Scott Brown Would Have Massachusetts Baggage in a New Hampshire Race

A New York Times story emphasizes that New Hampshire conservatives are unsure of his more liberal positions.

Scott Brown has been publicly musing about his run for New Hampshire Senate for a while now, and amid all the will-he-won’t-he considerations, The New York Times has focused in on what issues might stand in the way of his election. The answer can be summed up pretty easily: he used to be a U.S. senator in Massachusetts.

Like Mitt Romney before him, Scott Brown might find that the socially liberal positions he struck to appeal to our demographic might not play as well in a more conservative primary. Brown would compete against less well-known Republican challengers, and the Times‘s Katherine Seelye reports that his positions on abortion and assault weapons bans might give him trouble with some voters. She writes:

At the gathering here, State Representative Daniel Tamburello said he liked Mr. Brown personally but hesitated when asked whether he would support him.

“I’m a pretty strong pro-life guy, and that’s usually a sticking point for me in the primaries,” Mr. Tamburello said.


Others said a bigger problem here would be his support for the federal ban on assault weapons, which he declared last year after the shootings at a school in Newtown, Conn.

Running against the liberal stalwart Elizabeth Warren in 2012, Brown had to emphasize over and over that he supports issues like a woman’s right to choose, and that’s footage that could be used against him in ads when he faces a more conservative New Hampshire primary electorate.

Plus, there’s the awkward fact that Brown isn’t from New Hampshire, though he has long had a home here. That was underscored when a liberal tracker posted video of him at an event in New Hampshire referring to “people here in Massachuss — in New Hampshire” last week. The slip-up caused a stir among those who would label him a carpetbagger.

Still, Brown’s a gargantuan name and a proven fund raiser, and so far, New Hampshire Republicans (and national Republicans) seem to want him to stick around. You have to imagine that if he ran a careful campaign, those advantages would give him a shot at overcoming his moderate record. But it’s worth noting as we wonder whether he’ll do it, that if he flies north, the ghost of his run against Elizabeth Warren will surely follow.