Poll: Ayotte maintains lead over Hodes in N.H. Senate race

Republican Kelly Ayotte continues to hold a lead in New Hampshire’s Senate race, according to a new Rasmussen poll released Monday. 

Ayotte leads Rep. Paul Hodes (D-N.H.) by seven points, 51 percent to 44 percent. Three percent of voters prefer another candidate, while 2 percent remain undecided.  

The two clashed in their first debate of the contest Monday, focusing on spending and taxes. Ayotte favors permanent extension of Bush-era tax cuts, while Hodes only wants the cuts extended for families earning $250,000 and below a year. 

The Rasmussen numbers show a race largely unchanged in the past two months. In five previous surveys, Ayotte's support has hovered between 46 and 50 percent, while Hodes has received 35 percent to 44 percent of the vote.

The poll surveyed 750 likely New Hampshire voters and has a margin of error of plus-or-minus four percentage points. 

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