The meme: Sarah Palin's endorsement of Kelly Ayotte last week has severely damaged her standing among moderate voters. Her net favorability in this group decreased from + 5 in April to -19.
I'm a little skeptical that an endorsement -- any endorsement -- would change voters' opinions so quickly. But given that PPP explicitly asked respondents about the Palin endorsement, the change seems plausible (though one must consider that the margin of error for survey results regarding subgroups such as "moderates" would be higher than the 3.3 M of E for the entire survey).
But here's the funny thing: while the Palin endorsement allegedly had a dramatic effect among New Hampshire moderates, it had very little effect among liberal voters.
Ayotte's fav/unfavorables among liberals, April: 17/43.
Fav/unfavorables among liberals, July: 27/54.
Net favorability change, April to July: -1.
Even more interesting is Ayotte's support among liberals in the head-to-head matchup with Hodes:
April: Hodes leads Ayotte among liberals, 81 percent to a mere 8 percent for the Republican.
July: Hodes's lead among liberals decreases to 68-21.
Bottom line: Ayotte's support among liberals, against the Democratic candidate, more than doubled in the last three months, according to PPP. Hodes's support, in contrast, decreased.
Again, one needs to take survey subgroup breakouts with a grain of salt. And the Democrats might well hope that this is just an example of small-sample variation.
The alternative is to think that, given a choice between Hodes and a Sarah Palin-endorsed conservative, only two of three support the Democrat.
In addition, according to PPP, the percentage of liberals who view Hodes unfavorably has doubled over the last few months.
Hodes's fav/unfavorable among liberals, April: 60/10
Hodes's fav/unfavorable among liberals, July: 55/24
In other words, of the nearly 80 percent of liberals who have an opinion about the Democratic candidate, 30 percent view him unfavorably.