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GOP group targets Shaheen on ObamaCare with first ad

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The ad, from Citizens for a Strong New Hampshire, characterizes Shaheen as "the deciding vote for ObamaCare," and features a family deciding what to cut from a meal following hypothetical cuts to their income due to the healthcare law.

"Now employers may cut your weekly work hours from 40 to 29 to avoid the new taxes and penalties. Fewer hours. Less money. Tougher times. Tell Senator Shaheen you can’t afford ObamaCare," a narrator says.

The buy is backed by $110,000 and will be running on broadcast and cable affiliates in the state.

It's the first on-air attack from the group, which is advised by Kristin Beaulieu and Mike Biondo, former staffers of Rick Santorum and Mitt Romney's presidential bids.

A recent study conducted by UC Berkeley indicated an estimated 2.3 million workers nationwide could lose hours in part because of a requirement in the healthcare law that employers provide healthcare benefits to part-time employees working 30 hours a week or more.

Instead of provide that coverage, many employers are opting instead to cut hours for some of those employees, to avoid having to pay the additional costs.

There's some controversy surrounding the Affordable Care Act in New Hampshire, where Republican state legislators recently suggested to their colleagues that they reject a bill seeking to align state law with the ACA.

A near-majority, 49 percent, of New Hampshire adults oppose the law, while 34 percent favor it and 17 percent are neutral or don't know enough about it, according to a poll conducted by the University of New Hampshire Survey Center last month.

That's an indication ObamaCare, provisions of which are due to take effect in 2014, could be a winning argument for Republicans in New Hampshire.

Shaheen remains popular, however, and Republicans have yet to front a challenger. State Senate Leader Jeb Bradley, former Rep. Frank Guinta and former Massachusetts Sen. Scott Brown are all looking at the race.

Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee spokesman Justin Barasky said that because Republicans haven't found their candidate "they've resorted to desperate, worn out attacks," and charged that the ad was a repeat of a "failed strategy."

"In 2012, Republicans and conservative outside groups spent hundreds of millions of dollars attacking Democrats over health care reform and it proved to be a failed strategy. These blatantly false attacks have already been discredited and rejected by New Hampshire voters. What matters most to voters is Senator Jeanne Shaheen’s strong record of fighting for New Hampshire’s middle class and small businesses," he said in an email.

--This piece was updated at 12:00 p.m. to reflect comment from the DSCC.