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Oct 28, 2014 3:49 PM

Paul Steinhauser: Time-tested closing arguments in NH's Senate race

NH1 Political Director - NH1.com

CONCORD - With one week to go until Election Day, both candidates in New Hampshire's crucial U.S. Senate race are focusing on their final messages.

And those closing arguments are time-tested lines which have become very familiar to Granite State voters.

"On issue after issue, Senator Shaheen continues to vote with President Obama 99 percent of the time. She promised to be independent but Washington changed her," says GOP challenger Scott Brown, to camera, in the final TV ad of his Senate campaign.

It was a similar message from Brown as he spoke to reporters at a campaign stop Tuesday morning at the HP Hood dairy plant in Concord.

"To try and run away from her record of voting with the President 99 percent of the time, I understand what she's doing and I think the people of New Hampshire understand that as well," Brown said in response to a question from NH1.

Brown's doing his best to make the race a referendum on Sen.Jeanne Shaheen and President Barack Obama, and to tie the Democratic incumbent to the unpopular President. And Brown says he's going to stick to that strategy, adding that "I don't pay attention too much to what she's saying at this point. I'm just going to stay focused on my message and bringing my message to businesses like this."

The game plan seems to be working, as Shaheen's double digit lead in the public opinion polls in the spring and summer are long gone. The latest surveys, including our NH1 Poll by New England College, indicate the race is all tied up.

Shaheen pushes back

Shaheen's pushing back against Brown's claims that she's not an independent voice in the Senate. Tuesday she traveled to Amherst to receive the endorsement of the Republican owner of LaBelle Winery.

"I'm a registered Republican which probably makes these remarks interesting," Amy LaBelle told reporters as she stood next to Shaheen.

"When it comes to who will fight for New Hampshire and its small businesses Sen. Shaheen is the clear choice. In this case I'm voting for the person and not the party," LaBelle added.

Shaheen's strategy is to keep the race local.

"The fact is he can say what ever he wants but this race is about New Hampshire. It's about who's going to put New Hampshire first," Shaheen said. "That's what I did as governor. That's what I did in the United States Senate for the last six year. That's what I will do again."

And she's reminding voters about where the former senator from Massachusetts comes from.

"As we saw when he represented Massachusetts, he supported the big corporations, he supported the oil companies, he supported the companies that outsourced our jobs, the Wall Street banks," Shaheen added.

The two candidates face off Thursday evening in their final televised debate. After that it's all about energizing the base in the closing days of the campaign.


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