Regardless of whether former Sen. Scott P. Brown, R-Mass., actually runs for Senate in New Hampshire, local Democrats are capitalizing on his recent stated interest in the race.
Both Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., and the New Hampshire Democratic Party are using the prospect of a Brown bid for Senate in the Granite State to try to fundraise.
"This is serious: Brown's campaign spent $40 million in 2012," a Shaheen email stated. "Most of that went to lie-filled attack ads. He'll try the same thing against Jeanne — and with Wall Street bankers Karl Rove and the Tea Party Super PACs behind him, he could raise even more."
The state party was even quicker on the draw, asking contributors in a Thursday night email to "rush a contribution of $10 or more."
Brown went public about his interest in the race at a dinner in New Hampshire on Thursday, according to The Associated Press. During his speech, Brown played up his bipartisan behavior in the Senate, as well as his connections to the state.
"It's something that has always been a possibility," one national Republican told CQ Roll Call. "He's been a New Hampshire taxpayer for decades."
Until Brown's interest, the Granite State Senate race had barely cracked this cycle's early competitive playing field. Both parties were more focused on the several Democrats seeking re-election in states that President Barack Obama lost last year.
But if Republicans can recruit a top-tier challenger for Shaheen, the race could quickly become competitive. New Hampshire solidified its swing state status recently, electing Republicans to the state's pair of House seats in 2010 and then ejecting them two years later in favor of two Democrats.
National groups aligned with Democrats also pounced on Brown's interest in the race. EMILY's List noted a poll from February that showed Shaheen remains well-liked in the Granite State. The League of Conservation Voters noted that it spent $1.1 million on direct mail and a field program against Brown in 2012, when he lost to now-Sen. Elizabeth Warren in Massachusetts.