Ahead of their second debate in three days, scheduled for tonight, Sen. Jeanne Shaheen and Scott Brown today released a barrage of attacks focusing on the perceived weaknesses of the other and the themes that have made this a “too-close-to-call” race with 11 days remaining until the election.
The Shaheen campaign released a new television ad and three digital ads while her campaign and the New Hampshire Democratic Party attacked Brown for the second consecutive day for denying in Tuesday’s debate that he ever supported the outsourcing of jobs.
The Brown campaign released a public “memo” — essentially a press statement on the status of the race — that “a vote for Shaheen is a vote for President Obama.” It also claimed she was not a supporter of small business and is open to imposing a national energy tax.
The Shaheen TV ad, viewed below, includes Granite Staters saying voters have a “clear choice.” It says Shaheen supported the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010, which provided tax breaks and expanded credit opportunities for small businesses, while Brown voted against it.
“Jeanne Shaheen actually cares for the people of New Hampshire, and Scott Brown is just in it for himself,” says businessman and Democratic activist Dan Pike of Rollinsford in the ad, encapsulating the over-arching message of the Shaheen campaign.
The campaign also notes – as it has for months – that Brown voted against eliminating federal subsidies for oil companies and also opposed 2010 legislation that would have given companies a break on payroll taxes for new U.S. jobs that replace positions that had been based overseas. It also would have ended tax incentives for moving jobs outside the United States. The bill failed to pass in the Senate.
Brown said on Wednesday he could not recall the bill, prompting a state Democratic Party spokesman to say, “Clearly he’s hoping voters forget his vote to protect tax breaks for companies that outsource, as well as his endorsement of an outsourcing business strategy.”
Shaheen’s campaign also released three new digital ads – contrasting her support for legislation mandating equal pay for women to Brown’s opposition to it and is support for the Blunt Amendment, which would allow employers deny contraceptive converage to women on moral or religious grounds.
Another digital ad points out that he voted as a state lawmaker for a Massachusetts constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage in 2004, after the Supreme Judicial Court in that state legalized it. Brown has since called it a state-by-state issue.
The ad notes a 2001 comment by Brown that it was “just not normal” for a then-fellow state senator to raise children with her domestic partner.
The Brown campaign memo pointed out a Wednesday report by the nonpartisan Congressional Quarterly that Shaheen so far this year voted 116 of 118 times with President Barack Obama in votes in which the President expressed a view.
“This new information underscores for New Hampshire voters exactly what is at stake in the Nov. 4 election,” wrote Brown campaign manager Colin Reed. “If you like President Obama and think we are on the right course, you should re-elect Senator Shaheen. However, if you believe the country needs to move in a new direction, you should vote for Scott Brown.”
The memo goes on to point out that Shaheen received a zero percent rating from the National Federation of Independent Business, a conservative lobbying group for small businesses, and that she voted for legislation that “paves the way” for a national energy tax.
The March 2013 vote came in support of legislation that would have set up a “reserve fund relating to ensuring that all revenue from a fee on carbon pollution is returned to the American people.”
The sponsor of the amendment, Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse, D-R.I., said at the time the provision “will allow us to put a price on carbon.”
Brown has said Shaheen’s support for the reserve fund means she supports a national energy tax; Shaheen has denied supporting such a tax but has not specifically said why, then, she voted for the Whitehouse bill.
Meanwhile, a CNN poll also showed the race as tight as all recent polls have indicated.
CNN/ORC surveyed 645 likely voters Oct. 18 to 21 and found Shaheen leading Brown, 49 to 47 percent, among likely voters.
Men support Brown 51 to 44 percent, while women support Shaheen, 54 to 44 percent. Shaheen is viewed favorably by 52 percent of likely voters and unfavorably by 45 percent; Brown is viewed favorably by 48 percent and unfavorably by 50 percent.
Only 39 percent of those poll approved of the job President Obama is doing as President, while 57 percent disapproved.
Click here to view the poll results.