Scott Brown Is About to Make 2014 Much More Expensive for Shaheen

by Jim Geraghty

Former Massachusetts senator Scott Brown is making his interest in the New Hampshire Senate race official today, and that’s good news for Republicans and bad news for Jeanne Shaheen.

Sure, Shaheen leads most of the polls that match her up against Brown.

Back in 2010, Brown raised $15 million (and spent $10.1 million). Then in his reelection bid in 2012, he raised $28 million and dipped into his leftovers from the previous race, spending $35 million. (For perspective, Elizabeth Warren raised and spent $42 million.)

According to papers filed at the end of 2013, Shaheen has $3.4 million in cash on hand.

In other words, with his national network of donors and supporters, Brown automatically gives Shaheen a serious challenge, and national Democrats will have to throw in their own money to help — leaving fewer dollars for all of the other competitive Senate races in places like Arkansas, Louisiana, North Carolina, Colorado, Michigan, Virginia . . . 

Yes, there are other Republicans with deeper roots in New Hampshire running. But at least as of the end of December, none had raised the kind of money needed to run a serious challenge to Shaheen. Former state senator Jim Rubens had $255,000 on hand, mostly from a loan to his campaign. Former senator Bob Smith had about $21,000 in cash on hand. Radio-talk-show host and activist Karen Testerman had $3,650.

This is entirely separate from who New Hampshire Republicans deem the best to represent them, of course.

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