Sen. Maggie Hassan defeated Don Bolduc in New Hampshire on Tuesday, holding a critical seat for Democrats after her Republican challenger came on strong in the final days of the campaign.
Ms. Hassan had secured a majority of the vote when NBC News and Fox News called the race for the incumbent around 11 p.m.
Ms. Hassan, a former New Hampshire governor, sought a second term after eking out a win over Republican Sen. Kelly Ayotte six years ago.
Mr. Bolduc was able to defeat a mainstream GOP candidate in the primary but faced a significant polling deficit in the head-to-head matchup against Ms. Hassan, disappointing Republicans who eyed the Granite State as a pickup opportunity in the fierce battle for control of the Senate.
Mr. Bolduc made things uncomfortable for Ms. Hassan in the home stretch, hammering the incumbent over soaring energy costs and inflation as the GOP gained momentum across the U.S.
He also pitched himself as an outsider who would make better decisions than the “career politicians” in Washington.
Mr. Bolduc said abortion access should be a state issue, though Ms. Hassan characterized her opponent as a potential vote for a national ban and puppet for “Big Oil” and “Big Pharma” amid concerns about high prices for gasoline and prescription drugs.
“Don’t take this election for granted — our rights are on the line,” Ms. Hassan tweeted on the eve of the election.
She also painted Mr. Bolduc as too extreme, pointing to his claim the 2020 election was stolen from former President Donald Trump.
Mr. Bolduc walked back the claim after the GOP primary.
New Hampshire’s other senator, Jeanne Shaheen, is a Democrat who does not face reelection until 2026.
Republican Gov. Chris Sununu, meanwhile, easily won a fourth two-year term on Tuesday.
The governor marveled at the huge voter turnout in the state.
“The turnout has been absolutely unbelievable. We’re definitely going to break records for a midterm turnout here in New Hampshire,” Mr. Sununu told NBC.
“That’s economically driven, folks are feeling a pinch at their homes when they balance a checkbook, trying to just pay a mortgage and especially in New England, where energy prices are so high, fuel prices are high, it’s getting colder, people are really feeling that double pinch that double whammy, and they want to change,” he said.