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Bridget Johnson


July 10, 2014 - 9:02 am

Shrugging off challenges from conservative hopefuls who say he isn’t far enough to the right, former Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown’s (R) campaign manager said Brown’s “path to victory is simple: consolidate the Republican base and split the independent vote.”

“If he can do that, Scott Brown will become the next senator from the state of New Hampshire,” Colin Reed, Brown’s campaign manager, said in a memo Wednesday. “Republicans constitute 30 percent of the Granite State electorate, while independents make up 43 percent.”

Former U.S. Sen. Bob Smith and Jim Rubens both beat Brown in a conservative straw poll taken July 5 by the Coalition of New Hampshire Taxpayers.

“In a very real sense, the race against Jeanne Shaheen doesn’t begin until after the primary when the process of unifying the party can begin. This basic math is not lost on Senator Shaheen. She is running a television ad right now appealing for support from Republicans. Shaheen’s strategy is to peel off Republican votes, thus denying Brown a victory,” Reed said. “Polling shows Brown currently losing one quarter of the Republican vote in a head-to-head match-up with Shaheen. This is a reflection of the divided Republican primary, but she cannot count on that support once the primary is over.”

He said the Brown campaign “has begun reaching out to Republicans of all stripes for their endorsements and support,” including Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) and 2012 Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney, “both of whom are unifying figures in the party.”

“But this process will not begin in earnest until the general election campaign begins,” Reed added.

He also cited recent history as proof that Brown can carry the general election: his tally of 95 percent of Republicans and 59 percent of independents in Massachusetts in 2012, when he was defeated by Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.).

In that race, Brown won 11 percent of Democrats.

“If Brown does what he did against Elizabeth Warren, he will achieve a convincing victory over Jeanne Shaheen,” Reed said. “This math is also not lost on the outside, third-party groups backing her candidacy. Harry Reid’s Super PAC has already spent close to a million dollars in attack ads versus Brown, while Shaheen’s allies at the League Of Conservation voters just this week launched a new attack ads against Brown that are designed to give Shaheen cover on her support for more gas taxes.”

“Polls are not very determinative at this stage of the race. In 2009, early surveys had Brown trailing by 41 points against Martha Coakley,” he added. “In fact, a poll by the UNH Survey Center showed him down 15 percent just 10 days before he won that election by five points.”

The New Hampshire GOP primary is Sept. 9.

Bridget Johnson is a veteran journalist whose news articles and opinion columns have run in dozens of news outlets across the globe. Bridget first came to Washington to be online editor at The Hill, where she wrote The World from The Hill column on foreign policy. Previously she was an opinion writer and editorial board member at the Rocky Mountain News and nation/world news columnist at the Los Angeles Daily News. She is an NPR contributor and has contributed to USA Today, The Wall Street Journal, National Review Online, Politico and more, and has myriad television and radio credits as a commentator. Bridget is Washington Editor for PJ Media.

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