Shaheen, Brown N.H. Senate race too close to call

New Hampshire’s Senate race was once seen as a reliable Democratic win. Not anymore.

“For the third week in a row the Senate race between incumbent Democrat Senator Jeanne Shaheen and Republican challenger Scott Brown is a virtual tie,” reported the Oct. 24 New England College poll.

Brown, the former Massachusetts senator, leads Shaheen, 48.3 percent to 46.8 percent.

A big reason is President Barack Obama, whose approval numbrs have tumbled. “It’s all about Jeanne Shaheen and her 99 percent voting record” on key votes with Obama, said Wayne Lesperance, director of the Center for Civic Engagement, which includes the New England College Polling Institute. Brown’s recent success, he said, is aided by narrowing Shaheen’s lead among women to about 5 percentage points.

He noted, though, that Brown’s margin is “incredibly narrow and makes this race a statistical dead heat.”