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GOP Senate campaign arm jumping back into New Hampshire

The Hill logo The Hill 10/25/2022 Max Greenwood
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The National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) is jumping back into the New Hampshire Senate race after the GOP’s top Senate super PAC announced that it would bail on the state and Republican nominee Don Bolduc and with polling showing a potentially tightening race.

An NRSC official said that the committee would make a new seven-figure investment in TV advertising in New Hampshire as part of a joint effort with Bolduc’s campaign. The new spending is the latest sign that top Republicans still see the race against Sen. Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.) as winnable, despite earlier concerns about Bolduc’s prospects.

“Don Bolduc is running a great race against Maggie Hassan, who’s being weighed down by her full-throated support for Joe Biden and his agenda that’s hurting New Hampshire families,” Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.), the chairman of the NRSC, said. 

“Our polling, along with recent public polling, shows that this race is in the margin of error and winnable. The NRSC is proud to stand with General Bolduc. We’re going to win this race so Don Bolduc can bring real leadership back to this Senate seat,” he said. 

Hassan has spent the 2022 midterm cycle as one of the GOP’s top targets in the Senate. But early general election polling showed her easily leading Bolduc, a retired Army general who has been panned by Democrats as a far-right skeptic of the 2020 presidential election. 

Bolduc’s dim prospects prompted Senate Republicans to reevaluate their level of interest in the race. Earlier this month, the NRSC canceled its independent expenditure reservations in the state but left open the possibility that it could up its investment in the race.

An NRSC official said that the group decided to cancel its independent expenditure reservations because it expected significant spending from the Senate Leadership Fund (SLF), the super PAC aligned with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.). 

The NRSC used that money to boost Republican Senate hopefuls in other battleground states, including Pennsylvania, Georgia, Arizona and Nevada. 

But the SLF announced last week that it would cancel $5.6 million in ad reservations in New Hampshire amid concerns about Bolduc’s prospects, saying that it planned to reinvest that money in the tightening Senate race in Pennsylvania. 

Polling released over the past few days, however, has painted a different picture of the New Hampshire Senate race. An Emerson College survey released on Monday showed Hassan leading Bolduc by only 2 percentage points — well within the poll’s margin of error — reassuring the GOP that the race remains highly competitive.

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