Sen. Maggie Hassan (D-NH) suggested Monday that she does not believe she is a shoo-in for a second Senate term.
At a campaign event in Derry, New Hampshire, Hassan warned Granite Staters that it is a tight contest between her and Republican Don Bolduc.
“This has always been a close race,” Hassan said. “It’s going to be a close race. We are New Hampshire. We are a very purple state.”
However, the race was not so close just three weeks ago, when Hassan led Bolduc by 9 points, the former governor garnering 50% to Bolduc’s 41%, according to a Suffolk University poll.
Bolduc, a former Army general, has raised and spent much less money than Hassan over the course of the campaign, but in recent weeks he has surged in the polls and come within striking distance.
Bolduc was initially heavily supported by the Senate Leadership Fund, which is backed by Senate GOP Leader Mitch McConnell. However, on Friday, the fund pulled the last $5.6 million it had planned to spend on ads for Bolduc amid concerns about his ability to win. This week though, the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) announced it would support Bolduc and put seven figures toward TV ads.
“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,” said Sen. Rick Scott (R-FL), who chairs the NRSC.
“Our polling, along with recent public polling, shows that this race is in the margin of error and winnable,” Scott said.
Last week, the candidates clashed when they met face-to-face for a debate.
“She wouldn’t even know what a town hall looks like unless it’s through Zoom,” Bolduc said.
Hassan continued to emphasize her support for abortion on demand.
“Don Bolduc’s record makes clear he would be a ‘yes’ vote for a national abortion ban,” Hassan said.
The candidates also appeared together Tuesday morning for a candidate forum at a restaurant in Rye, New Hampshire.
At that event, Bolduc criticized Hassan for running “attack” ads against him, saying the lack of civility is “wrong.”
“I will not lower myself to that level. I will not do that. You deserve better in your public servants,” Bolduc said.
Toward the end of the event, Hassan called her opponent “possibly the most extreme opponent nominee for the United State Senate that New Hampshire has seen in modern history.”
Inflation and energy have also been prominent issues in this race.
Bolduc has called to cut spending to slow inflation. Hassan said she plans to continue to push the Biden administration to do more to lower the cost of home heating fuel this winter, but so far, prices remain high.
Hassan was joined on the campaign trail Monday by Sen. Cory Booker (D-NJ), who praised her as “the most uniting force in the United States Senate.”
Up to now, the New Hampshire race has not been as closely watched as other high-profile Senate races like those in Pennsylvania and Georgia.
With Bolduc nipping at Hassan’s heels in the campaign’s last two weeks, though, the race could attract more national attention.