Oct 23, 2014 4:31 PM
Paul Steinhauser: First on NH1 - McCain, Ayotte, to team up with Brown
CONCORD - One of the biggest names in the Republican Party is coming to New Hampshire in a couple of days to campaign with the state's GOP Senate nominee Scott Brown.
NH1 has learned that Sen. John McCain, of Arizona, will co-headline a rally with Brown on Monday in Nashua. This will be the 2008 Republican presidential nominee's second visit to the Granite State in the past couple of months to team up with Brown. McCain joined Brown at a town hall on foreign policy in Derry in August.
McCain is well known in New Hampshire. He won the 2000 and 2008 Republican presidential primaries.
Co-headlining the rally with McCain will be GOP Sen. Kelly Ayotte, the Granite State's junior senator. Ayotte, who's starred in two campaign commercials for Brown, is popular in New Hampshire.
Brown, the former senator from Massachusetts, moved late last year to New Hampshire, where he spent part of his childhood and has long owned a vacation home. In April, he launched a GOP challenge against Democratic Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, a former three-term governor in the state.
A trio of polls out this week indicate the race between Shaheen and Brown is all tied up.
The Shaheen-Brown showdown is one of a dozen Senate contests nationwide that could determine whether the Democrats retain control of the chamber following the Midterm elections. Democrats currently control the Senate 55-45 (43 Democrats and two independents who caucus with the party) but are defending 21 of the 36 seats up for grabs next month. And half of the seats they are defending are in red or purple states like New Hampshire.
With the race deadlocked and so much on the line, the attention high profile surrogates bring to a campaign could be crucial. Last week two more of the biggest names in the Republican Party, 2012 GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney, and Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky, both came to New Hampshire to campaign for Brown.
Shaheen also is getting some star power from her party. She shared the same stage last week with former President Bill Clinton at a major Democratic Party dinner in Manchester. This Saturday Sen. Elizabeth Warren, of Massachusetts, a rock-star among liberals, will join Shaheen on the campaign trail. And on Nov. 2, two days before Election Day, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton comes to New Hampshire to support Shaheen.