Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-NH) has seen her once-solid approval rating in New Hampshire take a slide following her opposition to gun control legislation that failed in the Senate, according to a survey from Democratic-leaning Public Policy Polling released on Wednesday.
Ayotte’s approval rating in the latest poll is under water: 44 percent of Granite State voters said they approve of the job she is doing while 46 percent said they disapprove. In PPP’s previous survey of New Hampshire in late-October, Ayotte boasted a positive approval rating, with a plurality of 48 percent saying they approved of her job performance at the time and 35 percent saying they disapproved.
PPP’s latest findings provided evidence that Ayotte’s tumble may be a direct result of her “no” vote on the gun bill that fizzled last week in the face of nearly uniform GOP opposition. The poll found that 75 percent of New Hampshire voters support requiring background checks for buyers at gun shows, a centerpiece of the legislation. Polling conducted in the months since the December mass shooting in Newtown, Conn. has consistently found enormous nationwide support for improving background checks on gun buyers.
According to Wednesday’s poll, 50 percent of New Hampshire voters are now less likely to vote for Ayotte in 2016 following her vote on the legislation while 23 percent are more likely to support her re-election campaign. A quarter of voters said her vote will not make a difference on whether or not they choose to support her. The poll showed popular Democratic Gov. Maggie Hassan edging Ayotte in an early hypothetical tested by PPP, 46 percent to 44 percent.
Americans for Responsible Solutions, the group spearheaded by fromer Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ) and her husband Mark Kelly, will begin airing radio ads on Wednesday in New Hampshire taking Ayotte to task for her vote on the background checks bill.