Scott Brown To Run For Senate In New Hampshire, Because Hey, It's Right Next To Massachusetts
Having lost reelection to the Senate in Massachusetts two years ago, Scott Brown is deciding to try his luck in New Hampshire instead. After months of waffling, the Republican lawmaker gave every indication on Friday that he will challenge Democratic Senator Jeanne Shaheen in the Granite State in 2014. While he didn’t officially announce his candidacy, he announced a statewide speaking tour, released a web video of New Hampshirites talking about how much they want him to run for Senate, and set up an exploratory committee for a Senate bid. So, ya know, he’s running.
Opponents will accuse Brown of carpetbagging, and for good reason: He is carpetbagging. Brown was raised in Massachusetts, represented Massachusetts in the U.S. Senate, and only bought a house in New Hampshire a few months ago, when Republicans started pressuring him to run. In a speech Friday defending his candidacy, he rebutted the charges of carpetbagging by reminding voters the his parents met in New Hampshire, settling the issue once and for all.
Democrats quickly released a compilation of Brown proudly proclaiming his New Hampshire heritage.
You’re probably wondering why Brown didn’t run for the Senate in Massachusetts last year, when there was an open seat. Good question! His opponent in that race would have been Ed Markey, who was generally seen as a tough opponent. Shaheen, on the other hand, is somewhat vulnerable, so it seems suspiciously as if Brown moved to another state because he wanted to have an easier time becoming a senator again.
Brown’s candidacy increases the odds that Republicans will win control of the Senate later this year — but not by very much. He initially polled fairly well against Shaheen, trailing her by only three points last January; however, while he still polls better against her than any of his Republican rivals, his approval rating has plummeted in New Hampshire over the past couple of months, perhaps because he spent so long dilly-dallying about whether or not he actually wanted to run. As of a week ago, Shaheen leads him by 13 points.
Brown rose to fame after winning a special election for Ted Kennedy’s old Senate seat in 2010, thus depriving Democrats of the 60th vote they needed to pass health care reform. This endeared him to Republicans across the nation, but he didn’t get to savor his tenure for very long, as Elizabeth Warren crushed him in his reelection bid in 2012.