A pair of new polls give Democrat Hillary Clinton a modest lead over Republican Donald Trump in the presidential swing state of New Hampshire.
A UMass Lowell/7News poll released late Thursday night gave Clinton a six-point lead: 45 percent to 39 percent lead. A WBUR/MassINC poll out Friday morning said Clinton led by 4 percent, just within the poll’s margin of error, 41 to 37 percent.
These fresh poll numbers come as many in the state and nationally are trying to analyze the fallout of bad week for Trump. Since a videotape emerged late last week in which Trump made crude comments about women, numerous high-profile Republicans have dropped their support for his campaign.
Trump is scheduled to return to the state Saturday for a rally in Portsmouth.
“Voters seem very well aware of what they are getting with each candidate,” said Steve Koczela, director of the MassInc poll. “Few see Trump as a role model, even among his own supporters. Clinton is facing the same questions of honesty that have plagued her since the beginning of the campaign. There isn’t much further down their numbers can go on these things. This suggests the numbers are less elastic and change less than we might anticipate given the news of the last few weeks because voters have factored a lot of it in.”
Among those abandoning Trump was US Senator Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire, who Republicans hope can pull out a win. Ayotte’s race against her Democratic challenger, Governor Maggie Hassan, could decide which party controls the US Senate next term. The race has been tied in nearly every poll taken in the 13 months since Hassan entered the race. And both new polls showed that with less than a month until Election Day, the race remains tied.
In the WBUR/MassINC poll, conducted Monday through Wednesday with a margin of error of 4.4 percent, Ayotte and Hassan were tied at 47 percent each with just 6 percent undecided. The UMass Lowell/7News poll had Ayotte leading 45 percent to 44 percent, well within the margin of error.
Both polls also showed the race for the open seat for governor wide open. The WBUR/MassInc poll had Democrat Colin Van Ostern with a 47 percent to 44 percent lead over Republican Chris Sununu, but 15 percent were still undecided. The UMass Lowell/7News poll had Sununu two points ahead of Van Ostern, with 14 percent still undecided.