Nov 8, 2022 - Politics & Policy

Hassan holds on to seat in key New Hampshire Senate race

U.S. Senator Maggie Hassan (D-NH)

Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.) speaks during an election eve campaign event on Nov. 7 in Manchester, N.H. Photo: Scott Eisen/Getty Images

Sen. Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.) defeated Republican challenger Don Bolduc to secure a second term in the U.S. Senate.

Why it matters: New Hampshire’s Senate race was among Republicans' best opportunities to pick up a seat this year, but Hassan dwarfed Bolduc in fundraising and the Republican candidate aligned himself with former President Trump in a state that Trump lost twice.

Driving the news: Hassan, a former two-term governor, prevailed against Bolduc to win another six-year term after the race tightened in the last few weeks of the campaign.

What happened: Hassan ran as a moderate Democrat and benefited from the timing of a competitive GOP primary, which fell less than two months before the general election.

  • Bolduc, a retired Army general, was not the Republican establishment's first pick to challenge Hassan. The Mitch McConnell-aligned Senate Leadership Fund spent millions trying to defeat him in the GOP primary.
  • On the campaign trail, Hassan pointed to her accomplishments in the Senate involving bipartisan cooperation, such as the $1.2 trillion infrastructure law.

The other side: Bolduc, who has embraced Trump's false 2020 election claims and ran on a platform centered on the border, guns and energy production, tried to move to the center.

  • Polls showed that Bolduc gained some ground in the final weeks of the campaign.

The intrigue: Both candidates agreed at a debate that the cap on income that is taxed to fund Social Security should be raised — which Republicans broadly reject.

How we got here: Republican Gov. Chris Sununu was expected to be the likely nominee but announced last year that he wouldn't enter the race.

  • Sununu, who’s been critical of Trump and election denialism in the GOP, backed state Senate President Chuck Morse in the primary, but he narrowly lost to Bolduc.
Go deeper