In NH, Palin’s endorsement of GOPer could swing Senate race to Democrat Paul Hodes

Many in the traditional media and the political punditry are agog over Sarah Palin. They monitor and deconstruct her tweets and Facebook postings, trying to determine how she’ll shape the nation. But, Palin doesn’t cast the same spell over real voters — outside of the hard core of the hard core Republicans. Look at PPP’s latest numbers from New Hampshire:

Kelly Ayotte’s seen her appeal to moderate voters crumble in the wake of her endorsement by Sarah Palin and her lead over Paul Hodes has shrunk to its lowest level of any public polling in 2010- she has a 45-42 advantage over him, down from 47-40 in an April PPP poll.

While Palin’s endorsement may help with the extreme GOPers (and the Villagers), it’s not so helpful with the moderates:

Most of the movement both in feelings about Ayotte and in the horse race has come with moderate voters. Moderates make up the largest bloc of the New Hampshire electorate at 47%, and Hodes’ lead with them has expanded from just 8 points at 47-39 in April to now 21 points at 51-30. Ayotte’s favorability with them has gone from +5 at 32/27 to -19 at 27/46.

The Palin endorsement may well be playing a role in this. 51% of voters in the state say they’re less likely to back a Palin endorsed candidate to only 26% who say that support would make them more inclined to vote for someone. Among moderates that widens to 65% who say a Palin endorsement would turn them off to 14% who it would make more supportive.

So, Ayotte could win the GOP primary because of Palin’s endorsement, but lose the general election because of Palin’s endorsement. I’ll take that.

I met Paul Hodes at Netroots Nation — and I was impressed. He’s not your run-of-the-mill Senate candidate. He’s got a varied background: a lawyer and a musician. And, he supports marriage equality. His website is here.


On October 27, 2010, Joe was one of five bloggers who interviewed President Obama. Joe is a DC-based political consultant with over twenty-five years of experience at both the state and federal level. Joe has managed political operations and legislative efforts for both candidates and issues-based organizations. For seven years, he was the Director of State Legislation at Handgun Control, Inc. He served as that organization's first Political Director during the 2000 cycle. Joe is a graduate of the University of Maine School of Law. In addition, he has a Masters in Public Administration from Lehigh University and received his B.A. from the University of New Hampshire. Joe also has a fun dog, Petey, a worthy successor to Boomer, who got Joe through eight years of Bush and Cheney. Joe likes to think he is a world class athlete having finished the 2005 Chicago Marathon in the time of 4:10. He has completed six other marathons as well -- and is still determined to break the four hour mark.

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