Miscellany Blue - New Hampshire Politics

Ayotte: I voted against expanded gun background checks to protect gun background checks

Sen. Kelly Ayotte is clearly feeling the heat from angry constituents upset by her vote against expanded background checks for gun purchasers. In an interview with WMUR-TV, she claimed she voted against the legislation because it would have weakened gun control laws. Seriously.   

Ayotte said she voted against the bipartisan measure because she believes it might have proven counterproductive.

"Particularly with the current federally licensed firearm dealers," she said. "Because it would have actually prioritized gun shows over them and would have caused a lot of difficulties in them actually doing the checks that they are properly doing right now."


Bill O’Brien: Making it up as I go along

On WMUR’s Close Up, former state House Speaker Bill O’Brien explained his opposition to raising the state’s gas tax, which would generate additional revenue to repair and maintain the state’s roads and bridges. “We don’t need the money,” he declared.

The state’s bridges are in great shape, he wrote on Facebook:

I have been told most are red-listed because the approaches don’t comply with federal highway standards as they have evolved over the years. It’s like calling our houses red-listed because they no longer comply every time the housing or electrical codes are updated.

It’s an outright lie. Here’s the criteria the Department of Transportation uses when it places a bridge on the state’s “Red List:”

Bridges where one or more major structural element is rated as poor condition or worse, or require weight limit posting.

A study by a national transportation research group notes there are 152 state-maintained bridges in New Hampshire that are currently rated poor for one or more structural elements. By 2016, that number is expected to increase by 15 percent under current funding.


WMUR/UNH Poll: Strong support for gun control

A new WMUR Granite State Poll indicates New Hampshire residents, including gun owners, are strongly in favor of legislation that would limit access to guns:

  • 94% favor background checks on anyone attempting to purchase a gun to determine if they have been convicted of a felony
  • 91% favor background checks before anyone could buy a gun at a gun show
  • 84% favor a law to prevent people with mental illness from buying a gun
  • 64% favor a ban on military-style assault weapons
  • 63% favor a federal government database to track all gun sales
  • 61% favor a ban on ammunition clips that hold more than 10 rounds 

The Granite State Poll is conducted by the University of New Hampshire Survey Center. The results are based on telephone interviews of 581 New Hampshire adults with a margin of error of +/- 4.1%. The survey was conducted on January 30 - February 5, 2013 on landline and cellular telephones.


Conspiracy watch: Dems masquerading as Free Staters

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John DiStaso has reported on the radio talk show contest that was disrupted by “vitriol from self-described Free Staters.”

The poll to select the Manchester area Person of the Year had become a two-person race between police officer Dan Doherty, who was shot in the line of duty, and Free Stater Amanda Bouldin of the Shire Sharing volunteer group.

As Free Staters converged to support Bouldin, the contest turned ugly. In online comments, Doherty was disparaged as a corrupt “statist brute.” Slain Manchester police officer Michael Briggs was called a “pig.” It went downhill from there.

After it was all over, the leaders and supporters of the Free State Project took responsibility and apologized for the vicious, mean spirited rhetoric. JUST KIDDING! No, they blamed it on Democrats! Seriously.

GOP state Rep. Mark Warden:

Anybody could call themselves a Free Stater but anyone could be a troll trying to give the movement a bad name.

Free Stater Tim Condon:

They are good citizens, not the kind of people who would call a wounded police officer a “pig.” Conclusion: There are “fake Free Staters” out there sounding off to help Free Stater hater Rep. Cynthia Chase.

GraniteGrok’s Steve MacDonald:

It is not beyond the pale to suspect Democrats of using anonymous blog handles and throw away email addresses, to pose as Free Staters in polls, surveys, and online social media, for the purpose of advancing their narrative, particularly after the national attention received by the tyrannical Cynthia Chase. The left has the money and resources to pay staffers and to coordinate with so-called single-issue non profits who run on truck-loads of out of state money to make this happen. They have already thought of it. They are very likely doing it and have been, for some time.


