Scott Brown's NH Senate Hopes Buoyed by His First Poll Lead

Tuesday, 08 Apr 2014 11:16 PM

By Cathy Burke

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Republican Scott Brown will announce his bid for a Senate seat from New Hampshire Thursday, bolstered by a first-ever poll lead over Democratic incumbent Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, reports say.

The former senator from Massachusetts will make his long-anticipated announcement to run in the GOP primary at a campaign rally in Portsmouth, according to an email sent Monday to supporters, the Boston Globe reports.

The announcement will come as a poll commissioned by the Republican Governors Association and obtained by The Weekly Standard put Brown 5 points up on Shaheen.

According to the poll, 36 percent of those polled "definitely" would vote for Brown, while 13 percent said they'd "probably" vote for him, bringing his total support to 49 percent.

The same survey found that 37 percent said they'd "definitely" vote for Shaheen, and 6 percent said they'd "probably" vote for her, for a total of 44 percent support.

Seven percent said they did not know for whom they would vote.

The poll stands alone: Shaheen is an average 7.9 percentage points ahead of Brown, according to a Real Clear Politics average of polls.

Town Hall noted that the survey did not reveal any data explaining the breakdown of Republicans, Democrats and independents, "an important measurement we often use to sniff out partisan bias."

"The question must be asked," it said. "Is this survey an outlier, or evidence the race has swung in Brown’s favor after trailing in the polls for so long?"

Brown, who won a special election to the Senate in 2010 from his home state of Massachusetts – losing reelection two years later to Democrat Elizabeth Warren – announced his exploratory committee last month.

Shaheen, first elected in 2008 over Republican incumbent John Sununu, was among the freshman Democratic senators who voted for Obamacare – which 53 percent of New Hampshire residents now say they oppose, according to a WMUR Granite State Poll.

In his email to supporters, the Globe reported, Brown played up his ties to New Hampshire.

“Portsmouth played a special role in my childhood," he wrote, the Globe reported. “Now, Portsmouth is going to be the start of the next chapter in my life."

Brown's challengers in the GOP primary include former U.S. Sen. Bob Smith, former state Sen. Jim Rubens, and conservative activist Karen Testerman.

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