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May 19, 2015 2:46 PM

New NH1 News Poll: 61 percent say Guinta should stay, 39 percent say he should go

NH1 Political Director - NH1.com

CONCORD – Some of the top Republican politicians in the Granite State are urging embattled GOP Rep. Frank Guinta to resign, but a new poll indicates he still has the support of much of the Republican base in his congressional district. But the survey suggests there's a wide generational divide.

According to an NH1 News poll released Tuesday, 61% of registered Republicans in New Hampshire’s 1st Congressional District say that Guinta shouldn’t resign after admitting he accepted improper campaign contributions. Thirty-nine percent of 1st CD Republicans questioned in the automated survey said that Guinta should step down.

Monday Sen. Kelly Ayotte, the only other Republican in the state’s congressional delegation, urged Guinta to resign, saying in a statement provided to NH1 News that “this is a decision he needs to make, but if I were in his position, that’s what I would do.”

And the top two Republicans in the State House, Senate President Chuck Morse and House Speaker Shawn Jasper, also urged Guinta to step down.

But in an interview Monday with NH1 News, the congressman said “no” when asked if he would resign, adding that “I feel that once all the questions are answered, we can put this matter behind us, the settlement is behind me and I can continue focusing on what people elected me to do.”

Guinta’s been taking incoming fire since last week after he settled with the Federal Election Commission for breaking campaign finance laws in the 2010 election, when he first ran for Congress. Guinta, at the time a former mayor of Manchester, narrowly won a three-way GOP primary before topping incumbent Democratic Rep. Carol Shea-Porter in the general election.

The FEC reported that Guinta accepted nearly $400,000 in donations from a bank account controlled by his parents, which broke campaign finance laws. Monday he sat down with NH1News to show financial documents that he says proves the money in his parents’ account belonged to him.

The FEC ordered that Guinta pay a $15,000 fine and repay the $355,000 in campaign contributions.

The poll indicates that older and younger Republicans in the district don't agree when it comes to Guinta. Fifty-six percent of those age 18 to 40 say Guinta should resign. That number drops to 41% among those age 41 to 64. And only 36% of those 65 and older say Guinta should step down.

There’s a slight gender divide in the poll, with 58% of women saying Guinta should stay in office. That number edges up to 63.5% for men.

The poll was conducted Monday evening and Tuesday morning, with 575 registered Republicans questioned by telephone, using an automated dialing system. The survey’s sampling error is plus or minus four percentage points.

The poll was conducted by Reach Communications, a New Hampshire owned and operated survey and marketing firm run by two longtime GOP operatives who are not taking sides in the 2016 GOP nomination race.

The survey was conducted by Reach Communications, a New Hampshire owned and operated survey and marketing firm run by two longtime GOP operatives. Both operatives did work for Guinta's mayoral campaigns over a decade ago.


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