As a Massachusetts native, I was very engaged in Scott Brown’s underdog Senate race and surprising victory in 2010.
Ted Kennedy’s dynastic seat was open and Brown stepped in the way of another Democrat’s chance to sit on his throne. He won 52 percent of the vote, leaving attorney general Martha Coakley and the rest of the Democrat-controlled state stunned. As a young Republican in a very blue state, I rejoiced. Although my county has always leaned right, I was surprised and excited by Brown’s success.
The hammer fell in 2012 when Elizabeth Warren won back control of the seat, much to the disappointment of any conservatives still surviving in Massachusetts.
I sighed, left for college, and enjoyed my brief escape from Massachusetts politics.
Then on Friday I was scrolling through my Twitter feed only to find a snapshot of the top half of Scott Brown’s college centerfold tweeted out by Buzzfeed Benny. The explanation for this sudden assault on my work-friendly viewing? Brown is running again – this time in New Hampshire.
Although Brown spent twenty years in Massachusetts politics, he claims he has strong ties to New Hampshire and his Granite State vacation home has now become his permanent residence. But is that enough for him to win?
Fellow Baystater Jim Antle wrote at the American Conservative about Brown’s chances against Democrat incumbent Jean Shaheen:
Some pollsters find a Brown versus Shaheen Senate race competitive. Public Policy Polling, a Democratic firm, had Shaheen ahead by just 3 points in January. The bipartisan Purple Strategies had the race tied. But more recent polls, such as one conducted by Suffolk University and the Boston Herald, show Shaheen ahead by 13 points with Brown getting less than 40 percent of the vote.
On Friday, Brown gave a speech in Nashua to the Northeast Republican Leadership Conference which hit hard on health care: “If we don’t like Obamacare, we can get rid of it. Period,” he said.
Conservatives are hopeful that the botched roll-out of Obamacare will hurt Democrats’ chances in the mid-term elections, but can Brown win again in New England? New Hampshire may be more conservative than the Bay State, but a lack of personal connection there could lead to him being painted as an outsider.
We can only hope that enough Massachusetts conservatives have relocated to New Hampshire and sympathize with Brown’s change of plans.