Election naysayers in Senate races turn to voters in the middle

During a Republican debate just before the September 13 primary, Mr. Bolduc, a retired army brigadier general, stated unequivocally: “I signed a letter with 120 other generals and admirals saying that Trump won the election and, damn it, I stand by my letter. He added for good measure, “I’m not changing my horse, baby. That’s it.”

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His appointment granted, Mr. Bolduc left this horse in a ditch on September 15. “I’ve done a lot of research on this,” he said on Fox News after seeing a clip of his pledge to stay the course on refusing the election, “and I’ve spent the last two weeks talking to Granite Staters across the state from every party, and I came to the conclusion — and I want to be definitive on this — that the election wasn’t stolen.

When a flabbergasted Fox host, Dana Perino, pointed to Mr. Bolduc’s adamant statements ahead of the primary, he shrugged: “You know, live and learn, right?

General election shifts to the center are nothing new, but few would argue that Mr. Bolduc, a political newcomer whose authenticity was his calling card, executed his smoothly.

“Don has spent the last three years hanging out with primary voters, one-third to one-half who bought into the whole stolen election thing, or at least thought something was fishy,” Mr. Cullen said. “When you spend so much time with people who feel that way, it’s easy to think everyone feels that way.”

Then he won the primary and realized that was just not the case, Mr Cullen added.

Mr. Bolduc’s post-primary switcheroo created a new problem: even as he sought to woo a general election electorate, he now also needed to mend fences with his base. Supporters posted a Facebook message they said Mr. Bolduc sent them in which he explained his shift. Yes, he wrote without any evidence, voter fraud in 2020 was rampant — in mail-in ballots, voting machines and mailbox stuffing. But, he added, “Was Biden nominated for president through a constitutional process…yes.”