Oct 22, 2014 4:10 PM

Paul Steinhauser: New NH1 Poll - Senate race deadlocked; Hassan up 8 in governor's race

NH1 Political Director - NH1.com

CONCORD - Two hours before Democratic Gov. Maggie Hassan and Republican challenger Walt Havenstein face off in an NH1 debate, the first televised showdown between the two candidates, a new survey indicates Hassan with a single digit lead over Havenstein.

And the NH1 poll by New England College also indicates that New Hampshire's crucial U.S. Senate race is all tied up between Democratic incumbent Jeanne Shaheen and GOP nominee Scott Brown.

According to the survey, Hassan leads Havenstein 51% to 43% among likely voters in the battle for governor. Hassan's eight percentage point advantage is up from a five point margin in last week's poll.

"Of all of the races we've polled since primary day, the Governor's race has been remarkably consistent, showing a sustained lead for Governor Hassan," said Wayne Lesperance, Professor of Political Science at New England College.

The poll indicates Hassan with a 12-point lead over Havenstein among women and a four point edge among men. Hassan enjoys slightly strong support among Democrats than Havenstein has among Republicans, and she has a six point advantage among independent voters.

Hassan, who was first elected in 2012, is running for a second term as governor. Havenstein, a former Marine and former chief operating officer of Nashua based BAE Systems, a defense contractor, is a first time candidate. The race between the two has turned negative, with sharp differences of opinion on state fiscal matters and over health care. The NH1 debate will be broadcast live on WBIN at 7pm.

Shaheen-Brown deadlocked

In the Senate race, the poll indicates Brown at 48% and Shaheen at 47% among likely voters. The results are unchanged from last week. Brown's one point margin is well within the survey's sampling error, meaning the race is virtually deadlocked.

"The big news is that Senator Shaheen's advantage among women is dwindling. Looking back to our September 24th Poll, Senator Shaheen enjoyed a 12 point lead among women over Brown. In this most recent poll, her lead among women is down to just over three percent," added Lesperance, director of the Center for Civic Engagement which includes the New England College Polling Institute.

Shaheen and Brown face off Thursday in an NH1 debate with CNN, the second of three of the two candidates televised debates. The showdown will be broadcast live on WBIN at 7pm Thursday.

The Shaheen-Brown showdown is one of a dozen Senate contests nationwide that could determine whether the Democrats retain control of the chamber following the Midterm elections. Democrats currently control the Senate 55-45 (43 Democrats and two independents who caucus with the party) but are defending 21 of the 36 seats up for grabs next month. And half of the seats they are defending are in red or purple states like New Hampshire.

The NH1 Poll by New England College was conducted October 16, with 921 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 3.2 percentage points.


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