Shaheen expands lead over Scott Brown

Former Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown is taking a hit from a recent barrage of attacks from Democratic groups as he continues to flirt with a Senate bid in New Hampshire. 

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The new survey, conducted by Democratic firm Public Policy Polling for the League of Conservation Voters, shows Democratic Sen. Jeanne Shaheen expanding her lead over Brown — who isn’t in the race, but has made no secret of his interest in it.

Shaheen now has 47 percent support to Brown’s 39 percent support among New Hampshire voters in the automated poll.

The last PPP survey of the race, conducted in early January, showed Shaheen leading Brown by just three points.

New Hampshire voters' perception of Brown has declined since that last poll. The share of voters viewing him unfavorably has risen seven percent, to 47 percent, in the new survey, while the share viewing him positively has stayed stable at 34 percent.

While Shaheen is favored for reelection, Democrats realize Brown, with his starpower and fundraising ability, could make the race competetive for Republicans if he does decide to run.

Voters remain split on Shaheen, with 46 percent disapproving of her job performance while 45 percent approve, an indication the right Republican could take advantage of her vulnerabilities in a midterm year.

But Democrats have worked to tank his popularity in the state to cripple him early on and dissuade him from running. Outside groups have launched a barrage of attacks against him, most recently one from the LCV focused on his record on environmental issues.

The survey seems to indicate that the barrage of negative attacks from Democratic groups like the League of Conservation voters has had their intended effect of tanking his popularity in the state.

The automated survey was conducted among 686 New Hampshire voters from Feb. 19-20 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.7 percentage points.