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John DiStaso's Granite Status: Source says poll seems intended to push Havenstein into governor race
The poll asked generic questions about the governor's race, such as should Hassan be reelected, awareness testing, favorable/unfavorable. Similar questions where then asked about Havenstein.
Also tested were U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen and former Massachusetts U.S. Sen. Scott Brown, who is exploring a run against her.
Our source said he was asked to give an opinion of the Tea Party and the National Rifle Association.
According to the source, there were no questions involving announced GOP candidate for governor Andrew Hemingway, no congressional questions, no other U.S. Senate questions and no generic state legislative ballot questions.
The poll shows that while Havenstein remains below the radar, interest in him as a candidate for governor is high not only in New Hampshire, but also in Washington.
JOE RETURNS. Vice President Joe Biden next week will return to New Hampshire for the first time since the 2012 campaign.
The White House announced Friday that Biden will make an official (read taxpayer-paid) visit, as opposed to a political visit, to Nashua on Tuesday.
Neither the venue nor time were immediately announced.
State Republicans quickly jumped on the announcement by asking whether the three Democratic members of the state's congressional delegation and Hassan would appear with Biden.
Shaheen's spokesman, Shripal Shah, said the senator will be on Capitol Hill on Tuesday, attending a meeting of the Senate Appropriations subcommittee she chairs. Shah also noted that voting on resolutions related to the crisis in Ukraine begins on Monday.
Shea-Porter spokesman Ben Wakana said she "is a big proponent of work force development and on-the-job training, but votes are scheduled on Tuesday, so she'll be representing New Hampshire in Congress that day."
Hassan spokesman Marc Goldberg said the governor plans to attend, although, he said, the governor's office is awaiting further details.
Obviously, the NHGOP is aware of Obama's less-than-stellar poll numbers in the state and the unpopularity of Obamacare. Shaheen last week declined to say whether would welcome an Obama visit to the state.
MEANWHILE, IN ROCHESTER. While Biden is in Nashua, Brown will continue his anti-Obamacare theme with a visit to Frisbie Memorial Hospital.
At a recent event in Portsmouth organized by the conservative Americans for Prosperity, Felgar called the ACA a disaster and said, according to Seacoastonline.com, "The whole process stinks. We've got many, many patients who will sign up under the Affordable Care Act, but they can't go to the hospital they've been going to for decades."
TICKET TO TEXAS. When New England Cable News interviewed Obama last Wednesday, he called Shaheen a "terrific" and "great senator" and suggested Brown would be better off moving to, of all places, Texas.
"President Obama and Jeanne Shaheen are joined at the hip," Brown said. "If it wasn't for Jeanne Shaheen, Obamacare would not have become the law of the land. He is going to do everything he can to help Jeanne Shaheen in this election."
. While the RGA was polling on Havenstein, Hemingway's campaign was circulating a poll by the American Research Group of Manchester showing Hassan leading Hemingway by a surprisingly close margin of 45 to 30 percent. ARG noted that in the March poll of 2004, then-Gov. Craig Benson led an unidentified Democrat 45 to 27 percent.
. The day before potential GOP 2016 presidential candidate U.S. Sen. Rand Paul appears at the "Freedom Summit" in Manchester sponsored by Americans for Prosperity and Citizens United, he will appear on Friday, April 11, at a $50-a-person fundraiser for the state Republican Party at Cottage by the Bay in Dover.
John DiStaso is senior political reporter of the New Hampshire Union Leader and New Hampshire Sunday News. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org and followed on Twitter: @jdistaso.
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