Nationalizing the New Hampshire Senate Race Appears to Be Working for Brown

Scott Brown’s new strategy is proving effective as he nationalizes the New Hampshire Senate race.

A Sept. 19 Vox Populi poll puts the Republican ahead 47 percent to 43 percent for incumbent Democrat Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.). The poll marks the first time that Brown has a lead over Shaheen and follows a Sept. 15 poll that found them tied with 48 percent apiece.

Brown has made foreign policy, border security and immigration the major themes of his campaign, using ads and townhalls to criticize Shaheen on those issues. If the CNN and Vox Populi polls are any indication the strategy appears to be working.

Brown continues to assail his opponent’s foreign policy credentials as well as linking her to the policies of President Obama. In the CNN poll, 60 percent of respondents disapproved of how the president is doing his job.

In a recent advertisement, titled “Protecting America’s Freedom,” Brown says that “radical Islamic terrorists threaten our way of life” and says that Shaheen and Obama “seem confused about the nature of the threat.”

“I want to secure the border, keep out the people that would do us harm and restore America’s leadership in the world,” Brown says in the ad.

Brown served on the Senate Armed Forces Committee during his tenure as Massachusetts senator and recently retired from the Army National Guard after a 35-year career with the rank of colonel.

The ad comes as ISIS haunts the news and a U.S.-led coalition launches airstrikes on Middle East militants including ISIS, al-Nusra and Khorasan in Syria.

Shaheen’s communications director, Harrell Kirstein, called the ad “sad,” saying that people of all political stripes should be united in support of the military personnel carrying out the strikes.

“Scott Brown is trying to score political points to help himself just hours after our military launched air strikes in Syria designed to destroy [IS],” Kirstein’s statement said. “We should be unified behind our men and women in uniform right now as we target these terrorists and bring them to justice, not launching self-serving political attacks that distort the facts for partisan gain.”

Another statement by Kirstein accuses Brown of “peddling the politics of fear.”

There is no doubt that the ongoing violence in the Middle East will continue to be the centerpiece in Brown’s campaign moving forward.

“In Iraq and Syria, we’re talking about an expanse of territory larger than New England that has now been lost to a terrorist army,” Brown said in a Sept. 24 foreign policy address. “A year ago, no one in Washington was even talking about ISIS. And yet here they are, exterminating innocent people including mothers and children, murdering Americans on camera, and declaring a caliphate that is drawing even more jihadists to the scene each and every day.”

During the speech at the New Hampshire Institute of Politics in Manchester, Brown accused Shaheen of having a “record of near-complete conformity with the president” that “covers just about every issue of national security and defense.”

“So if we’ve seen some bad calls at the White House, it’s a very safe bet that our senior senator has been right in line with that failed program,” he added.

The duo squared off in their first debate on Oct. 5, held by the Mount Washington Valley Economic Council.

In another ad, the national security-centric “Keep America Safe,” Brown blasts Shaheen over missing a Foreign Relations Committee hearing at which an official warned members about ISIS.