Sen. Maggie Hassan (D-NH) is facing an extremely difficult reelection campaign this year in a year shaping up as a “red wave” election cycle in a battleground state where she is actively opposing some key White House policies.
She is notably standing against Joe Biden’s decision to rescind the public health rule Title 42 that is expected to lead to a new surge of illegal immigration at the southern border the administration has decided to completely open up.
Hassan is facing difficulty from all sides, as establishment Republicans criticize her attention to the southern border as taking away from security of the nearby Canadian border. They have mockingly called her “MAGA Maggie.”
At the same time, the members of the state’s Democratic Latino Caucus have all resigned in anger toward Hassan’s posture toward the southern border and have accused her of “acting like a Republican.”
New Hampshire liberal radio talk show host and former Democratic candidate for governor Arnie Arnesen has accused her of trying to “out-Republican the Republicans” on border security and illegal immigration. He said he doubts she will earn even “one more vote” with her border trip but admitted that New Hampshire Democrats will still vote for her because she will vote against current Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY).
University of New Hampshire Survey Center director Andrew Smith said that immigration is not a leading issue among voters in the state and doubts that the Title 42 issue will “impact many votes in November.”
Hassan initially appeared to have a clear path to reelection when Republican Governor Chris Sununu decided not to run against her for the Senate seat. However, polling now shows her in a statistical tie with virtually all of the Republicans who might end up running against her in the November general election.
Retired Gen. Don Bolduc, Londonderry Town Manager Kevin Smith, and state Senate President Chuck Morse are all within two points of Hassan currently. Even though those candidates do not have generally strong name recognition across the state, they have Republican support against the suddenly unpopular incumbent.
Hassan won election to the Senate in 2016 by less than a thousand votes. The Senate election in New Hampshire this year could be absolutely critical to determining which party will have control of the upper house of Congress beginning next January.