The latest poll by the UNH Survey Center, overseen by Smith, indicates the gubernatorial race is up for grabs. Twenty-nine percent of the 773 New Hampshire residents polled between Oct. 17 and 21 said they are undecided.
“I think that is an indication no one is really paying attention to this race,” he said.
That means voters will tend to support the party’s candidate instead of the specific individual running for office, Smith said.
The poll, released Tuesday, says 37 percent support Hassan, 31 percent back Lamontagne, 2 percent endorse Libertarian candidate John Babiarz and 1 percent favor another candidate. The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 percent.
Scala agreed voters will likely back their party’s candidate if they are not familiar with the person running. The winner of the gubernatorial race will replace popular four-term Gov. John Lynch, a Democrat.
“It’s downshifting to the bottom of the ballot, which isn’t surprising,” Scala said. “You have two gubernatorial candidates who are not very well known.”
Scala said that downshifting also will have a big impact on the state Legislature, where many Democrats are seeking to return to the House and Senate after a Republican landslide two years ago.
“I think they are going to make up a lot of ground in the state Legislature,” he said.