The U.S. Senate race in New Hampshire is tightening, according to a poll published Tuesday showing Don Bolduc three points behind Sen. Maggie Hassan (D-NH).
The poll, conducted by the Trafalgar Group from September 26 to September 30, found Hassan at 48.2 percent and Bolduc at 45 percent, while 3.2 percent of respondents were undecided.
The poll is the first in the battleground state since Bolduc won the Republican primary in September to indicate the election may be neck-and-neck.
Bolduc, a retired brigadier general, edged out his closest competitor in the GOP primary by about two points despite national Republicans spending millions to boost Bolduc’s opponent and national Democrats likewise spending millions to weaken Bolduc’s opponent.
Both parties’ investments were seemingly based on the calculation that Bolduc, a more right-wing and anti-establishment figure in the primary, had less of a chance than his top rival at beating Hassan.
The poll comes after an email, which first surfaced in Axios last week, suggested Hassan’s campaign has switched into panic mode. The email, sent from Hassan’s campaign to donors, detailed concerns that polls showing her ahead were misleading and that the “national environment has not magically changed for Democrats.”
“Our own internal poling shows that Don Bolduc is quickly consolidating the Republican base and is rapidly making up ground against Senator Hassan,” the email noted.
The email cited how polls in neighboring Maine in 2020 were so egregiously inaccurate that not a single one predicted the Republican incumbent, Sen. Susan Collins, would beat her Democrat opponent.
“Maine and New Hampshire are similar — and you should be leery of any public poling showing Senator Hassan leading this race outside the margin of error,” the email stated.
Hassan, a well-funded and vulnerable incumbent, has meanwhile also attempted to differentiate herself from President Joe Biden, who is widely unpopular. Hassan, for instance, has spoken out against the Biden administration’s lack of control over the southern border and has expressed hesitation with the president’s pursuits to cancel the college debt of millions of Americans.
Hassan’s voting record paints a different picture, however, as it shows the New Hampshire Democrat has voted more than 96 percent of the time in line with Biden’s agenda, according to a FiveThirtyEight analysis.
Bolduc, who has repeatedly lambasted Hassan has a “career politician,” shared the Trafalgar poll results on social media Tuesday, writing that he anticipated a “major VICTORY” in the Granite State in November.
— Don Bolduc (@GenDonBolduc) October 4, 2022
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich (R-GA) also chimed in on the poll results, opining that four-decade-high inflation would drive Bolduc across the finish line. “As the price of heating oil hits home and the cost ofBiden [sic] policies to 401ks hit seniors Bolduc will defeat Hassan,” Gingrich stated.
In New Hampshire democratic Senator Hassan is only 3 points (48-45) ahead of Republican Don Bolduc. As the price of heating oil hits home and the cost ofBiden policies to 401ks hit seniors Bolduc will defeat Hassan.
— Newt Gingrich (@newtgingrich) October 4, 2022
The Trafalgar poll was taken among 1,081 likely general election voters and had a margin of error of plus or minus 2.9 percent.