To paraphrase Garrison Keillor from back in the day, it wasn’t a quiet week in the Lake Woebegon that is New Hampshire Republican politics.

There was a lot of news, and it was mostly bad. Or at least “not great.”

Take, for example, word that the No Labels movement is closing up shop. At a time when dissatisfaction with the two major-party candidates is at an all-time high, the much-ballyhooed No Labels effort couldn’t even field a ticket.

“Americans remain more open to an independent presidential run and hungrier for unifying national leadership than ever before,” No Labels said in a statement. “But No Labels has always said we would only offer our ballot line to a ticket if we could identify candidates with a credible path to winning the White House. No such candidates emerged so the responsible course of action is for us to stand down.”

Why is that bad news for the Granite State GOP?

The current thinking among political insiders is that anti-Trump Republicans are going to have plenty of reasons to stay home in November, particularly in a state Biden won by eight points in 2020. So, Republican turnout is likely to sag.

At the same time, there are few things that college-educated, affluent suburbanites love doing more than voting against Donald Trump. These are the voters who helped Nikki Haley break 40 percent in January, and they’ll be back to thump Trump one more time in November.

GOP turnout is depressed, and Democrat turnout is engaged—it’s not a pretty picture for the New Hampshire GOP and the down-ballot candidates running for governor, Congress, and the state legislature.

Suppose a Larry Hogan/Mitt Romney/Chris Sununu (ahem)-style No Labels candidate were on the ballot. In that case, some non-Trump Republicans who can’t vote for the octogenarian Joe Biden might have turned out for the moderate alternative.

Instead, the alternative to “Bumbling Biden” and “Nutty Trump” is Robert F. “You Think Those Guys Are Crazy? Hold My Beer” Kennedy. Not exactly a draw among the soccer mom crowd.

There’s another, much more GOP-friendly, scenario: Biden’s cognitive infirmity and the prospect of a President Kamala Harris craters Democratic turnout as well. Then, thanks to Trump’s support among low-propensity voters who’ll turn out for him and no one else, the net result is a 2016-style race that’s razor-thin and keeps Republican candidates in the hunt.

But in the post-Dobbs, post-January 6 era, that looks like a long shot.

The No Labels flop wasn’t the only problematic news for the GOP this week. Ted Gatsas’s announcement of his retirement from the Executive Council inspired heartwarming shoutouts to the popular Manchester Republican. But eventually, it’s going to dawn on the Republicans that they now have to spend time and money holding a seat that was a lock just 48 hours ago.

Sure, thanks to the maps, Republicans are likely to fill the Gatsas vacancy. But it’s still an open seat. And with MAGA Republican Bob Burns and (soon-to-be former) state GOP Vice Chair Ryan Terrell already in the race and several more likely candidates in the wings, it could be a bruising primary. If it turns into a MAGA vs. Never Trump primary, it could add to the messaging that’s already making some Republicans want to stay home on Election Day.

And then there’s the impact of Burns’ decision not to run in the Second Congressional District primary. Having Burns in the race actually made life easier for the New Hampshire GOP. The assumption was that thanks to his MAGA base and the willingness of the national Democratic Party to spend money promoting his campaign (like it did in 2022), Burns would likely win the NH-02 primary once again.

Given the district is all but unwinnable for the GOP in the general election, a Burns’ candidacy made it easier for Republicans to write off the race and focus on competitive contests like governor.

With Burns out, and Lily Tang Williams yet to catch fire in the primary, more Republicans may be tempted to wast… er, “spend” time and money on lost-cause candidacies.

Once again, if there’s a significant change in the national political scene — in particular one that involves the phrase “President Harris” — all bets are off.

But in the end, the Granite State GOP now has to defend vacancies in both the governor’s office and the Executive Council. They have to do this in a political environment that could be even more unfriendly than 2022. And they won’t be getting any moderate GOP turnout help from a Chris Christie-Kirsten Sinema ticket, either.

All is not lost. There’s a lot of game left to play. Democrats have their own primary problems, and Biden is literally the least popular president at this point in his term in modern American history.

It’s also true that Donald Trump is currently beating Biden—and beating him badly. The GOP is also likely to pick up at least two U.S. Senate seats, and perhaps as many as four or five, and take control of the upper chamber.

Alas, those wins will be in places like Montana, Ohio, and West Virginia, states with plenty of non-college-educated, working-class voters.

In other words, not New Hampshire.

The Granite State GOP could use a break (or seven) between now and November. They didn’t get any this week.