It’s not terribly unusual for both parties to play in their opponent’s primary races, attempting to soften the ground for the general election. It probably happens more in the later primaries given the shorter time frame to make a general election pitch, and the primaries coming up next week wrap up the nomination process for Congressional races around the country. The amount of effort put into such kibbutzing reveals plenty about the state of mind of the opposition, though, and that may be most true in New Hampshire — where Democrats have put a lot of money into stopping Sean Mahoney from winning the primary for the NH-01 Congressional :
The state Democratic Party has been playing in the Republican U.S. Senate primary pretty much all year now, doing the bidding of Binnie and Lamontagne (as well as their own Paul Hodes) in attacking Ayotte relentlessly.
But the NHDP took its involvement to a new level yesterday when two full-color mailers hit GOP homes attacking Republican 1st District U.S. House hopeful Sean Mahoney.
One claims that while Mahoney says he opposed the Wall Street bailout, he actually profited from it. The other claims that Mahoney drove a Massachusetts firm he owned, Folio Exhibits, into bankruptcy.
Both urge Republicans to “vote ‘no’ on Sean Mahoney.”
State GOP Chair John H. Sununu called the move “not surprising since John Lynch and the Democratic State Committee have been attacking Republicans for the past year. This is typical Democratic dirty politics and they should stay out of our primary.”
The Mahoney campaign reveled in the attack, hanging it on Rep. Carol Shea-Porter, while noting that the Folio firm was profitable when Mahoney left and that Mahoney “stood up to the leaders of his own party to oppose the Wall Street bailouts because it was the right thing to do.”
Two full-color mailers? That had to cost some considerable amount of money. Has the NHDP bothered to do that much to support their own candidate, Carol Shea-Porter? If he has Democrats this spooked, they must be looking at some internal polling that shows Mahoney doing more damage to Shea-Porter than any other Republican in the race.
Honestly, while this kind of activity isn’t all that unusual, it’s normally handled with a bit more discretion. This smacks of desperation.
I’ve interviewed both Mahoney and Frank Guinta on TEMS in the past. Both would make a much better Representative than the Milk Carton Democrat currently occupying the seat. Apparently, though, the New Hampshire Democratic Party has made its endorsement in the race.