Former Attorney General Kelly Ayotte (R) leads Rep. Paul Hodes (D) by 7 points in a new poll from the University of New Hampshire Survey Center.
Ayotte leads 40 percent to 33 percent — a slight increase over her 4-point advantage in a similar June poll. One-quarter of survey respondents said they were undecided.
The poll shows Ayotte, who has attracted several primary challengers since her announcement, with more consolidated party support than Hodes. Ayotte was backed by 76 percent of self-identified Republicans, while Hodes was favored by 61 percent of Democrats.
Taken Sept. 25-Oct. 2, the poll surveyed 466 likely voters and had a margin of error of 5 points.
Sen. Judd Gregg (R) is retiring next year, leaving a wide-open race for his seat.