Election 2014: the most competitive Senate races

The Democrats face a challenge in their quest to hold onto the US Senate. Eleven races this year are seen as competitive – eight seats held by Democrats, three by Republicans. Here’s the rundown.

11. New Hampshire: Jeanne Shaheen (D), incumbent

Jim Cole/AP
Former Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown is greeted by supporters after announcing his plans to run for US senator in New Hampshire, April 10, 2014, in Portsmouth, N.H.

[Updated Oct. 26]  As in Colorado, the incumbent in New Hampshire looked safe until the Republicans brought in a strong recruit – in this case, former Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown, who owns a home in the Granite State. It’s a rare gambit: Not since the 1800s, notes The Cook Political Report, has a senator who represented one state run for the Senate in another state.

Senator Shaheen is taking Mr. Brown’s challenge seriously. After all, in a special election in 2010, he won the seat of the late liberal icon Sen. Edward Kennedy (D) of Massachusetts. And New Hampshire is a swing state – not solid blue like Massachusetts. Brown lost reelection in 2012 to now-Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D).

Both Shaheen and Brown are moderates in their respective parties. The question is how much voters will discount Brown as a carpetbagger. Shaheen has nearly four decades of political experience in New Hampshire, including three terms as governor.

Cook calls the race a tossup. Sabato calls it lean Democrat. Rothenberg calls it tossup/tilt Democrat. 

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