Shaheen holds slim lead over Brown

A new independent poll shows Sen. Jeanne ShaheenCynthia (Jeanne) Jeanne ShaheenGOP holds on Biden nominees set back gains for women in top positions Sununu setback leaves GOP scrambling in New Hampshire Three female senators call NYT coverage of Sinema's clothes 'sexist' MORE (D-N.H.) holding a slim lead over former Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown (R) in the New Hampshire Senate race.

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The poll, conducted by Suffolk University for the Boston Herald, gives Shaheen 49 percent support to Brown's 46 percent support among likely voters.

That's an increase in support for Brown from the last Suffolk University poll, conducted in June, which showed Shaheen taking 49 percent and Brown trailing her by 10 percentage points.

Both candidates have been hit with a barrage of attacks from outside groups since the June poll, so Shaheen's consistency, and Brown's growth in support, are both notable. 

But the poll suggests Brown is struggling to topple Shaheen because of persistent skepticism among his base. It shows Shaheen taking more than 40 percent of GOP primary voters who backed one of Brown's opponents, voters who were expected to come back home to the GOP post primary.

The poll also shows Brown taking on serious water, now seen unfavorably by 48 percent of voters, while 39 percent view him favorably. Shaheen is viewed more positively than negatively.

Most polling has given Shaheen a slim but solid lead in the race, and this latest survey adds to the pressure mounting on Brown to perform during the candidates' two debates this week. Shaheen, however, is taking no chances, and will get campaign help from Brown's last opponent, Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), who went on to win.

The survey was conducted among 500 likely voters via landline and cellphone from Oct. 16-19 and has a margin of error of 4.4 percent.