NH GOP reps. have low approval ratings in new poll

Guinta is a first-term congressman. This is the first time Guinta's approval ratings have been negative in the Granite State Poll since September 2009, more than a year before he was elected. 

Bass’s career has risen and fallen on electoral waves. 

He won his seat in the Republican Revolution year of 1994, lost it in the Democratic wave in 2006 and retook it last year. Even when he lost, he remained popular: The Granite State Poll had him with solid net favorable numbers in late 2006. This is only the second time since the polling firm began following him in 2001 that he had a negative net approval rating: The first time was their last poll, conducted in April.

Democrats’ hopes of taking back the House could rest on the Granite State. 

President Obama carried both of its congressional districts, taking 53 percent of the vote in Guinta’s district and 56 percent in Bass’s in 2008.

Bass recaptured his seat with a narrow 48-47 percent win over Ann McLane Kuster in 2010, a strong year for Republicans nationwide. Kuster, a favorite of liberal bloggers, is running for the seat again, and raised $365,000 to Bass’s $303,000 over the past three months.

Guinta will likely face either former Rep. Carol Shea Porter (D-N.H.), whom he beat 54 percent to 42 in 2010, or Portsmouth businesswoman Joanne Dowdell.

The Granite State had trended Democratic in the past decade. It went narrowly for former President George W. Bush in 2000, narrowly for Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) in 2004 and gave Obama 54 percent of the vote in the 2008 presidential election. Both of its House seats flipped to the Democrats in 2006.

But in 2010, it broke hard for the GOP. Republicans picked up both House seats, held a Senate seat and surged to the largest margins they’ve held in decades in the statehouse.

It will likely be a crucial state in both the presidential and House campaigns in 2012. 

The poll was conducted between June 21 and July 1. The sample size in both districts was about 250 people.