NH Democrats retain all federal seats, Sununu remains governor

Brian Fay , Crier Staff

On Tuesday, November 8, 2022, the State of New Hampshire held elections for federal, state, and local positions, along with the rest of the country. The highest profile race was by far the election for United States Senate, between incumbent Democrat Maggie Hassan, and Republican challenger Don Bolduc. Saint Anselm College released a poll shortly before the election, predicting a very close race, with Bolduc winning by one percent. However, this poll, along with several other polls released from various sources in the days leading up to the election, failed in accuracy. Hassan defeated Bolduc by a nine point margin, or approximately 57,000 votes, and Hassan won all but two counties in New Hampshire.

Another closely watched election at Saint Anselm College, and all across New Hampshire, was the election for House of Representatives in New Hampshire’s first congressional district, which includes Saint Anselm College. This election was between incumbent Democrat Chris Pappas and Republican challenger Karoline Leavitt, who is an alumni of Saint Anselm College. Again, the poll from Saint Anselm College anticipated a result that was far from reality on election night, which predicted that Leavitt would defeat Pappas 51%-45%. This poll completely overestimated Leavitt, as Pappas retained his seat in Congress, by a margin of 54%-46%, or about 25,000 votes.

The other congressional district in New Hampshire, the second district, showed similar results to the first district. Incumbent Democrat Ann McLane Kuster defeated Republican challenger Robert Burns, by a margin of almost 12%, or about 36,000 votes. This election was not as closely watched as the other two elections previously mentioned, as it was largely believed that Kuster would keep her seat in Congress without much competition from Burns.

For governor, Republican incumbent Chris Sununu defeated Democratic challenger Tom Sherman, by a heavy margin. This sends Chris Sununu to Concord for a third term, each of which lasts two years, and the governor’s position will be contested again in 2024. This result was expected by almost everyone, as Chris Sununu won reelection by a very large margin in 2020, and he has maintained his popularity.  

In other state elections, Democrats continued their success in the New Hampshire state legislature, formally known as the New Hampshire General Court. Democrats picked up seats in the House of Representatives, whittling away at the Republican majority, however, the final results are still pending. For the New Hampshire State Senate, Republicans maintained a majority, by the same margin that they had before the election, 14-10. However, multiple incumbents lost while the party composition of the legislature maintained the same.

Overall, the elections in New Hampshire were unpredictable, as we can see that the polls were not in line with the actual results. The results followed a familiar pattern to the rest of the country, with Republicans underperforming expectations, and Democrats having a strong night, which largely came out of the blue. New Hampshire continues the democratic tradition held throughout the country of electing our representatives, which the people determine to be best fit to serve.