National GOP puts NH-02 on its target list

The National Republican Congressional Committee has added New Hampshire’s 2nd Congressional District to its target list, another sign that political professionals believe the Granite State is in play this November.

While NRCC officials acknowledge that the Second District favors Democrats, they say the departure of incumbent Rep. Annie Kuster creates an opportunity.

“Whoever emerges from the Democratic primary will be forced to defend rising costs, an open border and multiple crises on the international stage,” NRCC spokeswoman Savannah Viar said in a statement. “New Hampshire is tired of Democrats’ failures and is ready to elect Republicans on both sides of the state.”

Since 2006, Democrats have controlled the district in all but two years.

Independent and unaffiliated voters make up the district’s largest voting bloc, with Republicans and Democrats each controlling about 32 percent of the total vote, according to NRCC research.

The NRCC does banking on polls showing that independents are siding with Republicans on border security and economic issues. The news also comes after a recent NHJournal survey in which Democratic President Joe Biden is running neck-and-neck in New Hampshire with presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump. A UNH Survey Center survey shortly after found a similar result.

Republicans running in the Second Congressional District were happy to hear the news.

“Thank you @NRCC for recognizing the momentum we have here in #NH02. New Hampshire is ready for new leadership that will stand up for our freedoms,” Republican Lily Tang Williams said of influenced China. .

Lincoln entrepreneur Vikram Mansharamani is also seeking the GOP nomination. His campaign adviser Rob Varsalone told NHJournal: “Republicans of all stripes are uniting behind Vikram because they know he is the best candidate to defeat the Democrats in the fall and fix the mess in DC.”

Varsalone called the NRCC’s decision “another sign of our momentum, and we remain focused on winning the support of voters in NH’s 2nd Congressional District.”

Top Democrats seeking their party’s decision to succeed Kuster include state Sen. Becky Whitley (D-Hopkinton), former executive council member and failed Democratic gubernatorial candidate Colin Van Ostern, and Maggie Goodlander, a former deputy assistant attorney general general at the US Department of State. Justice under the Biden administration. Goodlander, who is married to Biden’s national security adviser Jake Sullivan, until recently lived in Washington, DC and Portsmouth, NH (in the First Congressional District) and rented a house in Nashua.

NH-02 will participate various other neighborhoods target of the NRCC. The organization also identified the embattled district of Democratic Texas-U.S. Rep. Henry Cuellar, located in a hot zone for illegal border crossings from Mexico, and Democratic North Carolina-U.S. Rep. Kathy Manning, whose redrawn district now includes more registered Republicans.

Cuellar and his wife are currently being charged by the U.S. Department of Justice for allegedly taking nearly $600,000 in bribes from an Azerbaijani-controlled oil and gas company and a Mexican bank.

New Hampshire’s Second District, which runs from Coos County along the Canadian border all the way south to Hillsborough and Cheshire Counties, was last represented by a Republican in Charlie Bass from 2011 to 2013. Bass previously represented the district from 1994 to 2006 before losing. to Democrat Paul Hodes. After Hodes left for the seat in 2010 to make an unsuccessful bid for the U.S. Senate, Kuster and Bass faced off. She lost by a narrow margin of 48-47, a race separated by just 3,550 votes.

Kuster’s strong performance caught the attention of former Vermont Governor Howard Dean’s Democracy for America political action committee. The PAC named Kuster one of the “Dean Dozen,” a group of Democrats who called Dean “the progressive movement’s best chance to win back Congress,” and also included people like U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and former U.S. Representative Carol Shea. Porter (DN.H.)

The boost from Dean’s PAC helped push Kuster across the finish line, just as she did in her 2012 rematch with Bass. Kuster has held the district ever since, with the biggest GOP challenge coming from former state Rep. Jim Lawrence (R-Nashua) in 2016who lost to Kuster by five points.

The nonpartisan Cook Political Report rates both New Hampshire congressional districts as “likely Democratic.”

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