New Hampshire’s Democratic Sen. Maggie Hassan is in deep trouble. She’s running for re-election in a very Republican year and has now run afoul of the open-borders wing of her party by opposing Joe Biden’s plan to rescind the pandemic immigration rule, Title 42.
Republicans are having a gay old time with Hassan. Her state borders Canada, but she visited the Southern border to advocate for more border security. They mocked her as “MAGA Maggie” and questioned her commitment to border security.
Meanwhile, I don’t think you’ll see many Maggie Hassan posters on the walls of the Democratic Latino Caucus headquarters as all of them resigned from their party leadership posts and explained why in an angry letter that accused Hassan of (gasp!) acting like a Republican.
“She’s back in election mode, so she’s going to out-Republican the Republicans on the border. Is she disappointing? Absolutely,” said Arnie Arnesen, a former Democratic gubernatorial candidate and liberal radio talk show host. “I don’t think she’ll get one more vote for what she’s doing… I think it’s foolish, but we will be voting for Maggie, not because of Maggie but because we believe in democracy and she won’t vote for Mitch McConnell.”
Immigration isn’t necessarily a top-of-mind issue in New Hampshire, according to several Democratic strategists and leaders. Andrew Smith, director of the University of New Hampshire Survey Center, said there isn’t any recent polling on immigration views in the state, but that the public’s view on Title 42 right now is “not likely to impact many votes in November.”
Hassan’s problems are growing by the week. When Republican Gov. Chris Sununu declined to run for the Senate, Hassan appeared to have a clear path to victory.
But the polls are telling a different story.
A poll from the University of New Hampshire has Hassan in a statistical tie with nearly all of her possible Republican opponents. Retired Gen. Don Bolduc and Londonderry Town Manager Kevin Smith each trail Hassan by just 1 percentage point. Chuck Morse leads Hassan by 2 points.
Although he is president of the New Hampshire state Senate, 54% of New Hampshire residents don’t know enough about Morse to form an opinion about him. And 73% say the same about Smith. Yet they are both neck-and-neck with an incumbent U.S. senator.
Democrats were counting on Hassan to bolster their chances of keeping control of the Senate. Instead, she may lose to a second-string Republican that few in New Hampshire can identify.
Hassan won her Senate seat by less than a thousand votes in 2016. It looks like she could lose by considerably more than that in 2022.