Democratic Senator Jeanne Shaheen (N.H.) holds a tenuous three-point lead over possible Republican challenger Scott Brown, according to a new poll.
Shaheen, who is up for reelection in 2014, leads Brown just 46-43 percent in the automated poll released by the Democratic firm Public Policy Polling (PPP) Wednesday afternoon.
The lead is just a slight dip from a four-point lead Shaheen held over Brown in a September poll from PPP.
Brown, who from 2010-2012 represented Massachusetts in the Senate, is by far the best performer against Shaheen; all other possible Republican opponents polled at least 14 points behind.
While Brown has not declared his intent to enter the race, he still enjoys a huge lead over his potential primary opponents, garnering 42 percent of likely Republican primary voters, compared to just 11 percent each for Andy Martin and Bob Smith.
Speculation that Brown will enter the race increased recently when his former campaign website from his days campaigning for Massachusetts senator was updated with a “coming soon” announcement.
Brown’s strong performance against Shaheen comes despite poor favorability numbers as just 34 percent of Granite State residents view him favorably while 40 percent view him unfavorably.
Republicans and Democrats were quick to spar over the poll’s implications. Justin Barasky, press secretary for the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, touted that Shaheen’s lead remained unchanged despite hundreds of thousands of dollars in negative ads being run against her following the botched rollout of ObamaCare in October and November.
Meanwhile, Brad Dayspring, a strategist for the National Republican Senatorial Committee, said Democrats were showing a “sign of weakness” by touting a Democratic poll that indicated a statistical tie.
PPP’s poll surveyed 1,354 New Hampshire voters from January 9-12 and had a margin of error of +/- 2.7 percent for the general election questions and +/-4.4 percent for questions about the Republican primary.