A resident of New Hampshire who feels confident about the state’s economy is also likely to feel confident about the governor and lawmakers in the Legislature.
A Granite Stater who feels pessimistic about the nation’s economy is likely to have negative feelings about their representation in Washington, D.C.
When considered together, four recent polls by the University of New Hampshire Survey Center bear this out.
The most recent is the Aug. 26 BIA Report on Consumer Confidence, which was done by the survey center in cooperation with the New Hampshire Business and Industry Association (BIA).
It shows that while New Hampshire residents are upbeat about the state’s economy, they are not so optimistic about the U.S. economy.
According to the survey center, when asked how New Hampshire businesses will do over the next year, nearly half of Granite Staters (46 percent) think state business will enjoy good times financially, 27 percent think they will experience bad times, and 27 percent anticipate mixed conditions. While there is no sign of improvement, these figures are consistent with views prior to the 2008 recession.
Expectations that the U.S. economy will improve in the next year have remained steady, but are worse than expectations about N.H., according to the survey center: Currently, 39 percent of New Hampshire adults think that business in the country as a whole are in for good times financially over the next 12 months, 40 percent think businesses will have bad times, and 21 percent think conditions will be mixed.
“Nearly half of New Hampshire residents believe the state’s economic climate is good and will remain steady, and that’s a good sign,” said BIA President Jim Roche in a survey center statement.
“I believe that reflects confidence that our state’s elected leaders will continue to work together, in a bipartisan fashion, to create business friendly policy that moves the state’s economy forward. However, we should not forget about the impact decisions in Washington have on New Hampshire’s economy and encourage our federal leaders to adopt the same level of discourse and consensus so that businesses everywhere, including New Hampshire, can continue to grow, add jobs and keep the economy moving forward.”
The numbers support his view.
While Granite Staters seem to feel OK about incumbent Democratic U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, who faces re-election in 2014, the same can’t be said for incumbent Democratic U.S. Reps. Carol Shea-Porter in the 1st Congressional District and Annie Kuster in the 2nd CD.
The Granite State Poll from Aug. 1 showed pluralities of New Hampshire adults prefer someone else getting elected instead of the incumbent congresswomen.
And President Barack Obama, as a lame duck president, doesn’t get high marks either.
A Granite State Poll from July 30 shows Obama’s economic approval ratings remain low with only 45 percent of New Hampshire adults approving of how Obama is handling the economy, 50 percent disapprove, and 5 percent are neutral.
Meanwhile, state leaders — Democratic and Republican — are polling well in terms of their favorability, buttressed by a bipartisan sense of cooperation that is absent in Washington and therefore frustrating voters.
The Granite State Poll from July 31 shows approval of Democratic Gov. Maggie Hassan and the Legislature (with its Democratic controlled House and GOP controlled Senate) is high.
Hassan and lawmakers also face re-election in 2014.
Paul Briand is an editor with the Live Free or Die Alliance, a non-profit, non-partisan organization that encourages the discussion and analysis of New Hampshire politics and policies.