Welcome to my diary series titled Majority Savers! I will run a new article every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday starting next week. The goal of this series is to highlight races that may make or break our current slender majorities in Congress. That means I will start more with incumbent Senators and House members until some primary elections are settled. If I have time, I will expand it to governors as well in critical swing states.
If you want to find my previous entries in this series, I recommend following me or searching for Majority Savers as a tag!
I have six ground rules behind the philosophy of this series. I’d ask you all to respect them as best you can, because these are taking me quite a long time to write. Here are my ground rules.
This senator had a close race in knocking off an incumbent GQP senator in 2016. Now, it is difficult to say how much danger she is in in 2022, because New Hampshire is very sclerotic politically. With the Senate in the balance, Majority Savers heads to the Granite State to highlight Sen. Maggie Hassan!
This section is not meant to cover her entire biography, which can be found here. Instead, the primary focus of this section is to highlight parts of her past that make her an effective Senator.
- Her parents were very politically active in Massachusetts, especially her father, who worked for the LBJ administration in the HUD Department. She got a taste of political life early by helping her parents in many small ways.
- She enrolled at Brown University and majored in history, and then she enrolled at Northeastern Law School to get her law degree. Before running for office, she worked in various law firms in the Boston area like many people in New Hampshire work in Boston.
- When her older son was born with a disability, she became politically active — first winning a seat in the State Senate and finally the Governor’s mansion in 2012. It was that name recognition and the excellent job as governor that allowed Hassan to narrowly defeat incumbent Sen. Kelly Ayotte in the very close 2016 Senate election.
Hassan, having to serve in a swing state, is one of our moderate Senators. Her DW Nominate score is -0.231, which indicates a moderate voting record. She is more liberal than 57% of the entire Senate caucus, but is more conservative than 83% of the entire Democratic caucus. She sometimes takes votes that are against our priorities, although this is much rarer than Manchinema. She is still a fairly reliable vote on most issues for our Senate caucus.
Health Care: The opioid crisis has hit New Hampshire hard, and Hassan has been working diligently to find solutions to combat this crisis in both the state and nationally. She is staunchly pro-choice and also is working to lower the cost of prescription drugs.
Gun Safety: Hassan proudly touts a “D” rating from the NRA as she works to expand background checks and red flag laws nationally. She was one of the first senators to call for an investigation and hearings into mass shootings after Parkland happened early in her tenure.
ADA and Disabilities: With an adult son who is severely disabled, Hassan has a personal stake in making sure the ADA is enforced. She constantly fights for expanded access for people with disabilities and against discrimination against them.
Recent Elections —
2020 President: Joe Biden (D) 52.7%, TFG (R-inc) 45.7%
2016 Senate: Maggie Hassan (D) 48.0%, Kelly Ayotte (R-inc) 47.8% — a 1,017 vote margin
2022 Race Rating: Leans Democratic
2022 PVI: EVEN
New Hampshire, like the rest of New England, used to be a classically Republican state. To top it off, the state was once the most Republican in the entire nation. If you had a pulse and were socially liberal and economically conservative, it was hard for you to lose with the R beside your name in New Hampshire once upon a time. It took a landslide for Democratic candidates to carry the state.
This trend began to change starting in 1992 with former president Bill Clinton. Aided by Ross Perot taking a huge chunk of votes away from HW Bush, Clinton carried the state twice. The state reverted back to the GQP in the bitterly contested 2000 election, with W Bush narrowly carrying the state over Gore. Since that defeat, the Democratic Party has carried New Hampshire in every Presidential Election, although sometimes the margin of victory is very small.
That presidential streak does a disservice to how much of a gyrating swing state New Hampshire is politically. The governor chair is held by the prominent Republican Sununu family right now, after several Democratic governors. The State Legislature is also held by the GQP. There is often a backlash to the party in power in midterm elections in this state, which is why the race for Senate is hard to handicap. Hassan’s opposition is lightweight, but it won’t take much to knock her out.
Political Tour of the State
New Hampshire is a small but mighty state when it comes to elections. This has a lot to do with having the first primary in the presidential cycle every 4 years. Presidential hopefuls have to build a serious ground game and connections in this state in the hopes of winning it all come November 2024. To top it off, the Granite State vacillates between the parties and is the premier swing state in the New England region. Four electoral votes may not be much, but they are vital to our winning coalition.
Here’s where this race will be won in New Hampshire.
- Keene, Lebanon, Nashua, Concord: These small cities are all found in New Hampshire’s more Democratic leaning 2nd district, and it is important that Hassan runs up the score in the cities. I don’t know much about the state politically, but these areas went for Clinton as well during her narrow win of the state.
- Southeast Coast: These cities and areas used to be the political backbone of the GQP in the state, and now they are critical swing areas that Hassan must win if she is to serve another term in the Senate. Once again, these areas very narrowly supported both Hasan and Clinton in 2016, and more widely supported Biden in 2020.
Here’s where we need to keep the margins down, or we lose.
- Manchester: This city is the one that will likely decide the fate of Hassan. The anchor of the 1st district, Manchester has been a light blue hue for two elections running and could easily snap back to the GQP on a bad night for us in November. While Hassan does not have to blow out her opponent in the city, winning it narrowly will ensure that she wins the state narrowly.
- Rural New Hampshire: Unlike neighboring Vermont, the rural areas of New Hampshire have stayed primarily with the Republicans as the state attracts libertarian and low tax types from neighboring states. While there are blue small towns (they usually have a college), most of the small towns in the state have trended redder in the era of TFG.
Activism — Help How You Can!
In Quarter 1, Sen. Maggie Hassan raised an eye-popping $4.3 MILLION dollars. None of her competition even raised a million dollars in Quarter 1, which gives her a decided advantage in the money race. However, dark money will likely flood the race to bolster the opposition as any and all seats that could be wrested away from us are targets for the GQP.
Luckily, Hassan seems to be ready for the onslaught. She has a hefty $7.1 MILLION dollar cash on hand advantage while her GQP rivals have to spend their money on the primary election still. This allows Hassan to run more positive ads right now while her opposition has to fight amongst themselves. Hassan could still use your donation, because the Boston media market is very expensive.
DONATE TO SEN. MAGGIE HASSAN HERE
If you are in the New England area, you can choose to sign up to volunteer for the Hassan campaign. The best way to do so is by going to https://maggiehassan.com/ and then clicking “Get Involved”. You are not only helping her by doing so, but also helping two potentially at risk House members by helping in New Hampshire!
Maybe donations and volunteering aren’t possible. You could choose to follow Sen. Hassan on social media and help her to get out her message. She has a paltry 23.1k followers on Twitter, which is very low for an incumbent Senator. You can choose to help boost that number.
If Twitter isn’t your thing, you can choose to follow her on Facebook at maggiefornh or on Instagram at maggiehassan.
Thank you for taking the time to read about Sen. Maggie Hassan of New Hampshire! With a uncertain environment and a record of close races, there is no reason to take a chance on passing this race by and allowing us to be surprised come November. Our 50-50 Senate may rest upon holding this seat!
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