Campaigning hits home stretch with 8 weeks to go

Politics

WASHINGTON (NewsNation) — There is one more primary to go Tuesday before it’s full steam ahead to Election Day. And while some of the campaigns are ramping up their rhetoric, others are putting debates on ice.

In New Hampshire, there’s fierce Republican infighting as voters decide their best bet to gain control of Congress. Democrats are running ads for extremely conservative Republicans they see as less of a threat in November.

Until late last year, New Hampshire’s Republican Gov. Chris Sununu was widely expected to run for the U.S. Senate, taking on Democratic Sen. Maggie Hassan. Instead, he opted to seek a fourth two-year term as governor, dealing a major blow to Republicans who had hoped he could help them retake control of the Senate.

Although he faced intense pressure to run for the Senate, Sununu insists he can have a bigger and more direct impact as governor than as a senator. And despite efforts by Trump’s former campaign manager to recruit a challenger, none of the other five Republicans on the ballot Tuesday poses a serious threat to Hassan.

Democratic state Sen. Tom Sherman is running unopposed for his party’s nomination for governor.

In Texas, GOP Gov. Greg Abbott has granted a single debate to Democratic challenger Beto O’Rourke — on a Friday night in the thick of high school football season. Abbott is still ahead in polling as the two prepare to face off live on NewsNation in a debate hosted by parent company Nexstar. That debate will air at 8 p.m. ET on Sept. 30.

O’Rourke has made stronger gun control measures as a centerpiece of his underdog campaign but in recent weeks has focused his campaign on abortion following the June 24 U.S. Supreme Court ruling that overturned Roe v. Wade.

In Arizona, gubernatorial candidate Katie Hobbs is refusing to debate her Republican opponent Kari Lake. Hobbs’ campaign has called her a “conspiracy theorist” for her repeated claims that the 2020 presidential election was “stolen” from Donald Trump.

The Hobbs campaign said a debate with Lake would only lead to “pointless distractions and childish name-calling.”

Lake, who has been endorsed by Trump, said she would debate with or without Hobbs on stage. Her campaign shot back with “the empty chair across from her will show Arizonans just how little Katie Hobbs cares about them.”

Hobbs and Lake are currently tied in the polls, according to the latest data collected by Emerson College.

In Maryland, Wes Moore and Dan Cox have agreed to a virtual forum focused specifically on child care and early education. They will, however, appear separately.

In addition to New Hampshire, Delaware and Rhode Island will also hold primaries Tuesday.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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