The national Democratic Party has put Concord in the crosshairs, naming New Hampshire a top target for taking control of the state legislature from Republicans.
In a statement, the Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee (DLCC), the national organization that focuses on state legislatures, said, “We are laser-focused on loosening the GOP’s grip on these battleground states and finally taking back these chambers.”
Among the chambers targeted: The New Hampshire House and Senate, as well as the two Arizona legislative chambers, the Virginia House, and the Pennsylvania Senate.
Given that Republicans currently control just 201 of the 400 House seats, the Democrats’ focus on flipping New Hampshire’s lower chamber is hardly a surprise. However, the GOP’s 14-10 hold on the Senate may be harder to break.
“New Hampshire Senate Republicans are more than ready to put our record up against the Democrats’ failed agenda,” said Senate President Jeb Bradley (R-Wolfeboro). “Republicans will continue to protect taxpayers, unlike Democrats who have created a border crisis, severe inflation, and soaring energy costs, and their policies will lead us to an income tax. The bottom line is that New Hampshire Senate Republicans are looking forward to 2024.”
Democrats are undeterred.
“The DLCC’s Path to the Majority is a bold strategy focused on achieving Democratic power in America’s state legislatures. Last year, we led Democrats to the most successful state legislative midterm year for the president’s party in nearly a century – now, we’re focused on capitalizing on our success by defending our ground and working on expanding Democratic power,” the DLCC statement reads.
In 2020, Granite State Democrats suffered the embarrassment of being the only state to lose control of the legislature to Republicans, even as President Joe Biden won the White House and handily carried New Hampshire. Gov. Chris Sununu and the GOP used that majority to achieve key policy goals like establishing the Education Freedom Account program and phasing out the state’s interest and dividends income tax.
In 2022, they nearly got their revenge, coming within a handful of contested recounts of a House majority. The performance of Democrats in last year’s midterms was historic at both the state and national levels. Only twice since 1900 had the president’s party increased its hold on state legislative seats during a midterm: FDR’s 1934 “New Deal” blowout and 2002, when Americans rallied around George W. Bush in the wake of the September 11 attacks.
“By all accounts, this election should have been a landslide for Republicans. Instead, their so-called red wave is looking more like a puddle,” Democratic Legislative Campaign Committee president Jessica Post said after last year’s midterms.
New Hampshire House Republicans say they aren’t surprised by the attention from the DLCC, noting that Democrats have been pouring money into the Granite State for years.
“New Hampshire House Democrats stand to benefit from another $750,000.00 in out-of-state dark money,” said Rep. Ross Berry (R-Manchster). “One has to wonder why their California and New York City donors are so eager to peddle their failed policies in New Hampshire.”