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Oct 27, 2014 4:12 PM

Paul Steinhauser: New NH1/NEC poll Governor and Senate contests all knotted up

NH1 Political Director - NH1.com

CONCORD - With just over a week to go until Election Day, a new NH1 poll by New England College indicates that New Hampshire's crucial U.S. Senate race between Democratic Sen. Jeanne Shaheen and GOP challenger Scott Brown remains all tied up.

And according to the survey, which was released Monday, Democratic Gov. Maggie Hassan's lead over Republican nominee Walt Havenstein has disappeared, with the two candidates deadlocked among likely voters.

The poll also indicates former congressman Frank Guinta, the GOP challenger, building a lead over Democratic Rep. Carol Shea-Porter in the first congressional district three-peat battle. In the 2nd congressional district, the survey suggests that Democratic Rep. Annie Kuster continues to lead GOP state Rep. Marilinda Garcia.

The poll was conducted Friday evening, after four straight nights of NH1 debates in all four contests.

Hassan & Havenstein deadlocked

In the gubernatorial race, Hassan, a former state senator who was first elected governor in 2012, and Havenstein, are both at 47% among likely voters. Six percent were unsure or were backing other candidates. Last week Hassan held an eight-percentage point lead over Havenstein, a first-time candidate and former Marine and former chief operating officer of Nashua based defense contractor BAE Systems.

"Hassan has maintained a consistent lead, but over the past week the race has become a toss-up," said Wayne Lesperance, Professor of Political Science at New England College.
The poll indicates that Hassan's lead among women is down to nine points, with Havenstein now leading among men by nine points.

Senate race remains tied up

The automated telephone poll indicates that Shaheen, a former three-term New Hampshire governor who's running for a second term in the Senate, at 47% among likely Granite State voters. Brown, a former senator from Massachusetts who late last year moved to New Hampshire, where he long roots, is at 48%. Five percent said they were undecided or backing another candidate.

Brown's one-point margin, unchanged from last week, is well within the survey's sampling error.

According to the survey, Brown has a slightly larger advantage with male voters than Shaheen has with women. Shaheen has a slight three-point edge among independent voters.
"This race is a statistical dead heat. Brown's recent success comes from narrowing the lead Shaheen had with women to just under 5%," added Lesperance, Director of the Center for Civic Engagement which includes the New England College Polling Institute.

Guinta builds lead in 1st CD race

The battle between Shea-Porter and Guinta has seen some wild swings. Last week the race was all knotted up. In the new survey, Guinta holds a 49%-43% lead over Shea-Porter. This is the third straight election the two have faced off. Guinta knocked Shea-Porter out of Congress in the 2010 election. She returned the favor in 2012.

In the 2nd Congressional District, the poll indicates Kuster with a 49%-42% lead over Garcia.
The NH1 Poll by New England College was conducted October 24, with 1,132 likely voters in New Hampshire questioned by telephone. The survey was conducted using Interactive Voice Response technology, an automated polling system. The poll's overall sampling error is plus or minus 2.9 points.


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