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Democrats Risk Losing New Hampshire as Donald Bolduc Surges in Polls

Newsweek 10/25/2022 Darragh Roche
Republican senate nominee Don Bolduc speaks during a campaign event on October 15, 2022 and Incumbent Democratic Senate candidate, U.S. Sen. Maggie Hassan (D-NH) speaks to media after casting her vote in the New Hampshire Primary at Newfields Town Hall on September 13, 2022 © Getty Republican senate nominee Don Bolduc speaks during a campaign event on October 15, 2022 and Incumbent Democratic Senate candidate, U.S. Sen. Maggie Hassan (D-NH) speaks to media after casting her vote in the New Hampshire Primary at Newfields Town Hall on September 13, 2022

Democrats could be at risk of losing the U.S. Senate race in New Hampshire as recent polls show Republican Donald Bolduc making significant gains against incumbent Democratic Senator Maggie Hassan.

While Hassan still leads Bolduc in the latest Emerson College Polling/WHDH 7 News survey, that lead has shrunk from 11 points last month to just 3 points as of last week.

A Republican victory in New Hampshire would be a significant upset and the race has not been as closely watched as other key races, such as the ones in Pennsylvania and Georgia.

The Emerson College Polling survey found that Hassan led Bolduc 48 percent to 45 percent. That's a notable change in the same survey conducted from September 14 to 15, which showed Hassan with 51 percent support to Bolduc's 40 percent.

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The latest poll was conducted among 727 likely voters and had a margin of error of plus or minus 3.6 percent.

The survey also found that a majority of respondents believe that Hassan will win the race regardless of which candidate they support with 58 percent saying they think the Democrat will win and 42 percent saying Bolduc will win.

Bolduc, a retired U.S. Army brigadier general, is challenging Hassan as she attempts to win a second term. Hassan, who served two terms as New Hampshire's governor, defeated Republican Senator Kelly Ayotte in 2016.

Other recent polling also suggests the race may be close with an InsiderAdvantage poll conducted on October 23 showing that Hassan led by just one point - with 48 percent to Bolduc's 47 percent.

A Fabrizio, Lee & Associates poll conducted for the Bolduc campaign from October 17 to 19 found Hassan leading with 49 percent support to the Republican's 47 percent.

The Bolduc campaign pointed to that poll in a statement on October 21, saying that "Washington D.C. may not be focused on this race, but the people of New Hampshire are sure paying attention, and that's bad news for Senator Hassan."

However, poll tracker FiveThirtyEight rates Hassan as favored to win the New Hampshire Senate race and gives her a 78 percent chance of victory, compared to 22 percent for Bolduc.

FiveThirtyEight's figures show Hassan ahead by 5.5 percent as of October 24. That's a decline over the past week as Hassan was leading by 7.8 percent in the same analysis on October 17.

Newsweek has reached out to the Hassan and Bolduc campaigns for comment.

It remains to be seen if the national focus will turn to New Hampshire with just two weeks to go before crucial midterm elections and close races in key states across the country and control of the Senate remains in the balance.

Though Democrats were previously favored to win the Senate in FiveThirtyEight's analysis, the poll tracker now rates the Senate as a "dead heat" and gives Democrats a 55 percent chance of controlling the chamber, compared to 44 percent for the GOP.

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