Scott Brown’s Shot at History: No Senate Candidate Has Ever Lost Twice to Women

Former Massachusetts U.S. Republican Senator Scott Brown. (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS)
Former U.S. Republican Senator Scott Brown. –Gretchen Ertl/REUTERS

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Republican Scott Brown has a chance to make history in his New Hampshire US Senate bid.

With a loss to incumbent Democrat Jeanne Shaheen, Brown could be the first candidate to lose two senate races to women.

The University of Minnesota’s Humphrey School of Public Affairs made note of Brown’s historic opportunity in its Smart Politics blog on Thursday:

A Smart Politics analysis finds that if Scott Brown wins the New Hampshire GOP primary, he would become just the fourth major party politician in U.S. history to face three female major party U.S. Senate nominees, and, if he loses to Jeanne Shaheen, would become the first to lose to two of them.

So those are the stakes. What are the chances of Brown becoming the first two-time loser to female Senate candidates? RealClearPolitics shows Shaheen with a 10.4 percent lead in its polling average. They rank the race as “Lean Dem.’’ FiveThirtyEight gives Brown less of a chance, giving brown a paltry 20 percent chance to pull this thing out:

The problem is not with Brown so much as with his Democratic opponent, Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, who retains fairly high approval ratings. Shaheen has held a lead of between three and 12 points in polls since March, although the polls are a mixed bag in terms of quality.


It took Shaheen two tries to unseat legendary New Hampshire Senator and current Republican polemicist emeritus John Sununu, making him one of only 13 Senate candidates to face a women in two separate campaigns.

New Hampshire has made a habit of voting for women in recent elections. It’s entire federal delegation is female, including Shaheen, US Senator Kelly Ayotte (R), and US Representatives Carol Shea-Porter (D) and Ann Kuster (D). It also elected Maggie Hassan (D) for governor in 2012.

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