. Governors with job approval ratings above 50 percent at this time of the election cycle typically are re-elected.”
However, there is a split by party. 81% of Republicans approve of the job Sununu is doing, and 56 percent if Independents approve, while 39 percent of Democrats approve.”
The poll by the New Hampshire Institute of Politics at Saint Anselm College showed that incumbent “Governor Chris Sununu’s job performance and his personal popularity ratings remain high as the November election approaches. Sununu leads his Democratic opponent, Molly Kelly.’
“Sununu’s job approval stands at nearly 62 percent among all respondents, and he’s preferred 49-39 percent over challenger Molly Kelly in the race for governor. Sununu leads among Republican voters 88 percent – 4 percent , while Kelly’s strength from Democrats is 80 percent – 10 percent. Libertarian candidate Jilletta Jarvis is preferred by .9 percent, and 12 percent of those surveyed are still undecided.'”
“This race will likely tighten as Kelly picks up uncommitted Democrats and Independents down the stretch,” said NHIOP Executive Director Neil Levesque.
Congressional race favors Pappas over Edwards
The Saint Anselm poll showed, “Democrat Chris Pappas holds a 44 percent to 36 percent lead over Republican Eddie Edwards in the First Congressional District. In addition, 51 percent of voters have a positive impression of Pappas while 32 percent view Edwards positively and 43 percent have no opinion of him. Libertarian candidate Dan Belforti is preferred by .9 percent, and 19 percent of all voters in this swing district are still undecided. Only 68 percent of Republican voters expressed a preference for their party’s nominee, so Edwards has room in this competitive district to close the gap in the final weeks.”
Race for the State Legislature and State Senate are both very close
The UNH poll showed that “49 percent of voters approve of how the Republican-controlled State Legislature is doing its job, a quarter disapprove, and another 25 percent neither approve nor disapprove or are unsure. Approval of the legislature is largely unchanged since April (48%). 59 percent of Republicans approve […] while 49 percent of Independents and 42 percent of Democrats agree. Likely voters in New Hampshire are divided on which party’s candidate they plan to support. […] 45 percent say they will vote for Democratic candidates, 43 percent for Republican candidates, 2 perecent say they will vote for some Democrats and some Republicans, and 10 percent are undecided.”
The UNH poll shows voters are evenly divided about the State Senate race. The poll summary stated, “These findings translate into 14 seats for Republicans and 10 seats for Democrats.” This is the current division.
Executive Council race is evenly divided, but more Republicans plan to vote in the Fourth District, favoring Gatsas
According to the UNH poll, in the Executive Council race, voters are evenly divided, with 44 percentfor the Republican candidate, 44 percent for the Democratic candidate, and 12 percent undecided or voting for another candidate
In the Fourth District, including Manchester, where Republican Ted Gatsas is running against Democrat Gray Chynoweth, the UNH poll shows that 48 percent plan to vote Republican, 37 percent plan to vote Democrat, and 14 percent are undecided.
High voter turnout predicted
The Saint Anselm polled showed, “Voters are highly motivated to vote on Election Day. 90% are extremely likely to vote, and another 7 percent are very likely. 74 percent of voters on both sides of the aisle report being more likely to vote in the midterms because of President Donald Trump. The confirmation process of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh has made Republicans somewhat more motivated to vote than Democrats, 65 percent to 58 percent.”
The UNH poll revealed that interest, “continues to increase as the election approaches: 44 percent of New Hampshire residents say they are extremely interested in the 2018 general election, 24 percent are very interested, 21 percent are somewhat interested, 9 percent are not very interested, and 1 percent don’t know or are unsure.”
The Saint Anselm poll also showed that voters are highly motivated to vote on Election Day. 90 percent are extremely likely to vote, and another 7 percent are very likely. 74 percent of voters on both sides of the aisle report being more likely to vote in the midterms because of President Donald Trump. The confirmation process of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh has made Republicans somewhat more motivated to vote than Democrats, 65 percent to 58 percent.
Voters say the state is headed in the right direction
According to the UNH poll, “67 percent of Granite Staters say things in NH are generally going in the right direction, while 19 percent say things are seriously off on the wrong track, and 14 percent don’t know or are unsure. Optimism about the state’s future is bipartisan: 81 percent of Republicans, 60 percent of Indepndents, and 58 percent of Democrats feel that the state is headed in the right direction. However, optimism among Independents has declined each of the last four quarters and optimism among Democrats has fallen during the last quarter.”