Scott Brown — still mulling a run for a Senate seat in New Hampshire — has pulled into a neck-and-neck race with the Democratic incumbent Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, a new poll showed Thursday.
Brown, a former Republican senator from Massachusetts who hasn’t formally announced his intentions, and Shaheen, running for a second six-year term, each has 44 percent of the vote in the survey by the bipartisan polling firm Purple Strategies.
The analysis termed the vote across party lines "additional trouble" for Shaheen: independents favor Brown by 48-39 percent; Shaheen carries Democrats with 87 percent compared with only 6 percent favoring Brown; and Brown holds the GOP with 76 percent over 9 percent who support Shaheen.
"If Brown can capture his potential base, Shaheen will need to reverse the trend among independents or will trail," the poll analysis stated. "This race is clearly competitive in 2014."
The poll has a plus or minus 3 percentage point margin of error.
In a Public Policy Polling survey released last week,
Shaheen held a slim 3-point advantage, 46 percent to 43 percent, over Brown, who last year moved back to his home state from Massachusetts.
Brown won the 2010 race for the Senate seat held by the late Ted Kennedy, but lost it two years later
to Democrat Elizabeth Warren.
And he could face in-party competition if he does decide to enter the Senate race; former Sen. Bob Smith recently announced his intentions to reestablish his residence in New Hampshire and run for his old seat, according to The Republican
, a Springfield, Mass. newspaper.
Former state Sen. Jim Rubens and conservative activist Karen Testerman are also running.
The Purple Strategies survey also tallied results for a hypothetical 2016 presidential field, finding former GOP White House candidate and ex-Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney the front-runner in the New Hampshire primary field, with 25 percent of the vote. Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul had 18 percent, followed by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie with 17 percent and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush with 13 percent.
Among Democrats, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton leads with 68 percent of the vote, followed by Warren with 13 percent and Vice President Joe Biden at 6 percent.
In a head-to-head match-up with Christie, Clinton leads 44 percent to 42 percent. She is ahead of Bush 46 percent to 42 percent, the poll found.
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