Sen. Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) has gotten support to go on the offensive from a key Senate ally after former Sen. Scott Brown (R-MA) announced his exploratory committee to run for her seat in New Hampshire.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA), who defeated Brown when he ran for re-election in 2012, sent out a very direct fundraising email Friday shortly after Brown officially announced the formation of his Senate exploratory committee.
“It just happened: A few minutes ago, Scott Brown officially announced that he’s forming an exploratory committee to run against my friend Jeanne Shaheen for the Senate in New Hampshire,” Warren warned in the email on Friday. She went on to say that in 2012 her campaign ran on fighting “Wall Street’s favorite” lawmakers.
“We had that fight, and we won. Now we need to win again,” Warren said.
Similarly, Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), whose Off the Sidelines PAC supports Democratic women candidates, wrote in another fundraising email that Brown’s candidacy sets up “the most expensive race in the country and the one that could decide the control of the Senate.”
“Brown will be the best-funded candidate in New Hampshire history and his entrance into the race means the special interest floodgates will get thrown open. Karl Rove’s Super PAC, American Crossroads, is launching a $600,000 attack ad buy against Jeanne on Tuesday, bringing the total attacks to almost $1.5 million – and Brown hasn’t even been in the race for 24 hours,” Gillibrand wrote on Friday.
EMILY’s List sent out a similarly worded email.
“EMILY’s List has taken Scott Brown on before, and we know how to beat him. Our members chipped in an amazing $1.2 million to help Elizabeth Warren fight back against Scott Brown’s vicious attacks in 2012,” Emily’s LIST President Stephanie Schriock wrote in an email to supporters for her group. “Now Senator Jeanne Shaheen needs that same incredible grassroots support — right from the very beginning — if we’re going to stop him again.”
In another email, EMILY’s List’s Marcy Stetch argued that “it’s clear that not a thing has changed about his extreme, anti-woman agenda.”
The quick mobilization could spell trouble for Brown or at least show where Democrats hope to curb a key constituency early on. Among the spate of polls showing Shaheen with some kind of lead over Brown, a new American Research Group poll released Monday found the incumbent Democratic senator leading Brown 55 percent to 28 percent among women voters while Brown leads Shaheen 49 percent to 44 percent among male voters. The poll over all found Shaheen leading Brown 50 percent to 38 percent (some other polling has shown a tighter race).
“Shaheen has a lot of strengths with Independent voters, particularly women, who tend to be Independent in the state and we have about 46 percent of the electorate as Independents in the state,” Dartmouth College political science professor Linda Fowler told TPM. “They’ve tended to be Republican leaners and there may be some sense that women Independents will like Scott Brown’s bare chest at the Polar Bear swim that happened last month. Frankly I find that insulting but that may be part of the calculation.”