New Hampshire is a state that is near and dear to my heart, despite the fact that I’ve never set foot there. I mean, how can you not love a state that’s motto is “Live Free or Die?” It’s the epitome of what created this country, that phrase, and for New Hampshire to immortalize it is important.
However, over the past few years, it hasn’t felt like the state really embraced that mentality. After all, their legislature had a heavy leftist lean to it. Especially when it came to things like gun rights.
Time and time again, the legislature passed gun control, only for the citizens there to be saved by Governor Chris Sununu.
For anti-gunners, their best hope was to hope Sununu left office. After all, he’d had two terms as governor. There was speculation he’d run for Senate. Instead, he went for a third term. That meant Democrats had to hope to beat him. Not only did that not work out as planned, but a lot of other stuff also didn’t, either.
In Tuesday’s presidential election, New Hampshire voters delivered a decisive win to Democrat Joe Biden and sent three incumbent Democratic lawmakers back to Congress, including Sen. Jeanne Shaheen, who won a third term.
But Granite State voters also sent Sununu back to the governor’s office with more than 65% of the vote, according to preliminary results, and elected Republican majorities in the state House of Representatives, Senate and Executive Council. The Newfields Republican, who outperformed Republican President Donald Trump among the state’s GOP voters, has seen his margin of victory increase with every election.
Longtime observers say that’s an indication he has expanded support among the state’s majority undeclared or “independent” voters, as well as Democrats.
“He is the most popular Republican in New Hampshire, bar none,” said Dante Scala, a political science professor at the University of New Hampshire. “Sununu has been very adept making sure that he remains within the mainstream of his party while appealing to people outside of his party. And that’s no mean trick.”
It’s really not, as we’ve seen. Sununu absolutely curb-stomped his opponent and left no doubt that he clearly won the governorship.
However, by also apparently leading a red wave through the state, he’s done something almost as good as vetoing anti-gun legislation. He’s made it so it’s unlikely to ever get to his desk in the first place.
That’s important. If anti-gunners can find a single focus for their ire, they’ll try to move Heaven and Earth to remove that one person from office. They may not be successful, but they’ll certainly try. When there’s a large group, though, it’s much harder. Their efforts become diffused and, therefore, less effective.
Ineffective anti-gunners are the best anti-gunners, in my not-so-humble opinion.
There’s a lot to look at with Sununu’s success in New Hampshire. I’m not saying it will play out the same way throughout the nation, of course, but it might be a valuable guide on how to navigate a battleground state.
In the process, it’s a way to help defend gun rights for residents of those states.