After months of campaign stumbles and abysmal fundraising from Chuck Morse, Kevin Smith, and Don Bolduc, two new candidates saw the original field's weaknesses as an opportunity to join the race. In just one month, the messy three-person NH GOP Senate primary turned into a crowded and chaotic five-person primary that continues to have no clear frontrunner and is likely to get even bigger with the potential addition of Wendy Long. On March 30, Bruce Fenton, a bitcoin millionaire and Free State extremist, announced that he was joining the NH GOP Senate primary and attacked his opponents for their lackluster campaigns, saying, "you can't run on a playbook built in the last 30 years because that world is gone," adding he hadn't "seen anybody talking with the level of urgency and importance that I feel about these issues." Three weeks after Fenton announced he was running in the Senate primary, Vikram Mansharamani announced that he was also throwing his hat into the ring, becoming the fifth candidate to join the messy and crowded NH GOP Senate primary. Mansharamani's announcement put the other campaigns into a complete tizzy, with Smith's campaign advisor Mike Dennehy throwing shade at Mansharamani and getting into a Twitter fight with his advisor, Michael Biundo. The entrance of two new candidates in just one month is the result of Morse, Smith, and Bolduc failing to fundraise and making constant campaign stumbles that have left Republicans scrambling to find anyone else to join the race.
Morse, Smith, and Bolduc's Q1 fundraising was "just not competitive" and was dwarfed by Senator Hassan, who raised 3.4 times what the entire field brought in combined, prompting 2020 Republican Senate candidate Corky Messner to say the candidates who can't fundraise should "get out of this race."
Morse, Smith, and Bolduc have spent months making their central policy positions solely about opposing Senator Hassan's proposal to suspend the gas tax. Still, voters know little about the three candidates who are just as disliked as they are unknown.
And Morse, Smith, and Bolduc continue to make embarrassing mistakes and missteps that leave no doubt they are not ready for prime time. Last week, Chuck Morse put on the most embarrassing campaign event of the primary when he couldn't get a prop to work at a press event where anti-vaxxers protested him.
With five months left until the September primary, there is still a chance that Wendy Long could join the race and snag Donald Trump's endorsement — making the primary even more messy, chaotic, and crowded than it already is.