Three takeaways from the New Hampshire and Rhode Island primaries


Weather new hampshire, Rhode Island and Delaware held their primaries on Tuesday, the results of the most anticipated race of the night were still up in the air early Wednesday morning. Votes were still being counted in New Hampshire’s Republican primary for the US Senate, where the candidate the GOP establishment had tried to defeat held a narrow lead in the race to face Democratic Senator Maggie Hassan. The race is the final piece of the puzzle, as 2022 primary calendar concluded, with the eight-week sprint to the November midterms now underway.

Don Bolduc, a retired Army brigadier general and election denier who has taken Trump’s political approach, addressed state Senate President Chuck Morse since early Wednesday. If he ends up winning the race, he would join a list of candidates national Republicans fear may not appeal to the broader electorate in November.

The stakes are high, with a 50-50 split Senate on the line and Republican candidates in Arizona, Georgia, Ohio and Pennsylvania also struggling. The GOP had hoped that New Hampshire, where Hassan won by just 1,000 votes six years ago, would be added to the list of battleground states in November.

Meanwhile, Tuesday also set the stage for two of New England’s most competitive House races, including one in New Hampshire, where a Trump White House aide who also repeated his lies about voter fraud he defeated an establishment-backed candidate, even more so. complicating the Republican Party’s efforts to gain control of the House.

Here are four takeaways from the final night of the 2022 main season:

Republicans’ hopes of winning a Senate majority could hinge on the outcome of a close contest. primary in New Hampshire.

Morse is backed by establishment Republicans, including moderate Gov. Chris Sununu, and has been buoyed by a super PAC aligned with Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, who pumped more than $4 million into the race in an attempt to for preventing Bolduc from winning the primary.

Bolduc closely aligned himself with former President Donald Trump. He said he “agreed with Trump’s assessment” of the 2020 election, namely Trump’s lie that President Joe Biden’s victory came about as a result of widespread fraud.

“I signed a letter with 120 other generals and admirals saying that Trump won the election, and damn it, I stand by that letter,” Bolduc said at an August primary debate.

Bolduc has also called Sununu, the Republican governor national figures tried to recruit for the race, “a sympathizer with Chinese communism.” He has said that he would repeal the 17th Amendment to the US Constitution, which requires states to directly elect their senators, and raised the possibility of abolishing the FBI.

What was missing from the New Hampshire primary was Trump. His decision not to endorse any candidate was a departure from Trump’s approach to most of the Senate primaries this year.

Hassan won by just 1,000 votes in 2016, and Republicans have viewed New Hampshire as a potential recovery opportunity as they bid to control a Senate currently split evenly between 50 Democrats and 50 Republicans.

Mimicking Trump’s brash style and parroting his election denial again proved more potent in a Republican primary than embracing the political substance of his White House tenure.

That is the lesson of the Republican primaries in New Hampshire District 1where 25-year-old political newcomer Karoline Leavitt, a former Trump aide who more closely mimicked the kind of politics that has defined Trump’s orbit of political acolytes, defeated Matt Mowers, another former Trump administration official but that he was more cautious in matters. like the lie that the 2020 election was stolen from the former president.

Lawnmowers fully embraced aspects of the Trump mandate. His website was full of positions defining the former president, and Mowers touted the fact that Trump endorsed him in his failed bid to win the seat in 2020.

However, rhetorically and stylistically, the two were dramatically different.

Where Mowers had “confidence in the New Hampshire election,” Leavitt said he believed “the 2020 election was undoubtedly stolen from President Trump.” Where Mowers suggested hearings to determine whether President Joe Biden should be impeached, Leavitt said unequivocally that the president should be impeached. And where Mowers said he “supports the science” when asked about the recently released coronavirus vaccine, Leavitt said it’s “none of his business.”

Mowers’ moderation effectively opened the door for someone like Leavitt to win over Republican primary voters in New Hampshire, many of whom still support the former president.

As polls showed Leavitt rising in recent days, outside groups like the Congressional Leadership Fund, aligned with House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, and Defending Main Street spent millions on ads seeking to help mowers to beat the challenge on the right. But the money went largely to not do it, and now Republicans face a tougher candidate in a race against Rep. Chris Pappas, one of the most vulnerable Democrats in the country.

Leavitt is one of the first Generation Z Candidates ever win a primary.

The field is set for what is expected to be one of New England’s most competitive congressional races this fall, after Rhode Island State Treasurer Seth Magaziner won the 2nd District Democratic PrimaryCNN screened.

Now he is set to take on Republican Allan Fung, the mayor of Cranston, in the district where Rep. Jim Langevin he is retiring. Langevin, a Democrat, has won his races without serious competition since 2001, and President Joe Biden he won there by 14 percentage points in 2020. But Republicans think the seat can be won.

Fung was the Republican candidate for governor in 2014 and 2018, losing twice to former Gov. Gina Raimondo but performing well in the district, which covers the western half of the state.

Magaziner defeated Sarah Morgenthau, who was director of the Peace Corps Response under former President Barack Obama; David Segal, who once served in the state legislature and ran in an unsuccessful run for Congress in 2010; and Joy Fox, who served as director of communications for Langevin and Raimondo.

One of the least popular governors in the country, Dan McKee of Rhode Island faced four main challenges as he seeks his first full elected term in office.

But McKee, who took over as governor last year when Raimondo left the job to join the Biden administration, is no stranger to tough primaries: He almost lost his bid for re-election as lieutenant governor in 2018.

Yet in the end, despite being overwhelmed by a federal investigation into the controversial award of a state contract to a company linked to a former ally, an episode in which McKee has denied wrongdoing, he left the field replete, probably benefiting from a split among the anti-incumbent vote.

His two closest rivals, former CVS executive Helena Foulkes and Secretary of State Nellie Gorbea, are running as reformers on promises to clean up the government. Foulkes, who has vowed not to run for re-election if she doesn’t revitalize Rhode Island schools, received the endorsement of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi.

The race was a dud for progressive favorite Matt Brown, the Bernie Sanders-backed former secretary of state, who was trailing the leaders four years after losing a primary challenger to Raimondo.

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