NH Governor Says Gore-Bradley Race Too Close To Call

By Jerry Miller | July 7, 2008 | 8:25 PM EDT

Concord, NH (CNSNews.com) - New Hampshire Governor Jeanne Shaheen, one of Vice president Al Gore's key supporters, said on Wednesday that the Gore-Bradley race in the Granite State is just too close to call.

Shaheen, whose husband Bill is Gore's New Hampshire campaign manager, noted that this Tuesday's election "could go either way," and added, "I've been around this state long enough to know that you can't take anything for granted."

Shaheen hopes the vice president takes her advice as the campaign winds down and concentrates on the economy and how much better it is here since the advent of the Clinton-Gore administration. "I think he's started doing that," she added.

On the contentious issue of health care, the governor said Gore's step-by-step approach to universal health care coverage is more in line with the state's traditions as opposed to Bradley's plan, which is less gradual and more sweeping.

Shaheen's observation that the contest is close is being borne out by several new polls. A Boston Globe/WBZ-TV tracking poll shows Gore leading 48 to 42 percent while CNN and the University of New Hampshire tracking poll also has Gore slightly ahead of Bradley.

Meanwhile, a Boston Herald/WCVB-TV poll shows one out of five likely voters in the Democratic primary expressed concern about Bradley's health and recent reports of an irregular heartbeat.

In the GOP Race, the Boston Herald/WCVB-TV survey finds publisher Steve Forbes and Alan Keyes have gained ground since a December survey, all at the expense of Texas Governor George W Bush.

With McCain holding steady at 32 percent, Bush has fallen from 34 to 27 percent. That makes the GOP primary race a statistical dead heat between the two candidates since the poll has a five-point margin of error. Meanwhile, Forbes has improved five points - from 11 percent in December to a current 16 percent. Alan Keyes has jumped from 4 perecent to 11 percent.

In the CNN/University of New Hampshire tracking polls, McCain enjoys a small lead over Bush while in the latest Boston Globe/WCVB-TV poll, McCain lead Bush 37 percent to 35 percent, yet another statistical dead heat.

While Bush is relying on rank-and-file Republicans for his victory, McCain is hoping to show well among Independents, the largest group of voters in the Granite State.

Shaheen also praised McCain for his many visits to the state. McCain has held more than 100 town meetings. According to the governor, a long-time Democratic strategist prior to seeking elective office, McCain has made better use of television advertising than Bush and has also been more accessible to voters.

Shaheen faulted Bush for waiting too long to campaign in the state. She also criticized Bush for his reliance on "canned speeches" and what she characterized as his failure to interact with voters in a meaningful way.