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Dave Solomon has been a reporter or editor for New England news organizations since 1977. He has served as executive editor of both the Portsmouth Herald and the Nashua Telegraph. He joined the reporting staff of the New Hampshire Union Leader in 2012.

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January 07. 2014 3:48PM

John DiStaso's Granite Status: Shaheen camp poll focuses on her own job performance, Obamacare, Scott Brown, Jim Rubens

TUESDAY, JAN. 7: SHAHEEN IN THE FIELD. As the mid-term election year kicks off, Sen. Jeanne Shaheen's campaign has wasted no time getting into the field with a detailed poll of Granite Staters.

Colorado-based Luce Research is working on behalf of Friends of Jeanne Shaheen in conducting a lengthy survey gauging voters' views of her own performance and gathering opinions on declared Republican U.S. Senate candidate Jim Rubens and potential Senate candidate Scott Brown, the former Massachusetts senator who recently became a full-time resident of Rye.

The pollster did not mention two other declared Republican U.S. Senate candidates, former Sen. Bob Smith and former Cornerstone Action director Karen Testerman, according to a veteran GOP activist and former state House leader who said she was called on Monday night.

Maureen Mooney told the Granite Status the Affordable Care Act was "by far the dominant issue" in what she said was a 19-minute the survey.

Mooney said she was asked to assess on a scale of zero to 100 not only Shaheen, but also Brown, Rubens, Sen. Kelly Ayotte and Gov. Maggie Hassan.

She said she was asked twice to assess Shaheen and Brown, and was asked to assess Shaheen after being told that the senator supported the Affordable Care Act "because of 'X, Y and Z.'"

Mooney said she was asked who she would vote for in a Shaheen-Brown match-up.

Rubens was mentioned, "but overall, there was definitely more mention of Brown," said Mooney.

Another group of questions, Mooney said, focused on whether Shaheen is "trustworthy," whether she is "telling the truth," and whether she represents "the best interest of the people of New Hampshire."

She said she was asked "if I think Jeanne Shaheen votes only by party lines and whether I think Jeanne Shaheen works well with independents and Republicans."

She said she was also asked to assess on the same scale the influence of "big oil companies," "Wall Street," the Tea Party, the Koch brothers, pro-life groups, and, on the opposite side of the spectrum, organized labor and pro-choice groups.

In another part of the survey, Mooney said, the caller asked her for open-ended comments on "the state of the country and the direction the country is going in. She typed it verbatim as I spoke and read it back to me."

The caller also asked "what I thought about out-of-state interest groups getting their message across in New Hampshire."

She said there was no mention of U.S. Reps. Carol Shea-Porter or Ann Kuster.

The length and detail of the poll, said Mooney, "was something that I've not experienced before." She said she was also asked for her own party affiliation and her first name, the year she was born and her level of education.

Mooney said she did not consider the survey to be a push poll, which are usually briefer and usually little more than a negative advertisement about a candidate over the telephone.

Mooney said the pollster volunteered at the end of the call that the poll was paid for by Friends of Jeanne Shaheen, the senator's campaign organization.

Overall, said Mooney, "I welcomed the opportunity to express my opinion about the state of our country and the Affordable Care Act and the candidates."

Mooney, who was an elector for Mitt Romney in 2012 and a strong supporter of John McCain in 2008, said she is a long-time opponent of the ACA and is "paying very close attention" to how the U.S. Senate race develops.

(See earlier Granite Status reports elsewhere on this page or by clicking on "Granite Status" above.)

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