Stunner for Democrats Drops in New Hampshire and Scrambles the Election Map

Hold on a second. Is New Hampshire actually in play for Republicans on November 8th? That’s the story from a stunning new poll that shows that Don Bolduc is leading Democrat incumbent Sen. Maggie Hassan.

Bolduc, a Donald Trump-endorsed candidate, was left for dead after winning the primary, with the assumption being that his negatives were too high and that he couldn’t draw support in a blue state. His fundraising was lackluster, and the national groups have been spending their finite resources in more “competitive” states.

Recently, though, it was revealed that Republicans were going back into New Hampshire to make last-minute ad buys for Bolduc, again putting the race on the table. That surprised a lot of election onlookers, but this new poll from St. Anselm says it’s the right move.

If this were just some random poll, I wouldn’t even bother to write this article. In this case, though, St. Anselm is a gold-standard poll for the State of New Hampshire. In fact, it’s the only state they deal with as pollsters, and they were, by far, the most accurate pollster there in 2020. When they put out a poll showing Bolduc leading, people pay attention.

Now, do I think New Hampshire is suddenly a toss-up? I wouldn’t go that far, but clearly, the map is expanding for Republicans while it continues to contract for Democrats. Arizona once thought to be “lean D,” is now firmly in play for Republican Blake Masters. Pennsylvania has swung wildly towards Republican Mehmet Oz. Meanwhile, in Georiga, Gov. Brian Kemp’s overperformance against Democrat Stacey Abrams threatens to pull Herschel Walker across the finish line without a run-off. Democrats had hoped to make headway in Nevada and Wisconsin, but those appear to be “lead R” at this point.

Back to Bolduc, he may still be the underdog, but Hassan’s low approval ratings mean we could be in for a shocker on election night. She’s struggled to gain her footing, never breaking 50 percent. That’s always a flashing red light for an incumbent.

I hate to get out over my skis because anything could happen, but you’ve got election analysts now suggesting Republicans could end up with 54 US Senate seats when all is said and done. You would have been laughed out of the room for suggesting that just a month ago.

Again, that’s not to say that Republicans will win 54 seats, but it is to point out that they are in a good position to get the majority. You’d always rather be the side with the most options, and the GOP has the most ways to get to their magic numbers. For Democrats to keep the Senate at this point, not only would you need to see zero polling error, but you’d need to see a polling error in their favor in at least one seat.

As I’ve covered extensively before, senate polling has systematically underestimated Republicans over the last four cycles. There is no reason to believe that doesn’t happen again. Either way, the GOP is in the driver’s seat. Winning in New Hampshire would just be icing on the cake.

 

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