CONCORD, N.H. – On Thursday morning, New Hampshire Democratic Party (NHDP) leaders held an online press conference analyzing the results of Tuesday’s election and putting down expectations for the future.
In regard to the the re-elections of U.S. Senator Maggie Hassan and First Congressional District and Second Congressional District Representatives Chris Pappas and Annie Kuster, NHDP Chairman Ray Buckley called the victories decisive and said that New Hampshire voters did what they needed to do to “save the country,” despite millions of dollars spent on attack ads.
Buckley also praised the efforts of the federal candidates, despite being seen as vulnerable by Republicans and pundits.
“(Hassan) has worked hard and she’s stayed focused on the needs of New Hampshire. We are so proud of what she has been able to accomplish in Concord and in Washington as well,” he said. “(And) Chris Pappas was counted as vulnerable from Day One and he certainly showed that is just simply not the case. He is an extraordinarily strong candidate and quite an effective member of Congress. I think all Republicans should pause before they start looking at the First Congressional District as one as Chris Pappas is our candidate. He’s done the hard work.”
He also said that public polling should be disregarded in the future, given that some polls released just before Election Day indicated Hassan and Pappas behind Republican challengers Don Bolduc and Karoline Leavitt, respectively.
“Clearly the pollsters do not have the ability to actually correctly poll any longer, and a lot of time and energy across the country was completely wasted by listening to people who simply no longer know how to do correct polling,” he said.
Instead, Buckley felt that future analysis should focus on positions rather than seeing elections as some sort of game, stating that the latter approach led to Republicans trash talking on social media.
“That’s all sort of silliness, and I think people and voters are sick and tired of having polls that don’t accurately reflect them or their neighbors,” he said. “They’re also tired of politics of just the unserious people that are out there.”
Executive Council Cinde Warmington, New Hampshire Senate Democratic Leader Donna Soucy and New Hampshire House Democratic Leader Matt Wilhelm joined Buckley in simultaneously celebrating the gains of Democrats in the House and what would have been gains if not for Republican redistricting efforts, required every ten years after each U.S. Census.
Warmington noted that Democratic Executive Council candidates actually received more votes statewide than Republican candidates, yet Republicans retained a 4-1 edge on the Council. The trio joined Buckley in stating that Tuesday’s results are the first step in what they see as an eventual Democratic majority in all three chambers.
“This was not a two-year project, this is a 10-year project. We’re not going to allow the Republicans to sneak up and gerrymander the state of New Hampshire,” said Buckley. “The people of New Hampshire won’t allow that and we’re gonna make it very clear over the next few years as we build toward that that we just want fair districts. We don’t want gerrymandered districts toward Democrats, we simply want fair districts.”
Buckley would not prognosticate on potential challengers to Governor Chris Sununu if he decides to run again in 2024 for what would be a record-breaking fifth term, but said that if Democratic candidate Tom Sherman been given more support nationally, he could have won the race or made it closer given the increased Democratic vote total between 2020 and 2022.