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Lewandowski leads New Hampshire GOP Senate primary field, poll finds

CQ-Roll Call — By Griffin Connolly CQ-Roll Call

Sept. 11-- WASHINGTON-Former Trump campaign manager and political commentator Corey Lewandowski would lead a GOP primary for New Hampshire's Senate seat, a new poll shows.

Lewandowski, the president's first campaign manager in the 2016 election who helped him navigate a crowded GOP primary field, captured 23% support in a hypothetical primary race, an Emerson College poll released Tuesday found.

The next closest Republican candidate, retired Army Gen. Don Bolduc, trailed by 14 percentage points, with 9% support.

Seven percent of GOP respondents to the poll said they support former state House Speaker Bill O'Brien, while 56% said they are undecided.

Lewandowski has not officially announced that he is running for the opportunity to face incumbent Democratic Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, but in August he confirmed that he is "very seriously" considering a bid and has continued to tease out a potential run for office.

Trump has encouraged Lewandowski to run on multiple occasions, first on Twitter and later at a rally in August in the Granite State.

"He's tough, and he's smart, and I'm hearing he's thinking about running for Senate in New Hampshire. I think he'll be tough to beat," Trump said at the August rally.

Lewandowski appeared at the rally with the president-the same day that House Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler announced he had subpoenaed Lewandowski to appear before his committee on Sept. 17 to discuss matters related to Trump's possible obstruction of justice laid out in former special counsel Robert S. Mueller III's report.

Inside Elections with Nathan L. Gonzales rates the 2020 race for New Hampshire's Senate seat "Likely Democratic."

In a hypothetical head-to-head matchup, Shaheen led Lewandowski 49% to 39 percent, the Emerson poll found.

"This lead puts the incumbent Senator in a strong position from the start, as she is near the 50% threshold incumbents seek," the Emerson poll's memo states.

The Emerson College poll is the first independent survey to be released to the public on the potential GOP primary race. Trump's pollsters released results from a recent survey that showed Lewandowski with 30% support. Several days later, however, Bolduc's campaign shared numbers with television station WMUR that showed him leading the pack.

The Emerson College poll was conducted Sept. 6-9 among a sample of 1,041 registered voters. Pollsters collected data on 692 of the respondents through an Interactive Voice Response (IVR) system of landlines and 349 others through an online panel provided by Amazon Turk and Dynata.

The data was weighted by age, education, party and mode based on 2016 turnout modeling, and the overall sample had a margin of error of roughly 3 percentage points.

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