NH Senate Rematch a Likely Bellwether Race

Incumbent Sununu faces Shaheen in key test of Democratic wave
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 4, 2008 5:37 AM CDT
Jeanne Shaheen, defeated in the 2002 New Hampshire Senate race, is on course for victory this year.   (AP Photo/Cheryl Senter, File)
camera-icon View 2 more images

(Newser) – As Democrats look to pick up as many as 10 Senate seats in November, perhaps no race has so much riding the Democratic wave than New Hampshire, where Democrat Jeanne Shaheen again takes on John Sununu for a seat Republicans have held for 30 years. As the New York Times reports, anti-Republican fervor has helped former governor Shaheen build a double-digit lead.

Maverick New Hampshire has been trending Democratic in recent years; it went for Bush in 2000 but Kerry in 2004, and the Dems won a blowout midterm race two years ago. Sununu, the Senate's youngest member, has a large war chest, and his association with John McCain, hugely popular in the state, could help come November. “He shows up to work," says one analyst. "He brings home the bacon. There are not a lot of inherent things wrong with John Sununu except that he is a Republican.”