Poll shows tight New Hampshire Senate race in must-win contest for Democrats

NOTNew polls show incumbent Democratic Senator Maggie Hassan facing a tight re-election bid despite high-profile Republicans such as Governor Chris Sununu and former Senator Kelly Ayotte remaining out of the race.

The poll, conducted by the University of New Hampshire, puts Hassan within the margin of error of many of the leading Republican candidates, underscoring his vulnerability in a race that could determine the balance of power in the Senate after the mid-cycle. mandate.

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“In 2016 I won with just 1,017 votes, and this year might be even closer. I’m no stranger to tough fights, but it’s going to take us all working together,” she said. tweeted earlier this week, acknowledging his dim re-election prospects.

Democrats must retain the New Hampshire seat to keep their majority in the Senate, which currently hinges on Vice President Kamala Harris’ deciding vote in the 50-50 chamber.

The poll found Hassan leading Republicans Don Buldoc 47% to 46%, Kevin Smith 45% to 44% and Bruce Fenton 46% to 40%. She’s down against Chuck Morse 44% to 46%. The poll surveyed 975 potential voters online from April 14-18, with a margin of error of 3.1 percentage points. A majority of voters (52%) surveyed voted for President Joe Biden in the last election.

Perhaps most alarming for Hassan is that around 51% of voters view her unfavorably, compared to 35% who view her favorably. Voters’ favor for all of his potential top Republican challengers is also underwater, but none of their negatives top 34%, with most voters uncertain or undecided.

President Joe Biden recently traveled to Portsmouth, New Hampshire to discuss supply chain issues and try to build support for Hassan, but that may not help as his approval ratings sway around historic lows. Hassan has primarily been a staunch supporter of the president, voting for administration-backed legislation 98% of the time, but recently has also sought to put some distance between herself and the unpopular administration.

Hassan joined a growing Democratic mutiny expressing opposition to Biden’s plan to roll back Title 42, which restricts migration to the United States due to COVID-19. Concerned about the political backlash from a spike in illegal border crossings, Hassan also recently indicated that she would support efforts to fill “some gaps in the physical barriers along the border”. His immigration posture has drawn criticism from some Democratic Party activists.

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Republicans are expected to ride the red wave in the 2022 midterm cycle, given historic upsides and a plethora of politically risky issues for Democrats, including inflation, rising crime and high levels of illegal immigration. Many forecasts call for Republicans to take over the House but portray the Senate as less of a done deal. The battle for control of the upper house, which is currently split 50-50 between the two sides, is subject to a number of close races, which along with New Hampshire include Arizona, Georgia, Nevada , Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.

Hassan won his seat in 2016 after beating incumbent Republican Senator Ayotte in an extremely narrow 47.98% to 47.84% race. Hassan was governor at the time, having first been elected to the post in 2012.

The state has been on a blue streak over the past few decades, with Biden beating former President Donald Trump by 7 points in 2020. But Republicans have still managed to make inroads, as they currently control the US legislature. State and Governor’s Mansion.