Friday, February 3

New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Delaware

The final primaries of the 2022 election cycle were held Tuesday, as New Hampshire, Rhode Island and Delaware voters went to the polls.

President Joe Biden flew to Delaware on Tuesday afternoon to vote, according to the pool report. There’s only one contested race in Delaware — state auditor. Incumbent Kathleen K. McGuiness faces primary challenger Lydia York for the Democratic nomination. McGuiness in July was convicted on three misdemeanor counts of public corruption related to the hiring of her daughter. A judge later tossed one conviction.

But all eyes were on New Hampshire, where Republicans are vying to take on incumbent Democratic Sen. Maggie Hassan. The Republican primary was centered around two candidates: New Hampshire Senate President Chuck Morse and far-right veteran Don Bolduc. 

By Wednesday morning, CBS News had not yet called the race, but Morse concluded he would not be able to close the gap separating him from Bolduc, and he said in a tweet that he had conceded.

“It’s been a long night & we’ve come up short. I want to thank my supporters for all the blood, sweat & tears they poured into this team effort. I just called and wished all the best to @GenDonBolduc,” Morse tweeted.

Democrats see Bolduc as the preferred candidate against Hassan because of his more extreme stances on the 2020 election, calls to “get rid” of the FBI and frequent criticism of popular moderate GOP Gov. Chris Sununu. Sununu backed Morse and called Bolduc a “conspiracy theorist.” Republican leaders had tried to coax Sununu to run for the Senate seat, but he declined.

” We’re one step closer towards defeating @SenatorHassan, flipping the Senate and bringing an Outsider to DC to fight for Granite Staters!” Bolduc said in a tweet declaring victory.

Sen. Maggie Hassan, Don Bolduc and Chuck Morse

AP Photo/Evan Vucci, AP Photo/Mary Schwalm, AP Photo/Mary Schwalm

Bolduc was the frontrunner in the race, and polls before the primary showed him with a substantial lead. Former President Trump did not endorse either candidate. 

The Democratic Senate Majority PAC spent millions airing an ad critical of Morse, calling him “another sleazy politician” and saying that Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s “Washington establishment” is going “all in” for Morse. 

On the opposite side, a group with ties to McConnell, the White Mountain PAC, has spent millions on ads to take down Bolduc, according to the New Hampshire Union-Leader. The GOP Senate Leadership Fund is also active in this race, but is focused on the general election in November. The group has committed $23 million for ads against Hassan, with their first airing on primary day. 

Hassan, a former governor, was first elected in 2016, flipping the seat from Republican Sen. Kelly Ayotte, one of only two Democratic flips in that cycle. Hillary Clinton won the state in 2016 by just over a point, and although Trump targeted it aggressively in 2020, the state went for Mr. Biden by 7 points in 2020. 

In New Hampshire’s 1st Congressional District, CBS News projects Karoline Leavitt has won the Republican nomination to take on Democratic incumbent Rep. Chris Pappas. Leavitt, a 25-year-old former Trump aide, faced Matt Mowers, who was backed by House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, and Gail Huff Brown, the wife of former moderate GOP Sen. Scott Brown of Massachusetts. Several other candidates were also on the ballot.

In Rhode Island’s 2nd District, CBS News projects Seth Magaziner won the Democratic nomination. He will face Republican Allan Fung, the former mayor of Cranston, Rhode Island, a candidate national Republicans believe will make that race competitive. Incumbent Democratic Rep. Jim Langevin is retiring.

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