ROCHESTER, N.H. (AP) _ Gov. Jeanne Shaheen formally endorsed Al Gore for president on Saturday, saying the Democrat was the best candidate to maintain the nation's economic growth.

``From the time he was elected to Congress in 1976, he's fought for the things that have mattered most to me, and to the families of New Hampshire,'' she said, surrounded by about 400 Gore supporters waving signs.

Shaheen praised the vice president's plan to expand health care coverage and said ``there is no greater friend of the environment.''

Her announcement was widely expected, given that her husband has been running Gore's campaign in the state since March. The governor planned to make the endorsement in October, but postponed it to deal with the state's education funding problems.

Also Saturday, a poll found Gore is in a statistical tie in New Hampshire with challenger Bill Bradley.

Bradley was favored by 47 percent of the likely Democratic voters who were polled to 40 percent for Gore. The Newsweek poll, conducted Thursday and Friday, had a margin of error of 7 percentage points.

The poll also showed Texas Gov. George W. Bush and Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., in a statistical dead heat among Republican voters, with Bush favored by 38 percent to 33 percent for McCain.