Republicans Trump, Ayotte are down big in NH

Hillary Clinton has taken a 15-point lead over Donald Trump in New Hampshire, as nearly two-thirds of likely voters say Trump is unfit to be president, according to a new poll. The embattled Sen. Kelly Ayotte also faces a vast gap in voter support.

In the first New Hampshire poll to be conducted since both national party conventions, WBUR found that Ayotte trails Democratic Gov. Maggie Hassan by 10 percentage points, while Trump has taken a steep dive following a Democratic National Convention in which he was sharply attacked by Clinton.

The poll was conducted by the MassINC Polling Group and has a margin of error of 4.5 percent.

“There’s evidence in the other questions that points to what voters are thinking,” MassINC President Steve Koczela told the American Media Institute in an interview Thursday. “Voters are less likely to think Trump is fit to be president, and Democrats are more united than Republicans.”

The survey of 609 likely voters, conducted July 29 to Aug. 1, found Clinton leading Trump 47 percent to 32 percent, with Libertarian candidate Gary Johnson at 8 percent and Green Party candidate Jill Stein at 3 percent. In a head-to-head matchup, Clinton led Trump 51 percent to 34 percent.

In the Senate race, Hassan pulled 50 percent to Ayotte’s 40 percent. The poll did not ask about Ayotte’s primary challenger, Jim Rubens.

“There was some nervousness in our previous New Hampshire poll among Kelly Ayotte supporters about her support for Donald Trump,” Koczela said. “The question for her is how closely her numbers are linked to his.

“The group she needs to look at is how many more voters she can get, how many non-Trump voters she can pull. You can’t count on straight-ticket voting if Donald Trump is going to be hovering in the 30s and 40s.”

Voters were split over Clinton’s fitness for office, with 48 percent saying she was fit for the presidency and 46 percent saying she was not. Asked the same question about Trump, 31 percent said he was fit to be president and 63 percent said he was not.

When MassINC polled New Hampshire in May, it found Hillary Clinton to have a 23-point gap in her favorability rating, with 35 percent of voters saying they viewed her favorably and 68 percent saying they viewed her unfavorably. She is now dead even, with 45 percent taking each side.

New Hampshire voters had a similar opinion of Trump in May, with 33 percent viewing him favorably and 58 percent unfavorably. As Clinton’s favorability rating has improved dramatically, his has worsened. In the August poll, 29 percent said they viewed him favorably and 60 percent unfavorably.

New Hampshire is widely considered a swing state in the election, with both parties hoping to claim its four Electoral College votes.

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