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New Hampshire Republicans Setting Fire To Senate Chances, Hooray!
We might really hold on to that majority!
New Hampshire seemed like it could have had the potential to be an easy flip for Republicans. Incumbent Democratic Sen. Maggie Hassan’s approval is around 44 percent, and New Hampshire has elected Republicans statewide in the past. However, phony Susan Collins-style New England moderates aren’t enough for today’s right-wing extremists.
The Republican Senate primary is September 13, and a St. Anselm College poll shows MAGA loon Don Bolduc in the lead. After losing the 2020 primary, he jumped on Donald Trump’s Big Lie bandwagon and started promoting unhinged election conspiracies, like your weird uncle on Facebook.
A retired Army brigadier general, Bolduc has called for a US ground war in Ukraine and repeatedly smears Republican Gov. Chris Sununu as a “Chinese Communist sympathizer.” A depressing April poll from the University of New Hampshire had Hassan with a single-point lead over Bolduc. She outright lost to Republican state senate president Chuck Morse, 44 percent to his 46 percent. Perhaps this is why Fergus Cullen, a former chair of the New Hampshire Republican Party, claims, "Democrats have to be praying for Don Bolduc."
Sure, we’d love if Republicans tanked this race, but we also don’t trust that Republicans in a general election won't vote for any fool with an R after their name. This is a Senate with Tommy Tuberville and Marsha Blackburn.
Fortunately, New Hampshire is neither Alabama nor Tennessee. Republican candidates must at least try to appear normal to the general electorate. That’s become harder over the past six years. In 2016, Hassan narrowly defeated Kelly Ayotte by just 1,017 votes, which is why you still have healthcare. Ayotte might’ve won a rematch, but she struggled to toe the Trump line. She double-talked around whether Trump was a decent role model before retracting her endorsement completely after the "Access Hollywood" tape. Trump was just a degenerate self-avowed pussy-grabber in those days. Now, he’s a coup plotter who stole state secrets. However, the MAGA cult demands total fealty. She couldn’t just fake a Break Room confession. She’d have to believe it.
Sununu was "Team Normal’s" best option, but he refused to join the dysfunctional workplace sitcom without a laugh track that passes as the US Senate.
Tim Miller at the Bulwark argues that Sununu, a popular governor, could’ve easily flipped the seat, but wasn’t "particularly keen on jobs where rioters target his office if he doesn’t submit to a game show host’s autocratic delusions.” That’s a solid point, but I don’t think Trump shoulders all the blame for this one. Let’s not forget that Trump’s favorite “broken old crow" Mitch McConnell is a cynical obstructionist who’s only interested in packing the courts withfar-right zealots barely out of diapers. Nothing legislatively constructive occurs in a McConnell-led Senate.
When Republicans were recruiting Sununu to run against Hassan, they admitted that all they would do is make President Joe Biden miserable until Donald Trump or Ron DeSantis reclaimed the White House.
“I said, ‘OK, so if we're going to get stuff done if we win the White House back, why didn't you do it in 2017 and 2018?’” How did the Republicans Sununu spoke with answer his challenge? “Crickets. Yeah, crickets,” the governor said. “They had no answer.”
Talking smack was easier for Sununu back in January when it seemed more certain that McConnell would resume his reign of terror as Senate majority leader. Sununu even said, "I don't need to be the 51st vote anymore. I think we're going to win 52 or 53 seats.” This was before Republican primary voters traded their cows for magic bean candidates Herschel Walker, Dr. Mehmet Oz, and Blake Masters.
Some other polls have Hassan with a more significant lead over Bolduc. Corey Lewandowski, Trump’s 2016 campaign manager and New Hampshire resident, claims that Bolduc has not always been loyal to Trump, and if he does win the primary, the National Republican Senatorial Committee won’t spend any money in the general election. Of course, the NRSC might not have money left to spend on any nominee. Once chair Rick Scott returns from his Italian yacht trip, he has a lot of explaining to do.
This looks like a race that MAGA is going to help Democrats win. We’ll take it.
[ Politico ]
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