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Rating Change: New Hampshire Open Seat Moves to Toss-Up

Shea-Porter was already considered vulnerable in 1st District

New Hampshire Rep. Carol Shea-Porter, right, will not seek a fifth term next year.(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)
New Hampshire Rep. Carol Shea-Porter, right, will not seek a fifth term next year.(Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Democratic Rep. Carol Shea-Porter’s retirement leaves an already competitive seat more vulnerable for her party as an open one, considering President Donald Trump carried New Hampshire’s 1st District 48 percent to 46 percent last fall.

“I felt the tug of family at our reunion on Independence Day, and I have continued to feel it,” Shea-Porter said in a statement Friday.

President Barack Obama carried the district 50 percent to 48 percent in 2012. Four years later, however, it was one of 12 districts represented by a Democrat that Trump carried, according to calculations by Daily Kos Elections.

Shea-Porter’s victory last year over Republican Rep. Frank C. Guinta by just 1 point (in a three-way race that included independent Shawn O’Connor) and with less than 45 percent of the vote set off alarm bells about 2018, considering Guinta was a flawed candidate. Shea-Porter originally won the seat in 2006, and from 2010, the district has flipped between the congresswoman and Guinta.

Even as Shea-Porter narrowly carried the district last cycle, two other key Republicans did too: Sen. Kelly Ayotte carried the district 49 percent to 47 percent even though she lost statewide, and Chris Sununu carried the 1st 50 percent to 45 percent in his gubernatorial victory.

On the GOP side, Eddie Edwards, a former state liquor commission enforcement and licensing director, and state Sen. Andy Sanborn had already announced they were running to challenging Shea-Porter, but there is plenty of time before the state’s June filing deadline for more Republicans and new Democrats to join the race. 

We’re changing our rating of the race from Tilts Democratic to Toss-Up.

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