Don Bolduc has claimed victory in New Hampshire’s Republican primary for Senate.
The Associated Press has not yet called the race for Bolduc, but he leads his opponent, state Senator Chuck Morse, by about one percentage point.
The retired Army general garnered 37% of the vote to Morse’s 36%, a lead of only about 1,300 votes with 90% of precincts reporting.
Morse said he called Bolduc early Wednesday morning and wished him the best, apparently conceding the race.
“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. The focus this fall needs to be on defeating Maggie Hassan,” Morse tweeted early Wednesday.
Shortly after Morse’s tweet, Bolduc tweeted that the GOP is “one step closer” to flipping the Senate.
“Our campaign overcame the odds and millions of dollars in spending from outside special interest groups because we built a true bottom-up grassroots campaign. Throughout the primary, I have felt the concerns of the voters, and heard time and again we need to send an outsider to Washington,” Bolduc said in a victory statement Tuesday night.
He added that “out of touch career politicians” like Hassan “spend millions on TV ads” rather than town halls and debates.
“I am going to keep campaigning the New Hampshire way,” Bolduc said.
Bolduc’s apparent victory means he will face incumbent Sen. Maggie Hassan (D-NH) in the fall.
Hassan also won her primary Tuesday night with no substantial opposition and called Bolduc “simply too extreme” for New Hampshire.
“This campaign will be a clear contrast between my record of delivering for the people of New Hampshire and Don Bolduc’s radical, backward-looking agenda,” Hassan said.
Hassan, a first-term senator, is considered one of the most vulnerable Democrat senators this election cycle. She won by a tiny margin of about 1,000 votes in 2016, but her job approval has sunk since then. Democrats have assumed that the more conservative Bolduc would be a weaker candidate against Hassan than the more moderate Morse, but with President Joe Biden’s poll numbers declining over the economy, that remains to be proven.
Meanwhile, Hassan has dug her heels in on ultra-progressive issues like late-term abortion, making her support of the procedure all the way through the third trimester part of her campaign. The polarizing issue could end up costing her with Granite State moderates.
Over the summer, Bolduc told The Daily Wire that inflation is the top issue facing New Hampshire voters this fall.
“People can’t afford a new car and can’t afford the gas. They can’t afford their groceries. They’re trading all of this, all of these decisions and putting that money towards keeping their vehicle going in order to be able to support their family and get to their jobs,” Bolduc said in July.
During the primary, the other Republican Senate candidates struggled with name recognition, a problem Bolduc was less beset by as voters remembered him from when he ran for Senate in 2020.
Thanks to New Hampshire’s late primary, Bolduc has just eight weeks to campaign as the primary winner until the general election in November.