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MEMO: Rombeau’s Victory Shows Democratic Energy and Momentum, Clear Defeat for Sununu & NH GOP

OVERVIEW: Last night, Catherine Rombeau won in the Bedford special election, becoming the first red-to-blue legislative district to flip nationally since President Biden was elected. She won because she ran an extraordinary campaign focused on defending reproductive rights and fighting for our public schools.

Representative-Elect Rombeau flipped a R+5 district with a 12% GOP registration advantage. She won running to defend reproductive rights and public education in the face of Chris Sununu and the NH Republican Party’s anti-choice, anti-public school agenda.


KEY TAKEAWAY: Representative-Elect Rombeau ran a strong campaign that engaged thousands of voters who were eager to reject Chris Sununu and the NH GOP’s extreme right wing agenda -- especially on public education and reproductive health care.

Rombeau’s victory was a clear referendum on Sununu’s disastrous budget which includes his abortion ban and mandatory ultrasounds. On the campaign trail, Representative-elect Rombeau said that her priority would be opposing school vouchers in the state budget. And one week after lawmakers in Texas signed legislation effectively overturning Roe vs. Wade, Bedford voters stood up for reproductive freedom.

This was a clear loss for New Hampshire Republicans in Bedford, a former GOP stronghold and shows that even in an “off year” with a Democratic president, suburban voters are rejecting New Hampshire Republicans’ extreme, anti-choice agenda.


BACKGROUND:

NH GOP, National Right-Wing Groups Invested Big in Bedford and Still Lost

  • Together more than 16 mailers were sent out by various right-wing activist groups, including: the opponent’s campaign, the NH GOP, Gun Owners of America, and Americans for Prosperity New Hampshire, a local branch of the right-wing think-tank which sent four mailers out and hosted multiple phone banks for Rombeau’s opponent. Chris Sununu’s endorsement was featured on many of these mailers — and proved ineffective in delivering a Republican victory.

  • National Republicans like former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and former Education Secretary Betsy DeVos -- both members of former President Trump’s cabinet -- campaigned on her behalf in the weeks leading up to the election.

High Turnout Shows Democratic Energy and Momentum

  • Turnout was high for a special election at 28.9% suggesting the continuation of a trend of higher-than-average recent turnout for special elections in New Hampshire.

  • Representative-Elect Rombeau ran an extremely strong field operation knocking on thousands of doors and engaging voters throughout Bedford.

  • The momentum New Hampshire Democrats are building is poised to continue through the upcoming municipal elections, 2022, and beyond.

New Hampshire Democrats Ran Successful Digital Ad on Choice

  • The weekend before election day the NH Democratic Party made a digital ad buy that resulted in 40,000 impressions on Facebook and Instagram.

  • This shows that choice is a winning issue for New Hampshire voters and demonstrates that the NH GOP is out of touch with Granite State values.