Editor's Note: In the final 100 days before Election Day, CNN has been profiling one race at random each day from among the nation's top 100 House races, which we've dubbed "The CNN 100." Read the full list here. Today's featured district is:
NH 01: Rep. Carol Shea-Porter is defending her seat.
Primary: September 14, 2010
Location: Manchester and eastern New Hampshire
Days until the election: 17
New Hampshire has a unique national reputation of having a large number of independent voters. Much of this reputation is due, of course, to the state's position in the presidential nominating calendar. That independent streak extends to congressional elections, including Rep. Carol Shea-Porter's re-election campaign as voters in the 1st district decide whether they back a Democratic incumbent or the Republican challenger.
Shea-Porter, who is up for her third term in the granite state, is facing a very tough battle to win her seat back. Her opponent, Republican and former Manchester mayor Frank Guinta may be a novice when it comes to campaigning, (and has made some rookie mistakes like failing to disclose a $300,000 bank account) but his message has made inroads with some of those independent voters who are so crucial to winning in New Hampshire. Recent polls show him with a lead over the incumbent.
Adding to the mix is the fact that Shea-Porter has aligned herself with the Obama administration at at time when the nation is in no mood to congratulate the ruling party, especially considering New Hampshire has suffered significantly from the woes that have plagued many across the country.
But at the end of August, Shea-Porter had over $500,000 left in her bank account to spend, and Guinta's account had dwindled to a little more than $150,000. If turnout is on her side on election day, Shea-Porter could pull this one out, but it's a pure toss-up until then.