A new poll released Thursday by Suffolk University and the Boston Herald shows that Republican Scott Brown trails Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) by 10 points in his bid to defeat the incumbent. Brown, formerly a Senator from Massachusetts until Democrat Elizabeth Warren defeated him in 2012, decided to try his luck in New Hampshire rather than face-off against Democrat Ed Markey in Massachusetts in 2014. While the former Senator and pin-up model has tried hard to convince New Hampshire voters that he has always considered New Hampshire just as much his home state as Massachusetts, voters still aren’t buying what he’s selling.
Shaheen leads Brown 49% to 39% in this recent poll. The poll also shows a relatively small number of undecided voters, with less than 9% of respondents claiming they have yet to make up their mind, with another 2.5% stating that they support Libertarian candidate Gardner Goldsmith. With Shaheen at nearly 50% already, there is precious little wiggle room for Brown to garner additional support from voters. Making matters worse for the Brown campaign, Shaheen’s favorability rating far exceeds that of Brown. 52% of voters hold a favorable view of Shaheen while only 36% see her in a negative light. On the flip side, only 35% of New Hampshire voters like Brown, compared to 46% who have an unfavorable view of him.
And it isn’t like Shaheen is riding the President’s coattails in an extremely progressive state. While President Obama did carry the state in 2012, his current approval rating in New Hampshire is less than 40%. Obviously, voters aren’t holding Obama’s relatively low approval numbers against Shaheen in this particular election. The same holds true for the Governor’s race. Democratic Governor Maggie Hassan leads all Republican and Libertarian challengers by at least 30 points. This November will be a cakewalk for the Governor.
There was a very interesting finding in this poll regarding the Presidential race in 2016. With the GOP field wide open, the pollsters gave Republican voters two lists of potential candidates to choose from. The first list included names of GOP candidates that have expressed some interest in running for the White House. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) leads on that list, but with only 13% of the vote. New Jersey Governor Chris Christie is in second at 12%. Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) and former Florida Governor Jeb Bush are essentially tied at 8%. 25% of voters state they are undecided.
However, on the second list, 2012 Republican nominee Mitt Romney was added. Romney pulled in 24% of the vote, with no other candidate cracking 10%. With Romney in the field, 22% of Republican voters are undecided. This seems to be more of an indictment of the current crop of Republican candidates than a desire to see Romney make yet another bid for the White House. Romney is a two-time loser. The public has already told him they do not want him as President. If he were to run in 2016 and grab the GOP nomination, it is possible that we’d see an even bigger landslide for the Democrats than the last two elections.
As for Brown, it is almost time to stick a fork in him. Republicans thought this a potentially vulnerable seat that they could pick up and felt that Brown was the best candidate for the job. However, New Hampshire voters see him for what he is — an opportunistic carpetbagger who is trying to find any way possible to get back to Washington.