Sen. Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.) leads her Republican challenger Don Bolduc by 11 points, according to an Emerson College-WHDH poll released Friday, in the race for one of the seats that could determine which party controls the Senate for the next two years.
The poll found that 51 percent of voters support Hassan while 40 percent support Bolduc, a retired Army brigadier general. Six percent of respondents said they were undecided, and 4 percent plan to vote for someone else.
Hassan is also viewed as more likely to win the race, with 6 in 10 saying they expect the incumbent senator to hold her seat.
She holds a significant advantage in favorability rating, with 51 percent of respondents viewing her favorably and 44 percent viewing her unfavorably. Bolduc is viewed favorably by 41 percent and unfavorably by 39 percent, while 20 percent have not heard of him or are unsure.
“Bolduc has low name recognition, which presents both a challenge and an opportunity,” said Spencer Kimball, the executive director of Emerson College Polling.
Sixty percent of undecided voters are unsure of their opinion of Bolduc, while only 27 percent of them say the same of Hassan.
Hassan has a 12-point lead among independents and a 16-point lead among women. She also leads more modestly among men, by 6 points.
Emerson’s first New Hampshire general election poll of the cycle comes days after Bolduc defeated New Hampshire state Senate President Chuck Morse for the Republican nomination.
Some Republicans have expressed concerns that nominating Bolduc could make their path to winning the seat and retaking the majority in the Senate more difficult.
Bolduc once called the state’s governor, Chris Sununu (R), a “Chinese communist sympathizer” and had until recently backed former President Trump’s false claims that the 2020 presidential election was stolen from him.
Bolduc reversed his position on the 2020 election on Thursday, the day after he clinched the nomination, saying that he concluded after speaking to state residents that the election was not stolen.
Hassan’s campaign said Bolduc is “desperately trying to run” away from his past claims.
The poll also found that the two incumbent Democrats representing the state’s congressional districts lead their Republican opponents. Rep. Chris Pappas leads Republican nominee Karoline Leavitt, 47 percent to 42 percent, while Rep. Ann Kuster leads Republican Robert Burns, 54 percent to 36 percent.
The poll was conducted among 800 somewhat and very likely voters from Sept. 14 to 15. The margin of error was 3.4 points.