By Don Bolduc
New Hampshire receives national attention for its “first in the nation” presidential primary, but this year, it could decide control of the U.S. Senate, and the race is extremely close. But don’t take my word for it. Incumbent Democratic Sen. Maggie Hassan’s campaign declared in a strategy memo that I am, “well on my way to making this a tied race.”
Senator Hassan has good reason to be nervous. She won her first campaign for Senate by 1,017 votes six years ago — a margin of approximately 0.14% — promising to be an independent voice for New Hampshire. Since then, she has been a reliable party-line vote in Washington, siding with President Joe Biden 97% of the time.
“Rather than run on her record, Hassan has resorted to the tired Democratic playbook of scare tactics and attack ads. Even the Washington Post fact checker has declared Democrat attacks in other races on this topic as “false,” as it is in New Hampshire.” She has lied again by saying I support a national abortion ban, another demonstrably false allegation. Yes, I am proudly pro-life, but believe the issue is best decided on a state-by-state basis (as we have in New Hampshire) rather than politicians in Washington D.C.
I have been clear that I oppose Sen. Lindsey Graham’s proposed federal ban.
Hassan has already spent more than $23 million dollars distorting my record, and yet the race remains competitive. Once again, the incumbent’s actions are revealing.
Hassan has always had a low-key presence in New Hampshire. She is not holding town hall meetings and is ducking general election debates, hiding from her constituents. I have proposed seven debates, she has so far only been willing to attend three, including one with left-leaning NHPR where she will have the home field advantage.
Granite Staters expect and deserve more from their elected officials. We are a small state where retail politics remain paramount. I won my primary campaign without spending a cent on television ads.
Instead, I prioritized town hall meetings, holding 50 to discuss my American Strength Agenda. It’s my strategy in the general election as well.
Along the way, I’ve met some incredible people and heard directly about what’s on their mind. I’ve talked to seniors who are being forced back to work because inflation has squeezed their financial well-being.
I’ve met families who have no idea how to afford soaring utility bills. Over the summer, Eversource‘s energy service rate rose by 112% while Liberty Utilities‘ rate increased 100%. Rather than providing long-term solutions, applications for “emergency energy assistance” are the short-term band aid.
After two long years of lockdowns, I’ve heard from the people who feel their rights and freedoms are at stake in the election — something that two-thirds of voters believe at the national level, according to a recent CBS News survey. Faith in once impeccable institutions has eroded.
While my opponent relies on highly produced television ads and glitzy mailers lying about my record, I’ll put my faith in the people. Liberals have a way of underestimating voters’ ability to cut through the noise, especially in New Hampshire. Authenticity still matters.
Looking someone in the eye in a diner, VFW, coffee shop or living room still counts. There’s a reason Hassan can’t do it – her record is indefensible, and her vision is indistinguishable from the hard left.
To be sure, the general election polls will take time to tighten up, a byproduct of our late primary. This year, there were only eight weeks between primary and general election contests. But as Hassan’s team noted in her strategy memo, I am “quickly consolidating” Republican voters, and polls in New England do not have a good track record. Just look at Sen. Susan Collins in 2020, who won her re-election easily without ever leading in a public poll.
For anyone wondering about my chances, come up to New Hampshire and see for yourself. Maybe attend a town hall meeting.
With the leaves changing, the Patriots playing and politics in the air, our state is a nice place to be in in the fall. This year, New Hampshire might just decide control of the Senate next year.
A retired brigadier general, Don Bolduc is the Republican nominee for the United States Senate in New Hampshire.