Politics

Jeanne Shaheen leads Scott Brown in new poll

The poll, by the University of New Hampshire Survey Center, showed Senator Jeanne Shaheen, a former three-term governor, remains a popular figure.

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The poll, by the University of New Hampshire Survey Center, showed Senator Jeanne Shaheen, a former three-term governor, remains a popular figure.

Senator Jeanne Shaheen, the New Hampshire Democrat who is gearing up for a tough reelection fight, leads all potential Republican challengers, although Scott Brown, who officially entered the race Thursday, would be the most formidable opponent, according to a new poll.

The WMUR Granite State Poll showed Shaheen edging Brown, the former Massachusetts senator, by 45 percent to 39 percent, with 14 percent undecided.

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Former senator Bob Smith would pose the next strongest challenge to Shaheen, trailing her 48 percent to 34 percent. The other two Republicans in the race — State Senator Jim Rubens and conservative activist Karen Testerman — lag further behind.

The poll, by the University of New Hampshire Survey Center, showed Shaheen, a former three-term governor, remains a popular figure, with 49 percent of respondents saying they had a favorable opinion of her, and 35 percent an unfavorable view, a 14 percent difference. That is a slight drop from the last poll in January, when the spread was 16 points,

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Brown is viewed unfavorably, although he has the most name recognition in the GOP field. About 29 percent of respondents said they had a favorable opinion of Brown, while 39 had an unfavorable. The rest were either neutral or said they didn’t know enough about him to have formed a view.

The poll of 507 randomly selected New Hampshire adults had a margin of error of plus or minus 4.4 percentage points.

Michael Levenson can be reached at mlevenson@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @mlevenson.
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