By ALEXANDER BURNS | 4/23/13
If Scott Brown is looking to make a political comeback, New Hampshire may not be the right place and 2014 might not be the right year.
The former Massachusetts senator - who is publicly toying with a cross-border challenge to Democratic Sen. Jeanne Shaheen - trails his could-be opponent by double digits in a new poll conducted for the League of Conservation Voters.
According to a polling memo shared with POLITICO, Brown trails Shaheen by 11 points, taking 41 percent to the incumbent's 52 percent. Seven percent of voters in the poll were undecided.
Brown's personal favorability numbers are tepid: 37 percent of Granite Staters said they have a favorable view of him, while 42 percent said they have an unfavorable view.
Asked whether Brown should run for Senate in New Hampshire or not, 54 percent answered in the negative.
Though Brown has not served in office in New Hampshire, he has family ties to the state and his 2012 race largely played out in the Boston media market, which overlaps heavily with New Hampshire.
The survey was conducted by the Democratic firm Public Policy Polling, testing 933 New Hampshire voters from April 19-21.
The League of Conservation Voters, which supported Elizabeth Warren against Brown in 2012, has vowed to oppose him again if he tries to win office in another state.
"Scott Brown's record of standing with Big Oil and corporate polluters will follow him wherever he goes. Massachusetts voters have already rejected Scott Brown, and the people of New Hampshire will too," LCV spokesman Jeff Gohringer said earlier this month, in response to a buzz-fueling Brown speech in New Hampshire.
Shaheen has solid numbers overall in the poll, even beyond the match-up with Brown. A 53-percent majority of voters said they approve of her job performance, while 39 percent said they disapproved.
And while Brown is the best known of her potential challengers, Shaheen leads a pack of New Hampshire Republicans by comparable margins.
She starts out ahead of Executive Council member Chris Sununu by 14 points, leads state Sen. Jeb Bradley by 15 points and former Rep. Frank Guinta by 18 points. Her biggest advantage is over Manchester Mayor Ted Gatsas, whom she leads by a 19-point margin.
If a New Hampshire-based Senate campaign seems like an outlandish idea for Brown, the former senator and onetime media sensation has stirred speculation by speaking at multiple high-profile events in the state.
In an appearance on Fox News earlier this month, Brown said that "nothing is off the table and nothing is on the table" when it comes to 2014.
But his fellow Fox contributor Karl Rove, the former GOP White House aide and outside-group mastermind, noted that Brown is a "ninth-generation New Hampshirian" and "his mother lives there."
Since leaving the Senate, Brown has signed on as a Fox contributor, as an attorney at the law and lobbying firm Nixon Peabody, and as a board member at the paper company Kadant Inc.
He declined to run for Senate again this year in Massachusetts, where a special election is currently in progress for the seat left vacant by Secretary of State John Kerry.