Brown Rolls Out New Strategies as Poll Finds Him Gaining Ground
A recent poll by a conservative New Hampshire group found Sen. Jeanne Shaheen’s (D-N.H.) lead on Scott Brown to be dwindling, but also found voters in the state to have a more favorable opinion of the incumbent than her likely November opponent.
In the July 23 poll, released by the Citizens for a Strong New Hampshire, 41 percent of respondents said they would vote for the former Massachusetts senator if the election were held today, compared to 46 percent who supported Shaheen. Nearly 13 percent of those polled said that they were still undecided – a common theme in polls gauging this particular Senate race – which indicates that the election is still very much wide open.
New Hampshire voters polled still seem to be skeptical of Brown, with 43 percent saying that they have an unfavorable opinion of the Republican compared to 34.5 percent who see him in a favorable light. Shaheen was viewed favorably by nearly 47 percent of those polled, compared to 43 percent with an unfavorable view of the Senator.
Brown, however, can still make up some ground with undecided voters, as 53 percent have yet to form an opinion of the former senator, who lost his Massachusetts seat in 2013 to Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.).
The poll, conducted by Magellan Strategies BR, did not include Brown’s fellow Republican candidates, Jim Rubens and Bob Smith, whom he is set to face in a Sept. 9 primary unless one or both of the candidates drops out – which seems unlikely.
Citizens for a Strong New Hampshire has released several videos attacking Shaheen already in this race. In 2013 Brown attended a fundraiser for the advocacy group.
The rate of undecided voters might be a symptom of New Hampshire voters being fed up with career politicians, exemplified by a recent video released by the Rubens campaign.
The footage shows “the pure, raw anger that people are feeling towards the disconnect between politicians in Washington, D.C., and the voters back home in New Hampshire,” according to Rubens.
“People are fed up with politicians who go to Washington to do nothing but raise campaign cash for the next election, serve in office for eternity or to leave office to become a high-priced lobbyist,” Rubens said in a release accompanying the video.
The video, shot at a New Hampshire fair, features short interviews with residents of the state who express their displeasure with “career politicians.”
In the video Rubens makes three pledges that he vows to uphold if he is elected. He says he has limited himself to only two terms, he will make sure that all of the laws passed by Congress will apply to Congress and he will give his pension to the people of New Hampshire.
Meanwhile, Brown launched his Veterans for Brown coalition, which boasts more than 200 supporters including 12 current New Hampshire state senators. He has been leveraging his 35 years as a member of the Army National Guard, along with the Veterans Affairs scandal, in attempts to gain the support of veterans. Brown, once a member of the Senate Committee on Veterans’ Affairs, has also used the scandal to levy attacks on Shaheen, claiming she is culpable for the poor treatment of veterans, despite having authored legislation giving some veterans access to private hospitals for care.
Brown has also turned his attention to criticizing Shaheen’s immigration views. In a new ad titled “Secure Borders,” Brown takes aim at the Democrat’s “pro-amnesty” policies, saying, “It’s time for us to secure the border once and for all.”
The moves by Brown are just the latest attempt by the Republican to shore up support in the state where he trails Shaheen in all of the polls. Last month, Brown hosted his first “Super Saturday” event, where he and supporters made phone calls, went door-to-door and delivered yard signs throughout Manchester, hoping to stoke some grassroots support for the candidate, who is seen by many in the state as a “carpetbagger.”
“I appreciate so many supporters taking time out on a Saturday to help spread our campaign’s message of resorting New Hampshire principles to the Senate,” Brown said in a press release. “This campaign will be won out in the field with grassroots support across the state. Our team has a strong foundation and continues to grow as we unite the Party and bring in like-minded Granite Staters who want to change the direction of our country.”
According to the release, more than 50 supporters attended the weekend event in support of Brown.
Bob Smith, the former U.S. senator who is expected to face off with Brown and Rubens in the Republican primary, announced a different approach to rallying support – a concert.
His campaign announced that the Friends of Bob Smith are hosting a “freedom concert” on Aug. 29 at the Rochester Fairgrounds, featuring country music group Confederate Railroad.
(For complete 2014 midterm coverage, get your campaign fix on The Grid.)
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