WMUR/GSP: Obama & Romney tied, Hassan by 5

Once again, a WMUR/Granite State Poll purports to indicate a major swing in New Hampshire’s presidential contest. Today’s survey has the race between President Obama and Mitt Romney tied at 47% each (48% each with “leaners”). The previous Granite State Poll, on October 22, had Obama leading 51% to 42%.

In a result more consistent with most other pollsters, Democrat Maggie Hassan leads Republican Ovide Lamontagne by five points, 45% to 40%. 13% are still undecided. When undecided voters are asked to identify which candidate they are leaning towards supporting, Hassan leads 47% to 42%, with 8% undecided. 

The Granite State Poll is sponsored by WMUR-TV and conducted by the University of New Hampshire Survey Center. The results are based on telephone interviews of 502 likely voters with a margin of error of +/- 4.4%. The survey was conducted on October 31 and November 1-2, 2012 on landline and cellular telephones.


James Pindell: GOP to hold state Senate majority

In his latest state Senate projections, James Pindell says Democrats are likely to fall short in their bid to win a majority of the 24 seats. The WMUR-TV political director rates 13 seats as likely Republican, seven seats as likely Democratic and four are rated toss-ups.

The toss-ups include open seats in District 9, where New Boston Democrat Lee Nyquist is taking on Bedford Republican Andy Sanborn; Manchester’s District 18, where Democrat Donna Soucy faces Republican J. Gail Barry; and the North Country District 1 race between Democrat Jeff Woodburn and Republican Debi Warner.

Pindell rates the District 7 contest between Democrat Andrew Hosmer and Republican Joshua Youssef, who has been dogged by personal and financial questions, as the most competitive Senate race in the state.

In this analysis ranking the 24 senate races in terms of competitiveness, eight were listed as solid Republican, five were listed leaning Republican, four were tossup, one was a lean Democrat and six were solid Democrat.

The current make-up the Senate is 19 Republicans and 5 Democrats. This latest analysis would mean Democrats would gain at least two seats, but fall short of a majority. The possible range would be in somewhere between 17 Republicans to 7 Democrats and 13 Republicans to 11 Democrats.

Pindell’s projections, ranked in order of competitiveness, follow below the fold.

Read More


The ad Frank Guinta doesn’t want you to see

Yesterday, Congressman Frank Guinta demanded WMUR-TV stop airing an ad that he called a “false and misleading advertisement.” The 30-second spot, produced by the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, criticizes Guinta for voting to raise taxes on middle class families by more than $1,000 a year.

The ad “makes false statements intended to deliberately deceive New Hampshire voters and defame congressman Guinta’s reputation,” wrote campaign consultant Ethan Zorfas. “There is no factual basis for the claim.”

Oh, really?

The claim is based on a report from ABC News that analyzed the House Budget Proposal for fiscal year 2013:

House Republican budget for the 2013 fiscal year, passed by the House in June, would raise taxes by $1,358 for jointly-filing households earning between $50,000 and $100,000, assuming the additional income is taxed at a 10 percent rate, according to a report published earlier this summer by the Joint Economic Committee of Congress, authored by its chairman, Casey.

Guinta voted for and enthusiastically supported Paul Ryan’s Path to Prosperity budget proposal, which he called a “perfect remedy.”


WMUR Granite State Poll: NH-Gov, NH-01 & NH-02

The latest WMUR Granite State Poll surveyed likely New Hampshire voters on their choices for governor and for Congress. All three races have a large number of undecided voters.

Governor:
Lamontagne 34%, Hassan 30%, Undecided 34%

The gubernatorial race between Democrat Maggie Hassan and Republican Ovide Lamontagne is still a toss-up an. The number of undecided voters has increased, “a strong indication that voters here not familiar with the candidates and have not yet focused on this race,” writes Andy Smith. “Even when undecided voters are asked which candidate they lean toward supporting there remains a very high percentage of likely voters who have not yet decided who they will support.”

