Dem 51
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GOP 49
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New Hampshire Also Has House Races

New Hampshire gets a lot of attention due to its first-in-the-nation primary, but it is good to remember that it is also a swing state and the Republican majority in the House is currently only 4 seats (due to a vacancy in Utah), so House races in all the swing states are important. Especially in New Hampshire, where both districts are competitive. NH-01, in the populous southeastern part of the state, has a PVI of EVEN. NH-02, in the sparsely-populated rest of the state, has a PVI of D+2. The two seats are currently occupied by Reps. Chris Pappas (D-NH) and Annie Kuster (D-NH), respectively. However, the Republicans hold the trifecta in state government, so the Granite State really is a swing state. Its House seats will be bitterly fought over.

The victory this week of the Democrat in a special election for a state House seat is a warning for the Republicans. The Democrats are now one seat away from a 50-50 split in the state House and there is an upcoming special election in a vacant deep-blue district. The GOP seems resigned to losing their trifecta in the November special election for the vacant seat.

They are also worried that if Trump is the Republican presidential nominee, that is going to hurt their chances of winning either or both U.S. House elections. After the 2020 census, Republicans wanted to gerrymander the map to make one of the two districts Republican leaning, but Gov. Chris Sununu (R-NH) didn't want that. He wanted both seats to be competitive, giving the Republicans at least a chance of winning both. But having Trump on the ballot is going to make that harder.

Even though NH-01 is EVEN, Charlie Cook is rating it "leans Democratic." The Republicans want to run the owner of a water treatment company, Russell Prescott, against Pappas, but Prescott might get competition, forcing a primary. Pappas is an incumbent and won't get any serious primary competition.

NH-02 will feature incumbent Annie Kuster, who won the general election in 2022 56%-44%. At least three people have filed to run for the Republican nomination, one of whom is a Trumpist who got 90 days in jail for his role in the Jan. 6 coup attempt. If he wins the primary, Kuster will be a shoo-in.

What this means is that things look relatively good for the Democrats in New Hampshire at the moment, but it's still worth watching, because a wave (or even a ripple) in either direction could easily catch both New Hampshire seats in its wake. (V)

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