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Scott Brown tied with Jeanne Shaheen in N.H. poll

But plans for N.H. aren’t set

Scott Brown is tied in a race he hasn’t entered yet.

Brown, the former senator from Massachusetts who is considering a run for a US Senate seat in New Hampshire, is neck and neck in a new poll with Democratic Senator Jeanne Shaheen.

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Though Brown has yet to clarify his intentions, he and Shaheen are knotted at 44 percent apiece in a poll conducted by Purple Strategies, a bipartisan public affairs firm.

The poll, which carries an error margin of 3 percent for the whole sample, was conducted Jan. 21 through Jan. 23 among 1,052 likely New Hampshire voters.

Enjoying a 9 percent lead among independents, Brown trails Shaheen, 38 percent to 46 percent, among women and leads, 51 percent to 40 percent, among men.

This year, New Hampshire holds political importance beyond its bellwether role as the nation’s first state to vote in a presidential primary. The US Senate, currently held by Democrats, is widely considered a tossup in the 2014 midterm elections.

A separate survey of 500 likely Massachusetts voters, which asked for their views on the gubernatorial campaign, found Democratic Attorney General Martha Coakley in a “strong, but vulnerable” position, according to pollster Doug Usher. Coakley leads Republican front-runner Charlie Baker 46 percent to 36 percent. When matched against Democratic Treasurer Steve Grossman, Baker sits on a marginal lead, 35 percent to 34 percent.

In a hypothetical 2016 presidential field, former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney would be the front-runner in the Granite State GOP primary field, with 25 percent of the vote. Behind Romney are Kentucky Senator Rand Paul, at 18 percent, then New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, at 17 percent, and former Florida governor Jeb Bush, at 13 percent.

Among Democrats, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton would own a commanding lead, with 68 percent of the vote. Distantly behind her is Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren, with 13 percent, followed by Vice President Joe Biden, at 6 percent.

In a head-to-head with Christie, Clinton sits on a statistically insignificant lead of 44 percent to 42 percent, and edges Bush, 46 percent to 42 percent.

The Virginia-based Purple Strategies was cofounded by Republican strategist Alex Castellanos and Democratic strategist Steve McMahon.

Jim O’Sullivan can be reached at Jim.OSullivan@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter at @JOSreports.
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