In the early days of the campaign Jeanne Shaheen appeared in control of New Hampshire’s Senate race. With less than a week-and-a-half left until Election Day, Republican Scott Brown is moving closer.
The incumbent is being supported by influential Democrats. Former President Bill Clinton has already made an appearance, and Elizabeth Warren and Hillary Clinton will take their place next to her in the near future. And Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley will make a second visit.
Mr. Brown can smell blood on the water. He is ramping up his attacks while attempting to link Senator Shaheen and President Obama more closely. He is pandering to the fears of Americans about the Ebola virus.
Scott is claiming that the only answer to keep the Ebola virus from spreading in the United States is a travel ban for those traveling from West Africa. The President opposes it. When Shaheen accused him of fear mongering he claimed it was ‘common sense.’ He also went so far as to claim that if Mitt Romney would have been elected more efficient and expeditious action would have been taken.
Brown was initially elected to fill the Senate seat which became available after the death of Ted Kennedy in 2009. He won the election in 2010, but quickly lost favorability in the state of Massachusetts.
In 2012 he was reluctant to believe he could win if he decided to run for reelection. In March, polls showed that he led Elizabeth Warren by eight points. In the final results Brown received 46.3 percent of the vote, Warren 53.7 percent.
In 2014 he decided to make another run for the Senate from New Hampshire. The polls have been erratic. Although the polls in 2012 were deceiving, the race in 2014 appears to be contested far more closely.
Brown’s entire strategy appears to be based on attacks related to the President rather than towards his opponent. In addition to the Ebola virus, he has attacked the President for his supposed ineffectual action against ISIS. The problem Brown faces is the fact that the President’s policies appear to be working.
Meanwhile Maryland’s Governor O’Malley, who is very popular in the region, will be attending local fund raising and support groups for Shaheen in the following week. O’Malley is unable to run for office in 2014; he has reached the end of the state’s required term limit restrictions.
When Brown was initially elected in Massachusetts, he was viewed to be a moderate who would work across party lines. In recent years he has moved farther to the extreme right, aligning himself with the TEA Party.
There is no question that the Democratic Party is in danger of losing control of both Houses in the 2014 midterms. No race is more important than that of New Hampshire. Incumbents are viewed as ‘most likely’ candidates. Democrats are facing close battles in several states, not only in New Hampshire. Colorado and Iowa have become contentious. A bright spot is Kentucky. Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell has witnessed polls which show Allison Lundergan Grimes moving to within one point in the most recent polls.
Achieving control of both the Senate and the House by Republicans could be the worst thing that could happen to the citizens of the United States. With a Democratic President in power, at least for the next two years, gridlock could be more severe.
Washington is not broken; it is shattered.
By James Turnage