“It’s complicated to me for a few causes,” Republican marketing consultant Mike Dennehy, who suggested one in all Bolduc’s main rivals, mentioned in an interview. “You may have New Hampshire being one of many prime U.S. Senate races within the nation. And you’ve got New Hampshire because the first-in-the-nation presidential main. So the place are all of the political celebrities?”
A number of polls present Bolduc’s race in opposition to Sen. Maggie Hassan throughout the margin of error. Democratic Rep. Chris Pappas’ contest in opposition to Karoline Leavitt, a former Trump White Home press aide, is rated a toss-up.
However Republican resources and Democratic consideration have largely shifted to other states. Neighboring Sens. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) and Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) have been serving to Democrats in Oregon and elsewhere. Cruz, who campaigned for Leavitt forward of the September main and endorsed Bolduc earlier this month, has been noticed in current days with Georgia Republican Senate candidate Herschel Walker and North Carolina Republicans Ted Budd and Bo Hines as a substitute.
There are a couple of elements at play: Voters nominated a slate of hard-right, pro-Trump nominees in opposition to Hassan, Pappas and Rep. Annie Kuster, seemingly slicing the Democratic incumbents a break in a state Trump misplaced twice and complicating the endorsement calculus for these making an attempt to distance themselves from the previous president.
Uncertainties additionally abound concerning the subsequent presidential contest. Democrats are weighing whether or not to rejigger their main calendar, doubtlessly jeopardizing New Hampshire’s storied standing. And the potential of a 2024 rematch between Trump and Biden is casting a shadow over the primaries — doubtlessly diminishing New Hampshire’s attract.
“Persons are viewing New Hampshire as a restricted pasture proper now,” Patrick Griffin, a GOP strategist who’s been a media marketing consultant on presidential campaigns and for Republicans’ Senate and Home marketing campaign arms, mentioned in an interview.
Some large names have nonetheless swung by. Former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley and former Rep. Tulsi Gabbard stumped for Bolduc this month — with Sen. Rick Scott (R-Fla.), who leads the Republican Senate marketing campaign arm, anticipated to comply with. Sens. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) and Tammy Baldwin (D-Wisc.) and first girl Jill Biden have hit the path for Hassan.
Different Republicans — outgoing Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo amongst them — have come by for “Politics and Eggs,” the New Hampshire Institute of Politics and Saint Anselm Faculty speaker collection that’s a must-stop for presidential hopefuls. However they left with out stumping for Bolduc, Leavitt or Bob Burns, who’s difficult Kuster. Pompeo not too long ago endorsed Bolduc — as have Sens. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) and Rand Paul (R-Ky.) — however hasn’t campaigned with him in individual.
Then there’s intently watched Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, a frontrunner for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination, who hasn’t set foot right here — despite some prodding.
Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie got here to New England this month — to marketing campaign for Republican Allan Fung, who polls present has the sting in Rhode Island’s hotly contested congressional race. South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem, who’s up for reelection in November, ran digital ads in New Hampshire and different early-voting states over the summer time. However when she got here east in August, it was to marketing campaign for Massachusetts’ Republican gubernatorial nominee Geoff Diehl.
There’s been the same dearth of top-tier politicians on the Democratic aspect. Illinois Gov. JB Pritzker headlined the state party’s convention in June — the place Labor Secretary Marty Walsh additionally spoke — however has since been spending his time on his reelection bid and his cash on candidates in different states. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg headlined a serious social gathering fundraising dinner in September. Sen. Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) was final right here for a dinner in March.
And people who have campaigned for Bolduc or Hassan have performed coy about their future plans as they attempt to steadiness their very own self-interests with these of Trump or Biden.
Booker joked whereas campaigning with Hassan and Pappas in a Derry espresso store final week that he’d spent loads of time within the state two years in the past. He referred to as himself “a man who has loads of love for the Granite State” and mentioned he needs to maintain it “on the prime of our main record.”
However he additionally listed off the Biden administration’s legislative wins — together with bipartisan infrastructure and gun security payments — and mentioned “I’m simply a type of individuals who consider President Biden ought to run for reelection on that file.”
Haley, the previous Trump administration ambassador to the United Nations, didn’t acknowledge a reporter’s query earlier this month about potential twin motives about her journeys to marketing campaign for Bolduc.
“He’s a veteran who simply needs to see America get again to what she is, which is nice. And I couldn’t be extra excited than to assist him,” Haley mentioned in response. “That is my second time coming, and if I would like to return again, I’ll come again.”
Different Republican guests to New Hampshire have been extra open about their ambitions. Pompeo mentioned his September go to for “Politics and Eggs” was “not random.” A month later he told CBS News he’ll decide by the spring on whether or not to run for president — no matter Trump.
Jim Demers, a longtime New Hampshire Democratic operative and lobbyist who backed Booker in 2020 earlier than transferring to Biden, mentioned in an interview that “the massive distinction right here is the Republican candidates or elected officers who’re coming listed below are very clear that they’re testing the waters for 2024.”
Democrats, he mentioned, “are coming right here — I believe most of them — with an expectation that President Biden goes to run once more.”
However, Demers mentioned as he watched Booker, Hassan and Pappas make their rounds within the small Derry espresso store, if Biden “decides to not run, they’ve laid a little bit basis.”