We are 20 months away from the 2022 midterm elections, but a new St. Anselm poll shows that GOP New Hampshire governor Chris Sununu would be a strong challenger if he tries to unseat incumbent Democratic senator Maggie Hassan:
The Saint Anselm College Survey Center found in a poll released Wednesday that Sununu leads a hypothetical matchup with Hassan by a margin of 47 percent to 41 percent with 12 percent either choosing someone else or undecided.
The poll was conducted March 4-6 among 871 likely voters and has a margin of effort of plus or minus 3.3 percentage points.
Sununu’s lead in the new poll is by a wider margin than in the first head-to-head poll between the two. A University of New Hampshire Survey poll found two weeks ago that Sununu led Hassan, 48 percent to 46 percent, with 2 percent favoring another candidate and 5 percent unsure.
First elected in 2016, Sununu has defied New Hampshire’s turn toward the Democratic Party and has been one of the most popular governors in the country.
In 2018, New Hampshire’s legislature flipped to the Democrats, but Sununu was reelected to a second two-year term by a seven-point margin. In 2020, while Joe Biden defeated Donald Trump by seven points in New Hampshire, Sununu was reelected by 32 points.
Sununu has attributed his popularity to his fiscal record, but another key to his success has been his accessibility to voters.
“I give my cell phone to everybody,” Sununu told me in a 2019 interview. “I have one phone, one number. . . . People are actually very respectful of it. Very rarely do I have people who are constantly calling me.”
With the GOP one seat away from controlling the U.S. Senate, Sununu may finally need to get a second phone in 2022 to field all the calls from Republicans begging him to run.