Even though Republican New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu has yet to announce his run for the U.S. Senate, more voters would vote for him in 2022 than Democrat incumbent Sen. Maggie Hassan, according to a Granite State Poll released on Thursday.
The poll, which was conducted by the University of New Hampshire Survey Center, found that 45 percent of likely midterm voters would choose Sununu and 42 percent would vote for Hassan “if the election were held today.” Six percent said they would vote for another candidate and six percent were undecided.
According to the report, the New Hampshire race would be “one of the most closely watched races in the country” if Sununu were to run against Hassan. Both have majority support from their respective parties — 85 percent of Democrats support Hassan and 86 percent of Republicans support Sununu. Sixty-three percent of independents also prefer Sununu.
Hassan’s favorability rating has been on the decline, with only 33 percent of voters giving her high marks. Sununu’s favorability rating is slightly higher at 41 percent.
Several other Republicans have already announced their candidacy and present a credible threat to Hassan as they trail closely behind. According to the poll:
Retired general Don Bolduc, who unsuccessfully sought the Republican nomination in the 2020 Senate race against Jeanne Shaheen, has already announced he will run for Senate against Hassan. Hassan currently is in a tight race with Bolduc – 47 percent of likely voters say they will vote for Hassan, 42 percent for Bolduc, 6 percent prefer another candidate, and 6 percent are undecided.
Former Republican Senator Kelly Ayotte, who lost narrowly to Hassan in 2016, also poses a substantial challenge to the incumbent. Likely voters were nearly evenly split between the two, with 44 percent choosing Hassan and 43 percent voting for Ayotte. Seven percent would vote for someone else, and five percent were undecided.
Overall, Hassan tended to poll more favorably with Biden voters, women, and people between the ages of 18 and 34. Republican candidates polled best with men, Trump voters, and either tied or led in all other age categories.
The poll was conducted with more than 1,000 likely voters between October 14-18, and has a +/- 3 percent margin of sampling error.