New Hampshire voters have not sent a Democrat and a Republican to the U.S. House in the same election since 1992, when the 1st District elected Republican Bill Zeliff and the 2nd District chose Democrat Dick Swett. But today, two national observers said that is a distinct possibility this year.
Larry Sabato’s Crystal Ball makes a call in every single House race before Election Day. Editor Kyle Kondik made picks in their 14 remaining toss-up seats today, changing the rating for the 1st District to “Leans Republican” and the 2nd District to “Leans Democratic:”
New Hampshire’s schizophrenic politics makes deciphering elections there quite difficult, and the very close presidential and gubernatorial races are providing little top-of-the-ticket evidence of a partisan lean one way or the other in the Granite State. For most of the cycle, it has appeared that Rep. Charlie Bass (R, NH-2) was in worse shape than Rep. Frank Guinta (R, NH-1), and that in addition to the district fundamentals (Bass’s district is more Democratic than the first) is why we favor Bass to lose to Ann McLane Kuster (D) but Guinta to hang on against ex-Rep. Carol Shea-Porter (D).
Meanwhile, Roll Call’s Abby Livingston claimed “Democrats are more confident about their prospects in the 2nd district, while Republicans are more upbeat about holding the 1st district:”
The reasons that many Granite State political observers are preparing for a split delegation are plenty. There is no national wave; as House race veterans, the candidates are already well-known and defined; both parties are overloading the television airwaves with political advertising; and polling indicates the presidential race is tightening.
Republicans are confident Romney will win Guinta’s 1st district, and Democrats share a similar confidence that Obama will carry Bass’ 2nd district.
In the 1st district especially, it is hard to imagine much crossover voting. Guinta and Shea Porter are often described as fierce partisans, and as a result, this is a district where the presidential contest will matter more than most.
Writing in the Guardian, Harry J. Enten is not convinced:
Any combination of House winners seem possible. Democrats could win both seats, Republicans could win both seats, Guinta could win but see Bass lose, or Shea-Porter could win with Kuster losing.