The two candidates for the United States Senate race in the state of New Hampshire are incumbent Democrat Jeanne Shaheen and her Republican challenger, Scott Brown.
While Shaheen and Brown haven’t faced off in an election before, both have served in the Senate. Jeanne Shaheen was elected back in 2008, while Scott Brown was the senator in Massachusetts after winning a special election in 2009, a seat he then lost in 2012 to Elizabeth Warren.
Most polls are giving Sen. Shaheen the edge. Overall, she holds a 2.7 point lead in the race, according to FiveThirtyEight. She also holds the lead in all but six polls – three give the lead to Brown, and three more have the candidates tied.
Perhaps not surprisingly, the campaign itself has been negative from the beginning, from both the candidates and their supporters.
Democrats have focused on Brown’s move from Massachusetts, just months before filing to run, as proof that he shouldn’t be elected – even calling him a “carpetbagger”.
In a recent debate, Sen. Shaheen joined them, saying Brown viewed the New Hampshire seat as a ‘consolation prize’ and running ads saying that he’s “nobody’s senator” – a reference to Brown’s 2010 victory speech where he told the people of Massachusetts “I’m nobody’s senator but yours,” and a campaign speech he gave earlier this year when he told New Hampshire voters that he was “nobody’s senator” but theirs. Many Democratic critics said Brown is “shopping for a new Senate seat”.
“Senator Brown, when he lost his race, he didn’t move to New Hampshire and say, ‘I want to get involved in this state’,” Shaheen pointed out during a debate at the Capitol Center for the Arts in Concord, N.H. “He thought about running for Senate again in Massachusetts. He thought about running for governor in Massachusetts. Then, he went out to Iowa and thought about running for President. Well, I don’t think that New Hampshire is a consolation prize.”
Brown and his supporters, meanwhile, have based much of their attacks on Senator Shaheen on her congressional voting record – even commenting that Sen. Shaheen “outsourced her independence” by voting with President Obama 99 percent of the time, a record her supporters defend as the fact that she is a Democrat and she agrees with the President’s policies.
In a state like New Hampshire, where the President’s approval rating is at 39 percent, this sort of close alignment can hurt Shaheen.
Both candidates sport out-of-state endorsements – Shaheen was endorsed by Senator Angus King of Maine, while Brown was endorsed by former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney.
As the election season comes to a close, the seat is still very much up for grabs.