MANCHESTER, New Hampshire — A new matchbook straw poll from cigar shop Federal Cigar in New Hampshire found that former Sen. Scott Brown beat incumbent Democratic Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) by six points.
Brown received 53 percent of the vote to Shaheen’s 47 percent out of the 1,201 people who voted. Walt Havenstein, the NH GOP candidate for governor, meanwhile, only got 45 percent of the vote compared to Democratic incumbent Gov. Maggie Hassan’s 55 percent. Republican congressional candidate Frank Guinta beat incumbent Democratic Rep. Carol Shea-Porter (D-NH) with 60 percent over Shea-Porter’s 40 percent.
The matchbook poll called “Federal Forecast” is a tradition in New Hampshire’s election season, and Federal Cigar co-owner Rick Gadway said the poll is correct in predicting the winner of elections about 80 percent of the time. Recent polls in the Senate race here have shown a very close battle between Shaheen and Brown, and Shaheen’s been met with a series of mishaps and campaign mistakes in recent weeks that have opened the door for Brown to surge.
“The Federal Forecast provides a great opportunity to support your candidate and to take part in some friendly political discussion,” Gadway said in statement. “We take a lot of pride in the Federal Forecast and we are pleased to carry on this great political tradition.”
According to the press release from the cigar store, the way voters vote each year is they place “matchbooks in their favored candidate’s ‘ballot box’ – which are traditionally large, paper lunch bags with candidate names and profiles attached.”
Federal Cigar is based in downtown Portsmouth, N.H., and first opened in 1921. Given New Hampshire’s role in federal elections–being the first-in-the-nation primary state–the company notes that its Portsmouth location has become “a center for politics, current events, town business and more.”
“In recent years, Federal Cigar has expanded to four stores serving all of southeast New Hampshire. Federal Cigar recently opened a new high-end cigar shop and bar in Portsmouth on the corner of Ladd and Market streets,” the company said.