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New poll good news for Hassan, Shaheen

New polling this week has shown positive results for Democratic Gov. Maggie Hassan and Sen. Jeanne Shaheen.

North Carolina-based Public Policy Polling is known as a Democratic pollster, and the breakdown of its latest telephone survey of 933 Granite State voters was 39 percent self-identified independents, 32 percent self-identified Democrats and 29 percent self-identified Republicans.

The most recent voter checklist figures from the New Hampshire Secretary of State’s office, dated March 26 of this year, showed 42.4 percent undeclared, or independent, 30.2 percent Republicans and 27.3 percent Democrats.

The PPP poll, taken April 19 to 21, showed 50 percent approve of Hassan’s job performance, while 31 percent disapprove. In a potential 2014 reelection matchup, Hassan leads Republicans Senate Majority Leader Jeb Bradley, 52 to 38 percent, Executive Councilor Chris Sununu, 53 to 37 percent, Manchester Mayor Ted Gatsas, 51 to 35 percent, former U.S. Rep. Frank Guinta 54 to 36 percent and 2012 GOP candidate for governor Kevin Smith, 52 to 32 percent.

The PPP poll also shows Republican Sen. Kelly Ayotte’s job approval rating is slightly “under water,” with 44 percent approving and 46 percent disapproving of her job performance.

Last October, PPP said, its poll showed 48 percent approved of her job performance and 35 percent disapproved.

PPP attributes the drop in Ayotte’s job approval rating to her opposition to legislation that would have expanded gun purchase background checks to gun shows and the Internet.

It said 50 percent of voters said  Ayotte’s ‘no’ vote will make them less likely to support her in a future election, compared to 23 percent who consider the vote to be a positive.

Earlier this week, PPP released information from the same showing 53 percent approved of the job Shaheen is doing as a senator, with 39 percent disapproving.

It showed Shaheen winning hypothetical matchups against former Massachusetts Scott Brown, who is not ruling out establishing residence in New Hampshire and running against her, 52 to 41 percent; Bradley, 54 to 39 percent, Gatsas, 53 to 34 percent, Guinta, 55 to 37 percent, and Chris Sununu, 53 to 39 percent.

The poll said 54 percent said Brown should not run for the Senate in New Hampshire next year.

PPP said the margin of error in its poll was 3.2 percent.

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