Republican Scott Brown is closing the gap with Democratic incumbent Sen. Jeanne Shaheen in New Hampshire’s Senate race, according to a new poll, indicating that Republicans may be expanding the map of competitive Senate races this year.
The WMUR Granite State poll has Shaheen leading Brown 46 percent to 44 percent. With a margin of error at plus or minus 3.4 percentage points, the poll indicates that Shaheen and Brown are statistically tied.
Brown’s campaign is already fundraising off the new poll. In an email solicitation sent out the campaign, Arizona Sen. John McCain said: “Back in July, Shaheen was up by 12 percentage points and six weeks later, this race is too close to call. This speaks to the growing strength of Scott’s campaign — and the fact that Granite State voters want a change in direction.”
Responding to the poll, Shaheen’s campaign manager, Mike Vlacich, decried the “dishonest and negative attacks against her by Republican outside groups.”
“We’ve been ready for a competitive race since day one,” he said, “and we are running the kind of grassroots campaign that New Hampshire deserves, correcting every one of Big Oil’s dishonest attacks along the way.”
That Brown — a former senator who decided to run in New Hampshire after losing re-election in Massachusetts in 2012 — is tied with Shaheen is not good news for Democrats. While most analysts agree that it will be a good year for Republicans, it’s unclear whether it will be a wave election where seats like New Hampshire could flip.
Democrats need to stop Republicans from netting six Senate seats this year in order to keep control of the Senate.
Earlier this month, Brown released a TV ad hitting Shaheen over immigration.
“Want to know why there is lawlessness on our border? Ask Sen. Shaheen. She voted against border security twice, and for amnesty,” Brown says in the ad.
Brown’s campaign has also been criticizing Shaheen for not holding town hall meetings with voters this election cycle. The state GOP party sent a staffer dressed in a chicken suit to a Shaheen event holding the sign: “Jeanne Shaheen Too Chicken For Town Halls.”