August Poll Shows Voters' Impressions of Primary Candidates

August 19, 2018

By Alexis Soucy

August Poll of Saint Anselm College Survey Center Shows New Hampshire Voters' Impressions of Primary Candidates for Governor and Congress

  • Kelly Slightly More Favorable in Democratic Gubernatorial Race
  • Pappas and Sullivan Stand Out in Crowded Field for 1st Congressional District Democratic Nomination
  • Similar Impressions of Sanborn and Edwards in 1st Congressional District Republican Primary
  • No Clear Favorites for 2nd Congressional District Republican Nomination

Registered New Hampshire voters shared their impressions of candidates for Governor and Congress in the just-released August poll of the Saint Anselm College Survey Center by the New Hampshire Institute of Politics (NHIOP)

The poll of 817 randomly-selected likely primary voters asked if they have a favorable or unfavorable impression, no opinion, or do not recognize the names of candidates who will appear on their ballots in September. 

Those voting in the Democratic primary suggested a close race for the gubernatorial nomination, with Kelly holding a small advantage over rival Marchand in name recognition, and a 36% favorability rating compared to Marchand’s 29%.

Democrats also have two top candidates for their 1st Congressional District nomination. Pappas and Sullivan appear most favorable in a crowded, 11 candidate field, with favorability ratings at 54% and 43% respectively, and Soldati next in line at 20%. Pappas remains the most recognized and favorable candidate in this race from the Saint Anselm College Survey Center April poll.

Republicans suggested a two candidate battle for their 1st Congressional District nomination, as well. Sanborn and Edwards appear head-to-head, with Sanborn holding a slight advantage in name recognition while Edwards has a small edge in favorability.

“As we head into the critical stretch run of the primary, the races are beginning to take shape as candidates differentiate themselves,” said Neil Levesque, Executive Director of the NHIOP. “It is likely that the September winners will emerge from the group of candidates that have begun to break away from the pack in terms of name recognition.”

Nearly three weeks out from the primary election, the 2nd Congressional District is the only race without clear favorites. Blankenbeker, Burns, Levenson, and Negron all stand close in name recognition and favorability for the chance to compete with 2nd District incumbent Ann McLane Kuster.

In the Survey Center’s April poll, 32% of voters thought Kuster “deserves re-election,” while 45% said “give someone new a chance.” 

The August poll of the Saint Anselm College Survey Center at the NHIOP was conducted by landline and cellular phone between August 15 and August 18, 2018.

About the New Hampshire Institute of Politics
The mission of the New Hampshire Institute of Politics (NHIOP) is to educate, engage, and empower citizens to participate in the civic and political life of their local, national, and global communities by providing a nonpartisan forum for discussion and debate on all aspects of the American political process. The NHIOP is a must-stop for all major declared candidates for the nation’s highest office. In 2016, the NHIOP hosted the only New Hampshire-based debates of Presidential candidates in both the Republican and Democratic parties, prior to the state’s first-in-the-nation primary election.

About Saint Anselm College
Founded in 1889, Saint Anselm College is a nationally-ranked four-year liberal arts college providing a 21st century education in the Catholic, Benedictine tradition. Located in the greater Boston region in southern New Hampshire, Saint Anselm College is well-known for its strong liberal arts curriculum, the New Hampshire Institute of Politics, commitment to inclusiveness, a highly successful nursing program, and a legacy of community service.