Sen. Jeanne Shaheen would pull off a 10-point victory over Scott Brown and do even better against three other potential Republican challengers if the election were held today, a poll has found.
The WMUR Granite State Poll
conducted Jan. 21-26 found that the New Hampshire Democrat has 47 percent support among likely voters, compared to Brown, a former Republican senator from Massachusetts, who would get 37 percent in a match-up.
Brown has yet to throw his hat into the ring, but he would fare better against Shaheen than each of the three other Republicans in the race, including former Sen. Bob Smith, who would draw 36 percent support in a match-up against the incumbent. State Sen. Jim Rubens, another potential GOP candidate, would get 32 percent, and political activist Karen Testerman would pull 29 percent of the vote.
"Scott Brown is an enigma in New Hampshire politics. He has left Massachusetts and established residency in New Hampshire and is actively involved in Republican politics in the state. However, he has been coy about running for Senate, so far resisting calls from Republicans to challenge Shaheen," researchers noted in a report on the survey.
The survey of 584 people also found that Sheehan's favorability in the Granite State has slipped by 7 points since October, with 50 percent viewing her favorably compared to 34 percent who view her unfavorably. Nevertheless, she enjoys double-digit leads over all of her potential Republican challengers.
Even though Brown currently matches up best against Shaheen, he is viewed unfavorably by Granite Staters, with a 38 percent negative rating compared to 27 percent who have a positive view of him.
"Brown is the best-known of potential challengers to Shaheen, but he is not very popular," the survey analysis also noted.
The poll's findings sharply contrast with a poll released Thursday
that showed Brown and Shaheen neck-and-neck at 44 percent.
Another poll, released on Jan. 15,
gave Shaheen a 3-point lead over Brown, at 46 percent versus 43 percent.
In the current poll, only 10 percent of likely voters say they have definitely decided whom to support in the race, compared to 81 percent who are still trying to decide and 9 percent who say they are leaning toward a particular candidate.
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