Former U.S. senator Scott Brown speaks at the SALT conference in Las Vegas in this file photo from May 16, 2014.
Rick Wilking/Reuters

Scott Brown closing in on Democrat Sen. Jeanne Shaheen

Updated

With less than three months left until the midterm elections, Republican Scott Brown and Democrat Sen. Jeanne Shaheen are in a dead heat in New Hampshire, according to the latest poll.

That’s bad news for the Democratic incumbent — Shaheen’s been fending off a challenge from the former Massachusetts Republican senator all summer. While Shaheen has led polls since the spring, today’s report shows that Brown may be a viable threat, despite what Senate Majority Leader Sen. Harry Reid thinks.

Shaheen has attacked Brown with the claims that he is a carpetbagger candidate. Brown has long had a vacation home in New Hampshire, but only moved to the state permanently in late 2013. He lost a moneyed and high-profile bid in Massachusetts two years ago against Sen.  Elizabeth Warren,

After some high-profile endorsements — notably from Mitt Romney at Fancy Farm — Brown’s campaign has picked up steam and, according Friday’s University of New Hampshire and WMUR poll, would earn 44% of the votes if the election was held today. 

Shaheen would win 46% of the votes, giving her a lead that’s well within the margin of error (plus or minus 3.4% from a sample of 827 voters.)

It appears that Brown’s attempts to tie Shaheen to the president are working in his favor: The poll notes that national politics—particularly President Obama’s declining popularity—appear to be weighing her down. With the 59% of voters who disapprove of Obama, Brown leads 71% to 17%, while Shaheen has a strong hold on voters who approve of the president, with 92% of them saying they support her. Shaheen’s popularity is still high in the state , despite a decline — 48% of those surveyed have a favorable opinion of the senator, down nearly 10 points from a month ago. 

Nonetheless, Brown isn’t popular in the state: 38% of New Hampshire residents have an unfavorable opinion of the former senator, while 36% have a favorable opinion of him, the poll found. 

“Despite more than $3.5 million in dishonest and negative attacks from the Koch Brothers, Big Oil and other special interests that want Scott Brown back in the Senate voting to protect their special breaks, Jeanne Shaheen is still leading all of her potential opponents because Granite State voters know and trust her,” the senator’s campaign said in a statement.

Scott Brown

Scott Brown closing in on Democrat Sen. Jeanne Shaheen

Updated