Gov. Chris Sununu's popularity appears to be waning as people in New Hampshire start to care less about the state's response to COVID-19 and more about social issues that affect residents.

Only 10 percent of participants in the most recent Granite State Poll said COVID-19 is the most important problem facing the state of New Hampshire.

In November of 2020, 48 percent of respondents said COVID-19 was the most important problem facing the Granite State.

According to the authors of the survey results, Sununu continues to have high job approval ratings but they have been on a downward trend for the past several months.

Sununu currently has a 63 percent approval rating, with 92 percent of Republicans and 71 percent of independents making up a majority of that number.

According to the survey, Sununu's approval rating among Democrats has fallen for six consecutive months. With an approval rating of 30 percent from Democrats, that is the lowest that number has been since March of 2020.

Sununu's decision to pass the $13.5 billion two-year state budget with the Fetal Life Protection Act may have hurt his approval ratings with voters.

One of the provisions in the bill would ban abortion after 24 weeks, except for emergencies involving the health of the mother. There are not currently any exceptions for rape, incest or fetal abnormalities.

A doctor caught performing an abortion banned by this policy could be charged with a felony.

While 74 percent of Republicans support the policy, 80 percent of Democrats are opposed to it, according to the poll.

The poll had a margin of error at plus or minus 2.3 percentage points.

Over the past few weeks, Amplify New Hampshire has been working to raise awareness about the abortion ban.

They flew a banner plane over Hampton Beach and Portsmouth with a sign that read, "End Sununu's Abortion Ban Call 603-271-2121."

The group has distributed yard signs across the state saying, "End Sununu's Abortion Ban."

They also set up a “Stop Sununu’s Abortion Ban” mobile billboard outside of the State House in Concord on the day the legislature voted on the budget.

"It’s no coincidence that Governor Sununu’s approval ratings are dropping this summer. Governor Sununu broke the trust Granite Staters placed in him when he signed a state budget loaded with radical conservative policies,” said Craig Brown, executive director of Amplify New Hampshire, in a statement issued on Monday.

On July 1, Democratic leaders gathered in Portsmouth to hold a press conference where they discussed what they called Sununu's "extreme, anti-choice budget."

Sununu is being wooed by Republicans at the national level to run for Senate against U.S. Sen. Maggie Hassan, D-NH, and poll preparers at the University of New Hampshire Survey Center said the 2022 race in New Hampshire "could be a barnburner."

A University of New Hampshire Survey Center poll published on Thursday found that Sununu leads Hassan by a single percentage point when voters were asked who they would support for U.S. Senate. Sununu received 49 percent support from potential voters, while Hassan had 48 percent support.

The poll had a margin of error at plus or minus 2.3 percentage points.

Pollsters also examined a match-up between Hassan and former U.S. Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-NH.

They found that 49 percent of people taking the survey center poll would support Hassan while 45 percent would vote for Ayotte.

Ayotte served as a U.S. Senator from 2011 to 2017. She was the attorney general of New Hampshire from 2004 to 2009.

Contact Managing News Editor Kimberley Haas at Kimberley.Haas@townsquaremedia.com.

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