If you needed any further convincing that the U.S. Senate race is a virtual dead heat, another poll, out Friday morning, showed the race between Sen. Jeanne Shaheen and challenger Scott Brown within the margin of error – this one with Shaheen ahead by 3 percentage points.
The University of Massachusetts-Lowell and 7 News surveyed 900 registered voters and, in that group, 643 likely voters, Oct. 15 to 21.
Among the likely voters, Shaheen led, 49 to 46 percent, with 3 percent undecided, and a margin of error of 4.5 percent. Among the larger group of registered voters, however, Shaheen led, 48 to 41 percent, with 9 percent undecided, and a margin of error of 3.8 percent.
The difference between the margins of registered voters and likely voters indicates that pro-Brown voters are more energized at the moment to go to the polls, but that if Shaheen can rally her supporters, she will significantly strengthen her position.
Yet, by a margin of 59 to 30 percent, likely voters believe Shaheen will win the Senate race, the poll shows.
Among likely voters, the poll indicates there continues to be a gender split, with Shaheen leading among women, 56 to 39 percent, and Brown leading among men, 53 to 41 percent.
Although all recent polling has been close, the state Democratic Party pointed out this is the fifth poll this week to show Shaheen ahead. One poll, by New England College, showed Brown ahead by a percentage point.
Shaheen continues to be more popular than Brown, despite the close match-up. She is viewed favorably by 54 percent of likely voters and unfavorably by 42 percent, while he is viewed favorably by 44 percent and unfavorably by 49 percent.
But this poll, like others, indicates that her ties to President Obama hurt her.
Obama was viewed highly very unfavorably on five key issues: international affairs (36/59), health care (35/62), the economy (38/59), ISIS/ISIL (36/59) and Ebola (38/54).
In three other key questions, rarely asked in polls:
_ 72 percent of likely voters branded Shaheen a “typical Democrat” and 24 percent said she is “independent-minded.”
_ 51 percent of likely votes said Brown does not know enough about New Hampshire issues to represent the state, while 43 percent said he knows enough to do the job.
_ By a margin of 43 to 36 percent, likely voters said Shaheen has run a more negative campaign than Brown.
Meanwhile, the poll showed a tight race for governor.
Among likely voters, Gov. Maggie Hassan led Republican Walt Havenstein 49 to 45 percent. She led him among registered voters, 49 to 40 percent.
Click here for the poll results.