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If this isn’t the most exciting and competitive year for Republican primaries of all time, it has to be close. Ovide Lamontagne had faded far behind Kelly Ayotte in the New Hampshire Senate primary, but he’s been making a comeback. And now Public Policy Polling has him truly competitive.
And to think he looked like spoiler bait once upon a time!
Ayotte is still running high in favorability, so this is different from Delaware. She’s at 56/27/17, so she’s not suddenly hated in the state, which is how she can still lead 37-30 over Lamontagne (MoE 2.9). But Lamontagne has made a name for himself: He’s liked 56/16/28, well above former second place Bill Binnie’s 26/55/19, a total collapse.
So at this point I have the primary at a clear 88/12 split in Ayotte’s favor, thanks to this poll having such a low Margin of Error. But in a multi-way race, just about anything can happen, including tactical voting to build up one candidate over the other.
That said, I don’t think the remaining core of Bill Binnie voters will go to either of the other two, so I believe Lamontagne will have to find those votes elsewhere.