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Jeanne Shaheen, Scott Brown tied in New Hampshire Senate poll

(L-R) Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-New Hampshire, and former Sen. Scott Brown, R-Massachusetts

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Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-New Hampshire, and her Republican challenger, Scott Brown, are statistically tied in a new poll of the Granite State's Senate race.

In the survey released Thursday by New England College (NEC), Shaheen is at 47.1 percent and Brown is at 46.6 percent, a difference well within the poll's 2.69 percent margin of error.

"The major takeaway from this week's poll is that the U.S. Senate race is now a statistical dead heat," said Dr. Wayne Lesperance, a professor of political science and director of the NEC polling institute.

Brown, a former Republican senator from Massachusetts, is trying to make his way back into the Senate by way of New Hampshire. Polls released shortly after he jumped into the race in April showed him trailing Shaheen, but he's steadily closed that gap in recent weeks.

In an NEC poll released last month, Shaheen held a 50.1 to 42.8 percent lead over Brown.

The poll released Friday surveyed 1,331 likely New Hampshire voters on September 26.

Republicans need a net gain of six seats in November to seize the Senate majority, and polls of the most competitive contests have shown them easily within striking distance of that goal.