Hassan Senate Campaign Worried About Republican Challenger’s Rapid Climb, Leaked Memo Says

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A recent memo from U.S. Sen. Maggie Hassan’s campaign shows the New Hampshire Democrat is worried about Republican challenger Don Bolduc’s rapid climb to popularity and his potential to pull off a victory in November.

Bolduc’s campaign is calling the Sept. 29 document the “leaked Hassan strategy memo.”

The memo, which was obtained by Axios (pdf), appears to have been sent as an email by Hassan campaign manager Aaron Jacobs.

In it, Jacobs compared Bolduc to 2014 New Hampshire senatorial candidate Scott Brown, pointing out that he lost by only a 1.5 percent margin even though polls showed him being underwater by 20 points in preelection approval ratings.

“Don Bolduc is already in a stronger place than Brown,” wrote Jacobs. “In a politically volatile and swingy state like New Hampshire, it will take significant investment again to prevent a Republican from winning this seat in what is an incredibly challenging national environment for our party.”

Veteran New Hampshire politician Jeanne Shaheen narrowly defeated the unknown Brown.

Neither Hassan’s campaign nor anyone in her U.S. Senate offices responded to a request for comment from The Epoch Times.

Jacobs also laments the amount of financial support Bolduc is receiving nationally from the Republican Party, noting that Republican groups outspent Democrats by $2 million in the first couple of weeks in September.

“In many ways our campaign is dealing with the worst of both worlds: while many Democrats are not taking Don Bolduc seriously, national Republicans are spending tens of millions on his behalf,” Jacobs wrote.

Jacobs also warned against drawing confidence from poll results, because he says they tend to be left leaning and “sugar-coated” for Democratic candidates.

“You should be leery of any public polling showing Senator Hassan leading this race outside the margin of error. Our own internal polling shows that Don Bolduc is quickly consolidating the Republican base and is rapidly making up ground against Senator Hassan.”

Recent polls have put Hassan in a lead over Bolduc, but that lead widely varies depending on the poll. On Sept. 29, a Suffolk University–Boston Globe poll showed Hassan ahead by 8.5 points over Bolduc, while a poll by the Trafalgar Group showed Hassan with a 3.2 point lead.

Another poll by Data for Progress released Oct. 4 has Hassan with a 7 point lead over Bolduc.

A link to the “leaked memo” is embedded in a press release on Bolduc’s campaign website. The sender and recipients of the email have been partially redacted.

Kate Constantini, identified as a Bolduc spokeswoman, posted a statement about the memo, characterizing it as a concession that Hassan’s campaign strategies are not working against the retired Army brigadier general.

“After millions of dollars spent lying about General Bolduc’s record, Senator Hassan’s campaign has conceded the obvious: her pathetic and desperate attempts to shift the conversation from her abysmal record in the Senate aren’t working,” Constantini said in a statement.

Like Shaheen, Hassan took a narrow victory in her bid for U.S. Senate in 2016, unseating Republican incumbent Kelly Ayotte by just a little over 1,000 votes.

Hassan, a former New Hampshire governor, almost faced a race against popular New Hampshire Gov. Chris Sununu. However, Sununu, a progressive Republican, opted against a run for U.S. Senate and instead decided he wanted to seek a fourth term as governor.

Hassan and Shaheen have made history as the two women in the United States to have been elected as both a governor and a U.S. Senator.

Republicans are widely expected to retake control of the House in November.

Alice Giordano


Alice Giordano is a former news correspondent for The Boston Globe, Associated Press, and New England bureau of The New York Times.

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