Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), until recently a solid bet for reelection, is now facing the prospect of a tight race with former Sen. Scott Brown (R-Mass.), who seems poised to jump into the race. Here are just 10 reasons Shaheen should be nervous:
1. President Obama is going to be of no help. His fiscal policies have him in the doghouse with a majority of New Hampshire voters. CNN recently reported, “Obama stands at 31% approval among Granite State residents, according to a American Research Group poll. And the President’s 60% disapproval rating is an all-time high in ARG polling. Obama won New Hampshire, which like Iowa is a swing state, in both the 2008 and 2012 elections.”
2. Shaheen was the 60th vote on Obamacare, and like President Obama, she promised voters they could keep their health care. There is a scary ad already cut for the race.
3. The excitement is all with Brown. Brad Dayspring from the Republican National Senatorial Committee observes via e-mail, “Democrats are so panicked about Jeanne Shaheen that Harry Reid’s Super PAC is dumping hundreds of thousands of dollars for negative ads into New Hampshire – even though she has no opponent. Meanwhile, in Washington, the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee is gleeful about a liberal [Public Policy Polling] poll showing that Shaheen is in a statistical dead heat with Scott Brown – an undeclared candidate.” Moreover, a ton of negative ads haven’t helped her.
4. With more and more races in play, Democrats are increasingly stretched for money and focus. Do they help Shaheen or Sen. Mary Landrieu (D-La.)? Will Sen. Mark Warner (D-Va.) now need help as well with Ed Gillespie looking to get into the race?
5. Shaheen’s voting record on spending is that of a run-of-the-mill liberal Democrat, not an independent-minded one from a penny-pinching state such as New Hampshire. National Journal has ranked her as more liberal than Democrats such as Chuck Schumer and Pat Leahy.
6. The “war on women” routine isn’t going to work all that well against the pro-choice Scott Brown.
7. The carpetbagger theme doesn’t work all that well in New Hampshire, where many residents are transplanted from Massachusetts.
8. Shaheen isn’t that strong a campaigner. In 2008, a banner year, she won by seven points. Obama won the state by nearly 10 points.
9. Shaheen is a vote for Sen. Harry Reid (D-Nev.) as majority leader. She says, for example, she wants relief on Obamacare’s individual mandate for voters, but Reid would not give her a vote. The more intransigent Reid is, the more Republicans will tie her to him, arguing she’s become a rubber stamp for the White House and Reid.
10. Not only Brown, but other GOP recruits (e.g. Gillespie, state House speaker Thom Tillis in North Carolina and Terri Lynn Land in Michigan) are not the fire-breathing right-wingers whom Democrats paint with a broad brush.