Poll: NH Senate race tightens

 

A new independent survey shows the New Hampshire Senate race tightening considerably, with Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D) holding a 2-point lead over her likely Republican challenger, Scott Brown.

The survey, conducted by the University of New Hampshire Survey Center for WMUR, gives Shaheen 46 percent support among likely voters to Brown’s 44 percent support. Nine percent remain undecided.

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That’s a sizable shift from last month, when Shaheen held a 12-point lead on Brown.

She holds a much more comfortable lead on the other two potential Republican contenders, 14 points up on both former Sen. Bob Smith and former state Sen. Jim Rubens, but that also marks a decline in support for Shaheen in both match-ups since the last survey.

And her popularity has taken a serious hit over the past month. Now, 48 percent of New Hampshire adults have a favorable opinion of her, down from 57 percent last month, and 36 percent have an unfavorable opinion, up from 29 percent in July.

In contrast, Brown’s reputation has begun to improve, with voters near evenly split on him: 38 percent viewing him negatively and 36 percent viewing him positively.

Shaheen has maintained a solid lead on Brown in every survey of the race thus far, but Republicans predicted the race would tighten around Labor Day, as voters begin to tune into the contest. While this is the first survey to suggest such a shift, it might be an indication Republican attacks over the past month on Shaheen’s positions on immigration and her lack of town halls have hit their mark.

The survey was conducted among 827 adults, including 609 likely voters, via landlines and cellphones from Aug. 7-17, and has a margin of error for the overall sample of 3.4 percent, and a margin of error for the likely voter subsample of 4 percent.