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August 26, 2008

Shaheen, Lynch Sport Leads

Former Democratic New Hampshire Governor Jeanne Shaheen seems near the top of Democrats' list of Senate takeover opportunities, but the newest poll out of the Granite State will do something to alleviate Republican heartburn. Still, Shaheen, the poll shows, is maintaining her big lead in her repeat race against Republican Senator John Sununu, and Democratic Governor John Lynch is cruising toward a third term.

The poll, conducted by American Research Group, a Republican firm, surveyed 600 likely voters between 8/18-20 for a margin of error of +/- 4%. Sununu and Shaheen were tested, along with Lynch and his Republican opponent, State Senator Joe Kenney.

General Election Matchup
(All / Dem / GOP / Ind)
Shaheen......52 / 87 / 10 / 61 (-6 from last, 7/21)
Sununu........41 / 7 / 81 / 33 (+5)

Lynch.........58 / 91 / 28 / 58 (-2)
Kenney.......32 / 5 / 64 / 26 (+5)

In a state full of independent voters, Shaheen maintains her huge lead among those not affiliated with either party. But Sununu has cut Shaheen's twenty-two point lead from late July. That July poll may have been an outlier, though, as it showed the largest lead for Shaheen since a poll from June 2007. More recent polls have showed the Democrat with a low-double figure lead.

One major factor continues to be Sununu's lack of significant advertising. It's not because of a shortage of funds; the first-term Republican has plenty of money in the bank, suggesting he is saving his warchest for a major post-Labor Day push.

Lynch, meanwhile, has proven a popular governor during his first two two-year terms. Republican efforts to recruit stronger candidates, including Manchester Mayor Frank Guinta, were unsuccessful.