Here is the latest ARG poll: ["Ayotte/Hodes. Hodes/Lamontagne, 2010 US Senate Ballots"].
Still huge undecideds. But look at all those Dems going to the Republicans: 13 percent. This is like all those Democrats in Florida voting for Bush instead of Gore in 2000. Wow.
Even Lamontagne - a right-wing Republican if ever there was one - is leading Hodes in a head-to-head match up. Double-wow.
Remember, this was a guy who got shellacked by Jeanne Shaheen in 1996 in the gubernatorial race that year, when the state was a lot more conservative than it is now. Triple-wow? Maybe. But, it's still early.
Frankly, this is a bit worrisome for the Democrats. I wonder, is it time for someone else to wade a toe in the water? Should the Dems start thinking about a different candidate in the primary? Like maybe, a moderate woman, a Marcy Kaptur-type who isn't totally in the tank with the corporatists and is good on personal liberties and common sense? Do those Democrats exist any more or are they just totally in the tank now?
Why should the Democrats worry? Well, this latest poll shows that Hodes is not holding a good chunk of his base: 30 percent of Dems are either voting for Ayotte or are undecided; vs. Lamontagne, it's 39 percent. This even more surprising since Lamontagne is a lot more conservative than Ayotte.
Sidebar: The shift of 9 percent of Dems from Hodes to undecided when matched against Lamontagne could be because these folks are new to the state and don't know who the guy is. Unless these Democrats are McCainiacs, they should be solidly in the Hodes camp. Lamontagne is that conservative. St. A's Jennifer Donhue was quoted on Politico saying, "There won’t be anyone to the right of him in the race among the potential candidates." That pretty much says it all.
It is way too early to tell but it would seem that the only thing that would save Hodes in November is a strong, well-financed Libertarian candidate who might shave off enough votes from the presumed GOP nominee to have Hodes squeak to victory. Two or 3 percent is all that would be needed probably as it gets down to the wire.
Republican businessmen Jim Bender and William Binnie are also running but are not included in the poll, for whatever reason. There are rumors that Tom Alciere, a Ron Paul Republican and former state representative, is also considering a run. It will be interesting to see if any of them can get any traction in the race which is bound to be an enjoyable bloodfest.