Outside of the presidential race, there’s something interesting taking shape down-ballot in New Hampshire. As Rachel Maddow pointed out Monday night, the Granite State could end up with an all-female Congressional delegation as well as a female governor.
New Hampshire already has two women senators, Democrat Jeanne Shaheen and Republican Kelly Ayotte. They’re not up for election this year.
For the governorship, Democrat Maggie Hassan has been polling consistently ahead of Republican Ovide Lamontagne. The most recent WMUR-Granite State poll (pdf) has Hassan with a +9 edge. Sunday’s New England College poll shows Hassan leading Lamontagne by 2%.
At the House level (New Hampshire has two representatives in the Congress), Democrat Annie Kuster held a relatively solid lead over Republican incumbent Charlie Bass, 47-40, according to the WMUR Granite State poll, her seven-point lead over Bass, however, was not larger than the 9% claiming to still be undecided. In 2010, Bass beat Kuster by only 3,500 votes, so this campaign represents a comeback of sorts for the Democrat.
In that same WMUR Granite State poll, Democratic challenger Carol Shea-Porter pulled even with Republican incumbent Frank Guinta, with each polling at 43%, with 10% still undecided. New Hampshire Public Radio characterized this as the poll’s biggest surprise because the previous New England College poll had Shea-Porter down by 7 points, 48% to 41%. Like Kuster/Bass, this race is also a rematch. In 2010, Shea-Porter was the incumbent and Guinta the challenger, he came to office as part of the tea party wave of Republican victories.
The latest New England College poll doesn’t give specifics about the House races, but does mention a gender gap when it comes to the Hassan/Lamontagne race: “Men prefer Lamontagne by a 49%-42% margin. Women prefer Hassan by a 53%-41% margin.” The October 31st NBC/WSJ/Marist poll showed President Obama with a 16 point advantage among women in New Hampshire. Whether this gap manifests into voter turnout will ultimately determine the election.