Who Knows Hodes?

In November, Paul Hodes was one of five freshman elected to the House of Representatives as part of the Democrats’ sweep.

Since then? Not much to say, according to voters in his home state of New Hampshire.

More than a third of Granite state voters did not know enough about him to say whether they had a favorable opinion of him or not, according to a poll released Friday by the University of New Hampshire. Researchers found that 29% of voters in the second district had a favorable opinion of Hodes, 14% had an unfavorable opinion, 18% were neutral, and 39% had never heard of Hodes, who beat out 5-term Republican incumbent Charlie Bass.

In his first few months in office, Hodes has voted in favor of the bill to raise the minimum wage and the nonbinding resolution to oppose a troop increase in Iraq. However, his relative political anonymity has not escaped the notice of the local press. “U. S. Rep Paul Hodes was elected to Congress nearly four months ago, but he still feels he’s a mystery to many of the voters who sent him there,” wrote Daniel Barrick on Friday.

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee boosted Hodes during the last election by including him in its Red-to-Blue program for strong challengers; the party is determined to keep him around in 2008, and has named him to its early fundraising Frontline Program for vulnerable incumbents.

– Beth Schwartzapfel

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