Sununu’s ad gives Democrats a lifeline

President BidenJoe Biden Nicaragua Ortega Prepares to Win Election Amid International Criticism Representative Gosar Releases Anime Video Showing Him Hitting Biden, Ocasio-Cortez Overnight Energy & Environment – Presented By ExxonMobil – Activists Cry Over COP26 Draft MORE just got a lifeguard from the state where he once suffered a great loss: New Hampshire.

Republican Governor. Chris sununuChris SununuSununu Says He Will Decide On The Senate Run ‘In The Next Week Or So’ New Hampshire Debates A Big And Controversial Shift In The Map Of The US House Of Representatives Biden And Progressives Lead Democrats To The nature MOREThe decision to waive a Senate offer against the Senator. Maggie hassanMargaret (Maggie) HassanSununu Says She Will Decide On The Senate Run ‘In The Next Week Or So’ desert MORE (DN.H.) provided Democrats with much-needed optimism amid President Biden’s falling poll numbers, a major electoral defeat, and a still-uncertain social spending package that a divided Congress must overcome.

“A lot of shoes fell off today,” said Jim Demers, a lobbyist and former Democratic state representative in New Hampshire. “For the next several weeks, as Republicans scramble to find a candidate, [Hassan] the opportunity to own the discussion. “

“It’s definitely a game changer,” he said.

The prospect of a Senate led by a Republican respected across party lines had for months plagued eager Democrats who struggled to strategize on how to protect a slim majority. That fear only intensified when political troubles mounted for the Biden administration, including a coup in Virginia, a near loss in a “safe” state race in New Jersey, and a publicly dysfunctional intraparty dynamic on Capitol Hill.

What would likely have been a close match had caused Democrats to worry about the governor’s stature as part of a political dynasty and the current stable position could be enough to topple Hassan and help hand over the Senate majority to the Republican Party.

Biden’s previously unstable situation in New Hampshire, where he was last among the top candidates in the 2020 presidential primaries, did not help allay those concerns.

On Tuesday, Democrats finally got some relief.

“It’s important,” said Democratic pollster Molly Murphy. “[T]This does help combat the notion that coming out of Virginia and New Jersey, Republicans have great careers at stake. “

Sununu’s announcement that he would not run for a Senate run in Washington, DC, stunned politicians who watched his movements toward the upper house over the past year.

They have seen his approval ratings rise relative to his early handling of COVID-19, when he balanced social distancing, masks, and vaccine recommendations with the idea of ​​personal freedom, playing on the state’s libertarian streak.

He alluded to that progress by revealing his decision to stay away from Concord.

“I’d rather push myself at 120 miles per hour to win for New Hampshire than slow down, end up on Capitol Hill debating partisan politics to no avail,” Sununu said during a televised news conference.

The announcement comes as Democrats are sweating with their slim majority in the House and Senate and as Biden’s ability to bounce back from a host of internal woes, from rising gas prices and chain shortages of Providing up to an uncertain destination for your budget package, you’ve created a blur of what the next year might look like.

The devastating defeat of the former governor. Terry McAuliffeTerry McAuliffe Former Clinton Strategist: Virginia Results Show Democrats ‘Left Too Left On Key Issues For Educated Suburban Voters’ Murphy Campaign Calls On Ciattarelli To Grant New Jersey Gubernatorial Trump’s Choice , to unite Republicans in the House of Representatives as the party fixes on the midterm elections MORE (D), an important ally of Biden, in Virginia and a close loss to the governor. Phil MurphyPhil Murphy Former Clinton strategist: Virginia results show Democrats ‘have drifted too far to the left on key issues for educated suburban voters’ Murphy’s campaign calls on Ciattarelli to grant New Jersey’s gubernatorial election, Trump, to unite House Republicans as the party fixes on the midterm elections MORE (D) in New Jersey has further complicated the calculation of the Democrats’ ballots and weakened their momentum.

Only 43 percent approve of the work Biden is doing so far in office, compared to 52 percent who disapprove, according to a recent added Posted by Real Clear Politics.

With the midterm elections less than a year away, Democrats finally got a much-needed break.

“Sununu was the most formidable potential candidate Senator Hassan could have faced,” Demers said. “Everyone has let out a sigh of relief.”

“It makes the Democrats feel a lot better today than they did yesterday,” he said.

After the news broke, the Center for Politics at the University of Virginia changed its rating of the New Hampshire gubernatorial race from a “slim” Republican to a “safe” Republican and maintained the rating for the Senate race to Democratic. “lean”.

That could allow Democrats to focus their efforts on states where they are defending uncertain Senate seats, including Arizona, Georgia and Nevada. And while New Hampshire is certainly not expected to fade into the background, the party won’t have to spend the resources it would have had if Sununu had made an offer.

“It’s hard for me to imagine someone re-categorizing it in their minds for next year given the stakes, but without a doubt, with Sununu out of this, it’s a massive exhalation,” Murphy said.

The opening came as an equal shock to Republicans, who had launched a month-long courtroom press for Sununu to enter the Senate race. Recently, in October, Sen. Rick Scott (R-Florida), chairman of the Senate Republican National Committee, boasted to reporters, “I actually think Chris will run.”

But with those predictions now moot, Republicans are tweaking how the state will look without its presumed highest-profile recruit.

“Everything he was doing seemed like he was preparing to run for Senate,” said one of the GOP’s top aides. he said to the hill.

The fact that Republicans are now on the defensive, at least in Granite State, gives Democrats breathing space to focus on promoting the president’s own legislative agenda in the election campaign. Some New Hampshire Democrats believe that after the successful vote on Biden’s bipartisan infrastructure package late last week, Hassan will now be able to speak more freely about the positives that will affect voters at home.

She can do that, they say, without Sununu’s immediate threat sweeping away her victory.

The measure also gives Democrats a chance to define a lesser-known Republican candidate than the three-term governor. Any Republican contender will have less universal name recognition than Sununu, which could allow the opposition to build a narrative around a newer face.

Besides Sununu, Republicans were also looking at the former senator. Kelly ayotteKelly Ann Ayotte Poll: New Hampshire’s close race for Senate is likely Biden will turn to Robert Califf to return as head of FDA Poll: Possible showdown between Sununu and Hassan in NH is a draw MORE (R), whom Hassan defeated by historically narrow margins in 2016. She too broke free from the fray, leaving only the retired Army Brig. General Don Bolduc, who has made questioning the results of the 2020 presidential race a cornerstone of his candidacy, as the only declared candidate.

Democrats are more optimistic about Hassan’s chances against Bolduc, who lost in the Republican primary in the Senate last year. the University of New Hampshire Granite State Survey October showed Hassan narrowly behind Sununu, but ahead of Bolduc by 5 points, outside the poll’s margin of error.

“Now, they go to the bench,” Demers said of the National Republicans’ recruiting strategy. “It becomes much more difficult. Whoever they put in is certainly less well known and less likely to raise the same amount of money this race is going to cost. “

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