GOP Has Early Lead in NH Senate Contest

To win would be to hold the seat, but this could also be a sign that the GOP is starting a resurgence in the northeast:

Republican Kelly Ayotte leads Democrat Paul Hodes by eight points in an early look at New Hampshire’s 2010 race for the U.S. Senate.

The first Rasmussen Reports survey of the race to fill the seat being vacated by retiring GOP Senator Judd Gregg shows Ayotte ahead 46% to 38%.

Five percent (5%) of New Hampshire voters prefer some other candidate, and 12% are undecided.

Ayotte, the state’s attorney general from 2004 until her resignation in July, captures 81% of the Republican vote, and Hodes, a two-term member of the U.S. House, earns the identical number (81%) of Democratic votes. Among voters not affiliated with either party, Ayotte leads by 14 points.

The independents are the key number here – lost them by 14 points, and you can’t win. From all polling that I’ve seen, independents are starting to swing back to the GOP out of dismay for the harsh, leftist politics emanating from the Democrat Congress and White House. They voted for moderate hope and change, they’ve got hard left, hard ball, corruption-as-usual politics…and the Democrats might pay a very high price next year for this failure to live up to their campaign rhetoric.