Former President Bill Clinton stumped for Democratic Senate candidate Jeanne Shaheen in New Hampshire Sunday, his first time in the Granite state since he campaigned for his wife in the January primaries.
In his speech, Clinton reflected Democrats' confidence about the outcome of the presidential election, urging Obama voters to also back Shaheen.
"If you're going to vote for Barack Obama, you darn sure better vote for Jeanne Shaheen," he told the crowd at Manchester's Central High School, according to the Concord Monitor. "It'd be terrible to have him in there and not be able to do what he intended to do."
Clinton blamed Senate filibusters for the failure of some of his policy initiatives as president, including health care reform. He said that if New Hampshire -- a state that hasn't elected a Democratic representative since 1975 -- elects a Democratic senator, it will send a message to Republicans.
"The Republicans that are left after this election in the U.S. Senate are going to look and they are going to draw a conclusion from those elections about whether they should obstruct everything President Obama tries to do," he said, according to the Concord Monitor.
One day ahead of the election, Shaheen seems to be in a strong position. The former governor is 9.6 points ahead of incumbent Sen. John Sununu, according to an average of polls from the Web site RealClearPolitics.com. Individual polls put her between 6 and 13 points ahead.
Shaheen, who lost to Sununu in 2002, has run a "low-risk" campaign this time around, University of New Hampshire political science professor Dante J. Scala told the New York Times. She's relied mainly on tying Sununu to an unpopular president, reiterating that he has voted with President Bush 90 percent of the time.
"I think she looked at the numbers, the same numbers that we are all looking at, and decided that she never, ever had to go out on a limb this year," Scala told the paper. "All she had to do this year was present herself as a plausible, suitable alternative to the incumbent."
She's also benefited from changing demographics in the state, which has seen an influx of Democratic-leaning retirees and young professionals from neighboring Massachusetts, according to the Washington Post.
Sununu, meanwhile, has tried to paint himself as a political independent willing to stand up to his party, and Shaheen as a politician who toes the Democratic party line.
At the pair's final debate Thursday, Sununu said "I've never hesitated to take a tough, independent stand and frankly that's why 15 newspapers that endorsed Jeanne Shaheen are supporting me in this election."
Shaheen 's response?
"I hope they help you in the same way they helped me in 2002," she said.