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Republicans in Hot Water Over RoboCalls in N.H.

The contest between Republican Rep. Charlie Bass and Democratic challenger Paul Hodes in New Hampshire’s second congressional district is currently a toss-up, and will be one of the country’s most closely watched races tomorrow.

Hodes ran against Bass in 2004 and won just 38% of the vote. Hodes started this campaign season with a twenty-point deficit, but one recent Concord Monitor poll shows him now within one point of Bass.

In recent days, the National Republican Congressional Committee has come under fire for allegedly sending prerecorded messages on behalf of Bass to New Hampshire residents on the federal Do Not Call Registry, which is illegal in the Granite state.

According to this article in today’s Concord Monitor, the message sounded as though it came from Hodes, but then continued with negative messages about the Democrat. The NRCC was contacted by the New Hampshire attorney general, and agreed to stop the calls.

Hodes spokesperson Reid Cherlin told the Forward this morning that the issue had been a major distraction for his campaign over the weekend. Today, the Hodes campaign has been focused on radio interviews, visiting campaign volunteers across the state and shaking as many hands as possible.

“We’re back to the message,” Cherlin said, adding that the war in Iraq would be the issue Hodes pounds on through Election Day.

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