Call it optimism, or just an old-fashioned political twist, but New Hampshire Democratic and Republican presidents both say last week’s 2021 election results signal bigger wins to come. in 2022, when the Granite State will hold races for the United States House and Senate and Governor, as well as the State Legislature and Executive Council.
Highlighting the Republicans’ big victories in blue-trending Virginia and solid-blue New Jersey, New Hampshire GOP President Steve Stepanek told the To watch that “what happened in Virginia and New Jersey was an earthquake that triggered a red tsunami that will sweep across the country, including New Hampshire.”
Focusing instead on the Democrats’ high-profile victories in the Granite State municipal election, long-time New Hampshire Democratic Party Chairman Ray Buckley noted that “New Hampshire Democrats have once again resisted national trend and have won big in communities across the state, including rural and red areas. areas. “
National GOP leaders such as Sen. Rick Scott of Florida, chairman of the Senate GOP re-election committee, called Glenn Youngkin’s victory in the Virginia gubernatorial election “a sign of things to come in 2022!”
Youngkin, a first-time candidate from the business wing of the Republican Party, narrowly beat former Democratic Gov. Terry McAuliffe in a statewide contest with many national implications. Tuesday’s election in Virginia, a unique but still competitive battleground, is seen as a key barometer ahead of the 2022 midterm election, when Republicans aim to regain control of the House and Senate, where the Democrats hold a slim majority.
Republicans see Youngkin’s focus on parents’ anger over the decisions of their local school boards as a model of how to campaign in next year’s election.
Stepanek highlighted the New Hampshire Education Savings Accounts, which allow families to access taxpayer funds to pay for tuition in private schools, home schooling programs, and other education options. non-public education. Long a right-wing goal, the GOP-controlled state legislature passed the bill this year and it was signed into law by Republican Gov. Chris Sununu, who is another supporter.
“We give parents the opportunity to make sure that if they are not happy with what their schools teach and want to either home school or send them to a private or parish school, the State money is now attached to the child and this will help offset the costs, ”Stepanek said.
Looking ahead to next year’s election, Stepanek said it would be essential to speak directly to parents.
“We will definitely focus on the educational aspect and make sure that parents have a voice in the education of their children,” he said. “On top of that we are going to focus on inflation, I just filled my truck with gas and for the very first time I broke $ 100, and it impacts all families. . You go to the grocery store and the prices skyrocket. There is no sign that is going to subside any time soon.
As Stepanek looked at the national results – besides Youngkin’s victory, the GOP also toppled the offices of the Virginia lieutenant governor and attorney general as well as the state House of Delegates, and the Republicans nearly toppled the governor Democrat Phil Murphy of New Jersey while making gains in both chambers. of the Garden State Legislature – Buckley kept an eye on the 603.
Targeting Sununu, who is set to announce whether or not he will challenge Democratic Senator Maggie Hassan next year, Buckley argued that “despite the national headwinds, Democrats in New Hampshire are doing laps around Chris Sununu and Republicans in New Hampshire, and are in a dominant position by 2022.
In the wake of Youngkin’s narrow victory over McAuliffe in Virginia, a state that current President Joe Biden won by 10 points a year ago and where the GOP did not win statewide For a dozen years now, the U.S. House of Representatives Republican Re-Election Committee has now viewed longtime Democratic Representative Annie Kuster of New Hampshire’s Second Congressional Districts as vulnerable as she runs for office. re-election next year.
Hours after Youngkin’s closely watched victory, the Congressional Republican National Committee expanded its list of offensive targets to 57 members, adding 13 Democratic representatives, bringing the total to 70 ambitious Democrats it will target before the mid-terms of the l ‘next year.
On the expanded list is Kuster, the Hopkinton Democrat who is running in 2022 for a sixth two-year term in Congress.
“In a cycle like this, no Democrat is safe,” NRCC Chairman Tom Tom Emmer said.
But potentially working against the NRCC are the Republicans at Granite State. According to a map proposal released this week by State House GOP lawmakers, both New Hampshire’s congressional districts would be significantly changed, making the first district more Republican-friendly and the second district a shade of blue. darker.
Last week, we told you about some of the early behind-the-scenes moves by potential gubernatorial candidates in 2022, in anticipation that Sununu will not seek another two-year term to lead the Granite State.
Among them was the Commissioner of the Ministry of Education, Frank Edelblut, who has long been a supporter of the so-called “school choice” movement strongly supported by conservative voters. Several Republican sources told the To watch that Edelblut has quietly reached out to supporters and potential donors in recent weeks regarding a possible gubernatorial candidacy in 2022.
Fast forward a week and another clue – this time from Edelblut himself.
He cited Youngkin’s victory in Virginia in a Facebook post on Wednesday, writing that “voters in Virginia last night chose a proven businessman, a job creator, with a message of freedom and listening. parents to be their next governor. It sounds like a message I can get across.
The governor was away from New Hampshire on Friday.
Sununu was in Las Vegas, Nevada, where he was scheduled to speak in the evening at the leaders summit of the Republican Jewish Coalition (RJC), an influential annual gathering of GOP leaders, mega donors and activists.
The main political goal of the four-day confab, which began on Thursday, is the GOP’s goal of winning back majorities in Congress midway through next year.
If anyone envisioned a senatorial campaign in what would instantly become one of the most high-profile, competitive, and expensive senatorial races of next year, the RJC conference is exactly the kind of place to go for mingle with party rainmakers who could be of immense help. in 2022.