Republicans eye New Hampshire as they seek to flip control of the U.S. Senate

Published: Sep. 12, 2022 at 6:10 PM EDT

WASHINGTON (Gray DC) - Many Republicans see a ‘Granite State’ win as their chance to flip the United States Senate red. But Democrats are confident Sen. Maggie Hassan will declare victory in the November mid-term elections.

“Maggie Hassan is in fact, one of the most vulnerable, if not the most vulnerable Democrat Senate candidate, Democrat incumbent in the country,” said Danielle Alvarez of the Republican National Committee.

The man leading the GOP pack for her seat is known conservative and Trump-supporter Don Bolduc. He supports the false claim that President Donald Trump won the 2020 election. Since January, he has consistently led in polling by the New Hampshire Institute of Politics. In August, the institute’s poll showed Bolduc with 32% of the Republican vote, with fellow Republican Chuck Morse ranked second.

“The fate of the United States Senate in some degree could rest on a campaign and a candidate named Don Bolduc,” said Neil Levesque of the New Hampshire Institute of Politics.

Levesque noted, however, that Bolduc has had trouble fundraising. Recent election reports show he has only about $84,000 cash in hand. Democrat Maggie Hassan has around $7 million in cash on hand.

“He has led in the polls consistently since we really started polling in January. He announced almost immediately after losing the last election that he was running again and has been out there campaigning. Interesting thing about Bolduc is that he basically has the same themes and message as former President Trump. So, he’s connecting with sort of a segment of voters that way. But also, he has had troubles fundraising. Because he has had troubles fundraising, he’s been undervalued by the political class. And so consultants and other candidates and other campaigns have thought this person isn’t going to have a chance because they can’t raise the money. So they have largely ignored him to their own peril, really, because at this point, with just a few days left to go, Don Bolduc stands in the lead,” said Levesque.

Alvarez of the Republican National Committee said “the RNC has built the infrastructure to work alongside whatever candidate wins the GOP nomination. We have made over 550,000 voter contacts talk to voters across the Granite State. We have over 40,000 volunteers and we have the political operation built so that when this late primary does take place, we can work lockstep with whoever our candidate may be. Because the RNC does not get involved in primary elections. Whoever our candidate may be to ensure that we defeat Maggie Hassan. She votes in lockstep with Joe Biden in New Hampshire.”

As for those Republicans who believe Hassan is vulnerable, chair of the New Hampshire Democratic Party Ray Buckley said, “well, you know, those folks still believe that Donald Trump won his reelection. So you can take that with a grain of salt. Look, look, New Hampshire is a purple state. Every election is close. Every election is competitive.”

He added, “I mean, there will be close elections here, but we have no doubt that with her solid record that she will be reelected.”

Buckley believes reproductive rights will be among the top issues that motivate voters this year in New Hampshire. Alvarez believes, the economy will be the main motivator.

“I would say, actually that they’re both correct, except for the fact there’s a third factor which may be very significant,” said Levesque, “and, I think the Democrats are probably counting on this, and that is candidate selection. The Republicans are about to choose candidates who may have taken positions which you call it, you know, it’s sort of a purple state. We have a Republican governor and four members of the delegation which are Democrats. They may have taken positions that are really unpalatable to a general election group of voters. And, so the focus has been winning on these primaries, becoming sort of almost mirroring the former President Trump’s message and embracing him. But, whether or not that’s a winning formula going into the general election, that remains to be seen in our polling here in New Hampshire.”

The late New Hampshire primary may also make it difficult to change voters minds, as the general election will quickly happen in November.

When asked how the Democratic Party is preparing, Levesque said “well, you know, you can’t really tell a lot of difference between the Republican candidates. So, we start preparing for her reelection over a year ago. We started our coordinated campaign, which is our ground organization, over a year ago. And, we have opened up over 14 offices. We have an extraordinary team of local organizers that are working with our, you know, our local volunteers are legendary with the work that they do.”

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