Could New Hampshire Bring Republicans to 54 Senate Seats?

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When it comes time for election day, there are still some things that I am not convinced about.

I’m not convinced that Lee Zeldin has a chance in the New York Governor’s race. Patty Murray, Washington’s incumbent, is also at risk. I’m not optimistic about either of these things right now.

Georgia should win without a runoff, according to me. I believe Adam Laxalt will win in Nevada and Kari Lake will be strong enough to bring Blake Masters over the line. This is 52 seats, which is exactly where most predictions seem to point. Pennsylvania is the fourth swing state. The seat could be kept in Republican hands if there is a significant shift towards Mehmet Oz.

There is also a fifth swing chair that I don’t think people would have thought of before 2022. It was not as close to the current location as it is now, even though it was there before October. This seat is in New Hampshire.

The polling in that race has collapsed to a halt with a poll released today placing Maggie Hassan ahead of her Republican challenger Don Bolduc. The RealClearPolitics graph shows how the race has tightened.

According to St. Anselm’s most recent poll, Bolduc is up one point. It’s quite telling that my college, covered the poll yesterday. This is the first poll that has shown him up. Trafalgar, which I have started to rely more on this cycle, polled New Hampshire in September. Hassan was up 3 points.

Hassan would feel a sense of relief in most states right now, as early voting tends to favor Democrats. New Hampshire, however, has limited early voting.

However, the most important metric (Generic Congressional Ballot), has shifted 4 points in favor of Republicans in just two months (from 46-44% to 47-45% Rep/Dem). This shift has also been seen in individual Senate races. Five toss-up seats are currently open. The Democrats currently hold four of these races (Arizona Georgia Nevada New Hampshire). New Hampshire has seen its voting system tighten in recent weeks and has very limited early voting.

Conclusion: Democrats still hold a 50-50 Senate tie, but polling averages from October 24 show Republicans leading in 49 seats and Democrats in 46 seats. To take numerical control of the US Senate, Republicans will need to win two of the five tossup races. Democrats must win all 5.

It is quite amazing to think that New Hampshire is a toss-up state right now. However, it is also a testimony to how much the Democratic Party has fallen over the past two months and particularly in the last week.

Although there isn’t much data available, signs have shown that Hassan was concerned about her chances of winning the seat. Although Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema were the faces of “moderate” Democrats there was plenty of evidence that Senators Hassan and Mark Kelly quietly thanked them for standing up to the far right and doing so publicly, so that they wouldn’t have to.

Hassan also avoided taking extreme positions that her fellow Congressmen were taking. She wasn’t out in the open like other members of Congress. Although she was conscious of her safety, it wasn’t enough to stay out of the limelight.

It is clear that the Republicans are trying to make a strong play for it. It is telling that Democrats had to send money to Washington in order to support Patty Murray, who is still very likely to win re-election. The fact that New Hampshire is still in play, Washington needed to be boosted, and Republicans are making a strong play for New York’s governor’s mansion are all signs that we are moving from a wave into an apocalyptic phenomenon.

It’s also the shift in the polls that is so damaging for Democrats. Yesterday’s Wall Street Journal:

There has been a shift in favor of the GOP among many voter groups, including Latino voters, women, and especially white suburban women. This group, which pollsters say makes up 20%, has shifted 26 percent away from Democrats since August’s Journal poll. The GOP now leads this group by 15 percentage points.

This demographic shift validates the GOP message during the final weeks of the election campaign. It’s all about immigration, crime, and the economy. That’s it. For suburban white women, crime is the biggest problem. These voters are deeply concerned about their family’s safety and security. The increase in high-profile crime waves and inflation has created stress for their families. These voters are willing to vote for Republicans in order to sort these things out, even if their usual vote is Democrat.

Because the Democrats have largely ignored these issues, they have come across to voters as distant and unconcerned about their needs. They will vote for the other side.

This is why it’s a doomsday scenario. This is what makes New Hampshire so interesting.