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NEC Poll: Shaheen and Brown Deadlocked. Guinta Builds Momentum.

Hillary Clinton, Jeb Bush, and Chris Christie Early Presidential Primary Favorites

In its final poll before Election Day, Tuesday, November 4, the New England College Polling Institute finds that the race for US Senate between incumbent Democrat Senator Jeanne Shaheen and Republican challenger Scott Brown is a virtual tie. Dr. Wayne Lesperance, Professor of Political Science at New England College and Director of the Center for Civic Engagement which includes the New England College Polling Institute, said “This poll follows the final set of televised debates and comes just a few days before Election Day. It is the fourth week in a row that the Senate race is a statistical tie, and the third week in row that Scott Brown enjoys a very modest lead. The Senate race will come right down to the wire.”

Former Representative Frank Guinta continues to build his lead over Representative Carol Shea-Porter in the First Congressional District. Incumbent Governor Maggie Hassan and Second Congressional District Democrat Representative Anne McLane Kuster maintain what appear to be solid leads.

This week the New England College Poll also asked voters to look ahead and share their candidate preference for New Hampshire’s First in the Nation Presidential Primary. Response options were randomized. On the Democratic side, Hillary Clinton far outpaces her rivals. On the Republican side, Jeb Bush placed first followed by Chris Christie.

United States Senate

Scott Brown continues to hold a very small lead over Senator Jeanne Shaheen, 48.7% to 48.2%. According to Lesperance, “A half percent margin is exceedingly narrow. This race is a complete toss-up.” 1.4% of respondents would prefer another candidate and 1.7% are unsure. “Looking inside the numbers,” continued Lesperance, “It is interesting to note that Senator Shaheen’s lead among women is 6.8% while Scott Brown leads among men by 8.9%. Independents appear relatively evenly split, leaning towards Scott Brown by a modest 2.6%.”

“With a race this close, all eyes turn to the little things,” noted Lesperance. “Do voters who need transportation have a way to get to the polls? Will the lines be long? Will same day registrants have any trouble casting their vote? Judging by the number of calls being made this weekend to prospective voters, both campaigns are grasping for every single vote. There is of course one factor campaigns cannot control,” added Lesperance, “the weather.”

Congressional District-1

For the second week in a row, the New England College Poll shows Republican Frank Guinta expanding his lead over incumbent First Congressional District Democrat Representative Carol Shea-Porter 52.2% to 42.9%. “This week’s poll results show continued momentum for Guinta’s campaign,” said Lesperance. “Of particular interest is that Guinta and Shea-Porter nearly evenly split female voters.” According to the poll, 2.3% said they preferred another candidate while 2.6% of respondents were not sure who they would support.

Congressional District-2

Second Congressional District Democrat Representative Anne McLane Kuster remains ahead of Republican challenger Marilinda Garcia. In this week’s poll, Kuster leads Garcia 52.8% to 41.7%. According to Lesperance, “This week’s poll results are encouraging for Representaive Kuster as she has sustained a solid lead. Kuster has a significant lead among independents 53.4% to 39.6%, and among women 57.5% to 36.2%.” Respondents preferring another candidate were at 3.2% with 2.3% not sure.

Governor’s Race

Once again, Democrat Governor Maggie Hassan has a significant lead over Republican challenger Walt Havenstein 51% to 43.7%. “This margin over Havenstein is a return to similar results from weeks’ past,” observed Lesperance. It may indicate that last week’s poll results for Governor, which showed Havenstein gaining, were an outlier.” 2.4% indicated they would vote for another candidate and 2.9% said they were not sure.

NH Voter Opinion: Presidential Primary Candidate Preference

This week’s New England College Poll asked voters to share their initial candidate preference for New Hampshire’s First in the Nation Presidential Primary. On the Democratic side, Hillary Clinton easily beats the second place choice, Elizabeth Warren, 53.1% to 16.8%. Rounding out the top five other Democrats were Bernie Sanders (7%), Joe Biden (5.8%), and Martin O’Malley (2.3%). 10% of respondents indicated they would prefer ‘someone else’.

On the Republican side of the Presidential primary question, Jeb Bush placed first with 17.3% followed by Chris Christie (14.7%), Ted Cruz (10.4%), Mike Huckabee (9.9%) and Rand Paul (7.9%). 22% of respondents selected the ‘someone else’ option. The New England College Poll did not include Mitt Romney as an option.

This New England College Poll was conducted on October 31, and November 1, 2014 using Interactive Voice Response technology, an automated polling system. A total of 1,526 responses were obtained: 778 from registered likely NH voters in Congressional District 1 and 748 from registered likely NH voters in Congressional District 2. The margin of error for questions about the Gubernatorial and Senate races is +/- 2.51%. The margin of error for questions about the CD1 race is +/- 3.51%, and for CD2, +/- 3.58%. The margin of error for the question about the Republican Presidential Primary is +/- 3.66%, and for the question about the Democratic Presidential Primary is +/- 4.06%.

This is the eighth and final in a series of weekly polls conducted by New England College through Election Day, November 4, 2014. For additional information, including previous polls, please visit:

Poll Results & Crosstabs