It's just not that easy running for statewide office, even in a small state like New Hampshire.
In my colleague Andrew Smith's latest UNH poll, two-term Congressman Paul Hodes has the support of 72 percent of self-identified Democrats against former Attorney General Kelly Ayotte.
To put that number in perspective, I pulled data from previous UNH surveys from:
- October 3-10, 2002
- September 27 - October 3, 2004
- September 14-21, 2008
As the graph indicates, Hodes's base support significantly trails Jeanne Shaheen's support in both her 2002 and 2008 Senate runs. Of course, Shaheen was already a household name by 2002, given that she already had won three terms as governor by then. Hodes, in contrast, has appeared three times on the ballot in the Second Congressional District only, from 2004 through 2008.
Perhaps a more instructive point of comparison is John Lynch, whose base support in early October 2004 is identical to Hodes's support now.
It's worthy of note that, unlike Hodes, Lynch was new to statewide politics in 2004. In fact, he did not even announce his candidacy for governor until the summer of that year -- again, unlike Hodes, who announced his bid for the Senate 20 months ago.