1st Congressional District:
Guinta 40%, Shea-Porter 33%, Undecided 24%

This week’s survey claims a huge swing in the 1st District Congressional race between Congressman Frank Guinta and Democrat Carol Shea-Porter. Shea-Porter had an 11-point lead just last week. This week, the poll has Guinta leading by seven points, 40% to 33%. Smith notes “caution should be exercised in interpreting these results as the margin of sampling error is +/-6.9% and findings are less stable than if a larger sample had been interviewed.”

2nd Congressional District:
Kuster 35%, Bass 32%, Undecided 30%

Democrat Ann Kuster maintains a three point lead over Congressman Charlie Bass in the 2nd District Congressional race. She leads Bass by a 35% to 32% margin with 30% undecided. The race is virtually unchanged from last week when Kuster lead 36% to 34%. “Again,” Smith warns, “caution should be exercised in interpreting these results.”

The Granite State Poll is sponsored by WMUR-TV and conducted by the University of New Hampshire Survey Center. These results are based on telephone interviews of 419 likely voters  with a margin of error of +/- 4.8% and subsamples of 200 likely 1st District voters with a margin of error of +/- 6.9% and 211 likely 2nd District voters with a margin of error of +/- 6.7%. The survey was conducted on October 1-6, 2012 on landline and cellular telephones.


Good news for Obama beneath horse race numbers

Beneath the New Hampshire horse race numbers in this week’s WMUR Granite State Poll (in which President Obama led Mitt Romney 47% to 41%), there was plenty of good news for the President:

  • 52% of New Hampshire adults approve of the job Obama is doing. “Presidents typically get re-elected when their job approval rating is above 50%”, said Andy Smith, Director of the UNH Survey Center.
  • 49% of New Hampshire Independent voters approve of the job Obama is doing, the highest level measured by the Granite State Poll since October, 2009.
  • More Granite Staters approve of the way Obama is handling the economy than disapprove, for the first time since October, 2009.
  • Independent voters approve of Obama’s handling of foreign policy by a 53% to 41% margin.
  • Support for the President’s health care reform legislation is at the highest level ever recorded in the survey.

The Granite State Poll is sponsored by WMUR-TV and conducted by the University of New Hampshire Survey Center. The results were based on telephone interviews of 559 likely voters with a margin of error of +/- 4.1%. The survey was conducted on September 30-October 6, 2012 on landline and cellular telephones.


WMUR Granite State Poll: Obama 47%, Romney 41%

In what is becoming a regular occurrence, the latest WMUR Granite State Poll shows dramatic movement from the last survey, which was a dramatic change from the one before that.

Today’s survey indicates President Obama now has a 47% to 41% lead over Mitt Romney in the contest for New Hampshire’s four electoral votes. Just one week ago, the poll had Obama leading by a whopping 15 point margin. Three weeks before that, the same survey had Obama with a more modest five point lead.

Even pollster Andy Smith seemed to discount the results. “With 30 days left, I think this is a jump ball,” he said.

The Granite State Poll is sponsored by WMUR-TV and conducted by the University of New Hampshire Survey Center. The results are based on telephone interviews of 559 likely voters with a margin of error of +/- 4.1%. The survey was conducted on September 30-October 6, 2012 on landline and cellular telephones.


WMUR Granite State Poll: 40% oppose income tax ban

The latest WMUR Granite State Poll finds New Hampshire voters are evenly split on the constitutional amendment to ban a state income tax. A two-thirds vote in favor of the amendment in required for it to be ratified.

42% of those surveyed support the constitutional ban on a state income tax. 40% oppose the amendment. Voter sentiment on the income tax ban has not changed significantly since August, when 40% supported the amendment and 41% opposed it.

The Granite State Poll is sponsored by WMUR-TV and conducted by the University of New Hampshire Survey Center. The results are based on telephone interviews of 600 adults with a margin of error of +/- 4.0%. The survey was conducted on September 27-30, 2012 on landline and cellular telephones.


WMUR Granite State Poll: Obama 45%, Romney 40%


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