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Hodes Down in Latest Poll

A new poll shows Republican Kelly Ayotte ahead of Democratic Rep. Paul Hodes in the New Hampshire race for the seat of retiring Sen. Judd Gregg.Ayotte posted 43 percent in the poll by American Research Group compared with 36 percent for Hodes and 21 percent undecided. The telephone survey of 566 respondents was conducted Dec. 26-29.Ayotte, who served as the state’s attorney general and was recruited by the National Republican Senatorial Committee, announced her candidacy this summer. Since then, several Republicans — the most prominent of which is 1996 gubernatorial nominee Ovide Lamontagne — have announced they will run for the seat in September’s primary. Other candidates include investment banker William Binnie and businessman Jim Bender.The poll also surveyed voters about a Hodes-Lamontagne matchup, with 37percent favoring Lamontagne, 31 percent favoring Hodes and 32 percentundecided.The poll’s margin of error was 4.1 points.

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