Poll: Former Stefanik aide and ex-Trump official tied in swing district GOP primary

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Karoline Leavitt, formerly a White House aide and aide to Rep. Elise Stefanik (N.Y.), and Matt Mowers, a former Trump administration official, are tied in the Republican primary race in New Hampshire’s competitive 1st Congressional District, according to an internal poll from the Leavitt campaign provided to The Hill.

The internal poll conducted by Remington Research Group for the Leavitt campaign from Aug. 14-17 found Leavitt and Mowers each at 21 percent, according to a poll memo. Other candidates in the race, Gail Huff Brown and state Rep. Tim Baxter, were tied at 9 percent.

The survey consisted of 462 likely primary election voters and has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.5 percentage points.

“Both candidates share similar favorability ratings, but Leavitt holds a significant advantage in both negative opinions and being undefined which could be the factor that allows her to break this race open,” the poll memo said.

The internal poll is somewhat in line with an Aug. 9-11 poll from Saint Anselm College, which found Mowers at 25 percent and Leavitt at 21 percent.

Other polls find Mowers in the lead. An Aug. 1-4 poll conducted by The Tarrance Group for the Congressional Leadership Fund, a PAC aligned with House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.), found Mowers with a 24-point lead over Leavitt. And an Aug. 13-14 NH Journal poll found Mowers with a 15-point lead.

The winner will take on incumbent Democratic Rep. Chris Pappas, a top target for Republicans this cycle. The Cook Political Report rates the race for the district as a toss-up.

GOP House leaders have split on their preferred candidates in the race.

McCarthy and House Minority Whip Steve Scalise (R-La.) endorsed Mowers, who was previously the GOP nominee for the seat in 2020, winning that primary with 59 percent and going on to lose to Pappas by 5 points. He was previously a senior White House adviser under at the State Department under Trump.

25-year-old Leavitt, meanwhile, is backed by Stefanik, the No. 3 House Republican, for whom she worked for the first half of 2021 after working as assistant press secretary in the Trump White House.

Leavitt also went up with her first television ad this week.

Trump has not made an endorsement in the primary race, which is scheduled for Sept. 13.

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