October 29, 2014


Shaheen Popular in N.H., But Struggles With D.C. Albatross (Scott Conroy, October 29, 2014, RCP)

According to the latest RealClearPolitics polling average, Shaheen still leads Scott Brown -- the former Republican senator from Massachusetts -- by 2.2 percentage points.

But her dwindling edge in the polls, combined with a palpable energy shift on the ground, has left little doubt that the momentum has swung in Brown's favor over the last couple of weeks.

Shaheen's surprisingly precarious position is not due to the charisma deficit she faces against her garrulous and telegenic opponent.  Voters here know and like Shaheen, who is the first woman in the country ever to be elected both senator and governor -- a position she held in Concord from 1997 to 2003.

In a CNN poll released last week, 52 percent of likely voters had a favorable opinion of her, while only 45 percent had an unfavorable one.

And it's not that Shaheen's message has failed to hit home. Even in a state where about two-thirds of adults were born elsewhere, according to the Boston Globe, Shaheen's characterization of Brown as a carpetbagging political opportunist appears to have resonated, at least somewhat. 

The same CNN poll showed that only 48 percent of voters had a favorable opinion of Brown, while 50 percent had an unfavorable view of the Massachusetts transplant, who established residency here less than a year ago.  

And yet, even with the advantages of incumbency, voters' familiarity with her, and the political trend in a state that has tilted Democratic in recent years, the race has become something close to a tossup -- a trend that could portend doom for the Democrats' hopes of retaining their Senate majority.

NH has been blessed with an unusually competent string of governors--of both parties--going all the way back to John Sununu.  I confess  to not even knowing who the GOP candidates were on Election Day, because it seemed likely that Maggie Hassan would win in a walk.  But even her lead is down to 4 points and she's not going to survive if both House seats and the Senate seat change hands.  Hassan and Shaheen are as good a top of the ticket as the Democrats could possibly hope for and they may be going down the drain.

NEC poll: Havenstein moves to dead heat with Hassan (John DiStaso, Oct 27, 2014, NH Journal)

The latest New England College poll, released this evening, shows that suddenly Republican candidate for governor Walt Havenstein has turned an 8 percentage point deficit into a virtual tie.
The NEC poll, completed for NH1 News, shows Hassan ahead of Havenstein, but only by 47.2 to 46.9 percent, well within the 2.9 percent margin of error. Last week's poll had Hassan at 50.7 percent and Havenstein at 42.5 percent.

Posted by at October 29, 2014 5:49 PM

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