New Hampshire could be having a “General” election on Tuesday.
Retired U.S. Army Brigadier General Don Bolduc has taken the lead in what began as a longshot bid to unseat New Hampshire Democratic Sen. Maggie Hassan, according to a new Trafalgar/Daily Wire poll. The new data came just hours before the pair squared off in their second debate Wednesday night, where Bolduc blasted Hassan for backing what he called President Biden’s lax border policies.
“We’ve left it wide open for human trafficking, which is a national disgrace,” Bolduc charged. “We’ve left it open for weapons, illicit weapons and worse, fentanyl that are killing our children.”
“This is a problem that the Biden administration and Maggie Hassan have created because of bad policy,” he added.
In the exclusive new survey, Bolduc’s support stood at 47%, while Hassan was at 45.7%. Libertarian Jeremy Kauffman had 4% and another 3.2% of respondents were undecided.
“What we’re seeing right now is a lot of his support consolidating,” said Robert Cahaly, founder of Trafalgar Group, noting that both Bolduc and his vanquished primary opponent, Chuck Morse, both led Hassan in hypothetical matchups before the primaries. “This is kind of the direction the race has been moving, and the undecideds are still very anti-Biden.”
Bolduc’s momentum comes as fellow Republican candidates are surging around the nation and the GOP appears poised to capture the House and possibly Senate majorities. The poll, taken from Oct. 30-Nov. 1, surveyed 1,241 respondents and has a 2.9% margin of error.
The Republican’s campaign had remained under the national radar for months, as pundits and party leaders focused on higher-profile races in Arizona, Georgia, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. But when the military veteran closed to within the margin of error late last month, the National Republican Senatorial Committee pumped $1 million into his campaign.
Hassan, a former Granite State governor, is seeking her second term in the U.S. Senate. In Wednesday’s debate, she touted her record as governor, called Bolduc an “extremist” and warned conservative “rhetoric” was leading to violence.
Bolduc, 60, ran for New Hampshire’s other U.S. Senate seat in 2020 but lost in the Republican primary.
Unlike voters in many other states, New Hampshire residents who aren’t voting absentee wait until the big day to cast their ballots, Cahaly said.
“Worth noting on this race: Very little early vote,” he said. “This is all election day.”
Wednesday’s debate came after Bolduc received an endorsement from former President Trump, who described him as a “strong and proud ‘Election Denier,’ a big reason that he won the nomination.”
Bolduc has also benefited from high-profile endorsements from Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and former Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard, a fellow military veteran who recently left the Democratic Party.
The New Hampshire race is one of several Senate contests that could hold the key to breaking the 50-50 deadlock that, for now, can only be snapped by a vote from Vice President Kamala Harris.