Cennamology Chief Editor
Two new polls in the New Hampshire Senate race that have been released over the last few days shows that Scott Brown is on the path to losing his second consecutive U.S. Senate race.
A poll released today by the American Research Group shows Brown trailing current Senator Jeanne Shaheen 50 percent to 38 percent. A poll released yesterday by Suffolk/Boston Herald also showed Brown trailing Shaheen, this time 49 percent to 39 percent. This is a contrast to many previous polls taken a couple of months ago, that showed Brown anywhere from within one to five points behind Shaheen.
You may remember Brown as the Massachusetts Republican who pulled off a stunning upset in the 2010 special election to fill the seat of the late Sen. Ted Kennedy. This was largely due to the ineptness of his Democratic opponent Martha Coakley, as Brown was unable to defend that seat when he was up for reelection in 2012 against a very strong candidate, current senator Elizabeth Warren.
This is a phenomenon called carpetbagging, where a candidate for political office moves to a state in which they have never lived, or have not lived in for many years with the sole purpose of getting elected. This usually involves moving to a state that is more electorally friendly to your own party, which is why Brown is choosing to run in New Hampshire instead of the state he previously served in Congress. This is taking the easy way out, instead of having to run a perfect campaign in order to win.
The two new polls from New Hampshire show that voters are very skeptical of carpetbaggers, as it is difficult to tell whether the candidate is running because he truly cares about the people of the state, or if he is running because he just wants to be in a position of power again.
Brown is not the only carpetbagger running this election cycle. Another senate candidate who lost in 2012 and is trying to take a slightly easier path to Congress is Republican Dan Bongino, who is running for the U.S. House of Representatives in Maryland’s Sixth District, which is over 90 minutes away from his home in Anne Arundel County. This is also carpetbagging, since the Sixth District is the least-Democratic friendly of all the state’s districts represented by a Democrat, having a Cook Partisan Voting Index of D+2, much lower than the 4th District, where Bongino's home is located, whose Cook PVI is D+23. There is no viable Republican candidate running in the Fourth District, but Bongino knows that he will never be able to match the Fourth’s Rep. Donna Edwards (he's not going to put up much of a match against Rep. John Delaney either). Bongino is not familiar with the interests of the Sixth District and it is unlikely that he will be any more acquainted with the very culturally diverse district five months from now than he is today.
Carpetbagging is a type of voter exploitation. It takes advantage of a state or community in order to gain political office. It paints the false picture that you know what are in the state or district’s best interests and that you closely identify with the area’s roots and ideologies.
Carpetbaggers try to play off of voter stupidity. That’s what Scott Brown is trying to do in New Hampshire. Most of his ads, at this point, are of him trying to promote his "New Hampshire roots," even though he was born in Maine and lived in Massachusetts most of his life.
The most direct connection to the state that he can find is that he owned a vacation home in New Hampshire, which he has now made his permanent home. My aunt and uncle, who are from Pennsylvania, own a vacation home in New Jersey, but there's a reason that they won't run for Cape May County freeholder - because they are not from that area.
It is hard to believe that anybody who is not from the area they are elected in will fight their hardest for the district’s interests. For example, there is a reason that the leaders of teachers’ unions are usually teachers or former teachers themselves. There is a reason that the student body president is always a student. People fight for the interests of people they share common roots, occupations or other cultural similarities with.
It’s hard to believe that a guy running for senate in a different state than the one he was serving less than two years ago will fight to represent his new "home" state in Congress instead of the national interests which would get him elected. This is why carpetbaggers often leave the voters behind once they take office, and why it is hard to trust them.
As these two new polls show, New Hampshire voters are finding it difficult to believe that Scott Brown is running because he truly wants to make life better for the people of The Granite State. Just because New Hampshire borders Massachusetts does not mean that the interests of the people in both states are identical. Come Election Day, I think it will be more likely than not that Brown loses to Shaheen by a wider margin than which he lost to Elizabeth Warren.