New Hampshire Senate race tied between Brown, Shaheen: poll

BOSTON (Reuters) - Former Massachusetts U.S. Senator Scott Brown has pulled even with incumbent New Hampshire Democratic U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen in his bid to unseat her this fall, according to the first poll of likely voters since Brown won a three-way Republican primary. Some 48 percent of likely voters plan to vote for Shaheen with an equal percentage planning to go for Brown, according to a CNN/Opinion Research poll of 735 likely voters released on Monday. Some 81 percent of likely voters said they had made up their minds on who they would vote for on Nov. 4, with 17 percent saying they could yet change the candidate they support, according to the poll. Brown, who served as a senator from Massachusetts from 2010 to 2013 before switching his residence to New Hampshire, won the Republican primary handily over former state Senator Jim Rubens and former U.S. Senator Bob Smith earlier this month. His campaign has drawn the support of national Republicans with Kentucky Senator Rand Paul traveling to the state on Friday to endorse him. The poll also found Paul leading the field of potential 2016 Republican presidential candidates in New Hampshire, which holds the nation's first nominating primary. Some 15 percent of respondents who plan to vote in the primary said they would support him, giving Paul a five-point lead on the nearest challengers, former Florida Governor Jeb Bush and Wisconsin Representative Paul Ryan. Democratic voters had a much clearer favorite with 60 percent backing former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, more than five times the support of her nearest rival, Massachusetts U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren. The poll was taken Sept. 8-11, a period that included the Sept. 9 primary. The poll had a margin of error of 3.5 percentage points. (Reporting by Scott Malone; Editing by Bill Trott)