For better or worse, Don Bolduc is getting his name out there following his slim win over Chuck Morse in the Republican primary with a comment about abortion during a WMUR  interview and a roasting by late night host Steve Colbert.

The Emerson College/WHDH poll of 800 likely voters two days after voting gave Sen. Maggie Hassan an 11 point lead over GOP challenger Don Bolduc 51%-40%.  27% of those polled have never heard of or are unsure of Bolduc.

“Bolduc has low name recognition, which presents both a challenge and an opportunity. Among undecided voters, 60% are unsure of their perceptions of Bolduc, compared to 27% who say the same of Hassan," said Spencer Kimball, Executive Director of Emerson College Polling.

Dean Spiliotes, SNHU Civic Scholar and founder of NH Political Capital, said both Bolduc and First Congressional District Republican candidate Karoline Leavitt received a tremendous amount of negative national media coverage after their wins for their election denialism and hard-line positions on abortion.

"Bolduc, in particular, was roasted by Stephen Colbert in his monologue for now suddenly trying to back away from the Big Lie. Not the kind of ridicule that will help you as a candidate," Spiliotes said.

Colbert on CBS' Thursday night's Late Show with Stephen Colbert said Republicans in their primaries chose "the kookiest, zaniest, conspiracy wackos this side of nutso Banana Junction," and called Buldoc "MAGA crazy."

Mocking the pronunciation of Boldoc's name, Colbert played the Republican's interview with Fox News, which showed Bolduc's comment during a primary debate that he stands by his belief that Donald Trump won the 2020 presidential election.

During the Fox News interview, Buldoc backed away from the comment.

"We live and learn, right," Buldoc said."I've done a lot of research on this and I've spent the past couple of weeks talking to Granite Staters all over the state from every party, and I have come to the conclusion, and I want to be definitive on this, the election was not stolen."

Colbert went into a riff on "The Lion Sleeps Tonight", making fun of Bolduc's hesitation on the word "we" at the beginning of his answer.

Image used by Stephen Colbert during a segment on Don Bolduc
Image used by Stephen Colbert during a segment on Don Bolduc (Scott Eisen/Getty Images)

Abortion Comment Draws Criticism

During an interview on WMUR's CloseUp that aired on Sunday morning, Bolduc solidified his anti-abortion view and said he would vote against Sen. Lindsay Graham's bill that would ban abortion nationwide after 15 weeks, calling it an issue for states to decide, not the federal government.

"Granite Staters would be better served by working through their legislature to address that issue, not the federal government. (Hassan) just wants to hang on for dear life. Well, guess what. Your views are not consistent with the average Granite Stater, number one. Number two, get over it. This is about the economy, fiscal responsibility, and the safety and security of this nation which you cannot defend."

Sexton moved onto another topic and did not ask a follow up question.

The comment drew immediate criticism from Hassan on her campaign Twitter and from Planned Parenthood.

"Don Bolduc just told every woman in New Hampshire to 'get over' the overturning of Roe v. Wade and the threat of a nationwide abortion ban," Hassan said in one of two tweets. The second was a retweet of the comment.

"Don Bolduc was just asked about a national abortion ban. His response – "get over it. Sorry, Don, but women will not 'get over it.'"

Kayla Montgomery, the New Hampshire State Director for Planned Parenthood Votes, echoed Hassan's comments and the group's support for her re-election.

"We’re going to elect leaders who understand that we, not politicians, should decide what is best for our own bodies and futures. Planned Parenthood Votes and our supporters are hitting the streets and phones to reach as many voters as possible this fall, because we know extremists like Don Bolduc don’t speak for New Hampshire," Montgomery wrote.

Gov. Chris Sununu, Sen. Maggie Hassan, Rep. Chris Pappas, State Sen. Tom Sherman, Don Buldoc, Karoline Leavitt
Gov. Chris Sununu (Gov. Chris Sununu), Sen. Maggie Hassan (Sen. Maggie Hassan), Rep. Chris Pappas (Rep. Chris Pappas), State Sen. Tom Sherman (Sherman campaign), Don Buldoc (Buldoc campaign), Karoline Leavitt (Karoline Leavitt)

Abortion Access as an Issue

The Emerson poll showed that abortion access is the second most important issue to them in the November election at 20%. The economy topped the list at 43%. Voters who say abortion is the top issue to them support Hassan 93%-2% for Bolduc.

"As I have said many times before, both Bolduc and Leavitt will need to show some ability to win over the many independents and moderates who vote in New Hampshire, and who are, according to polling, moving away from Trump in significant numbers," Spiliotes said.

The Emerson College/WHDH poll gave Republican Gov. Chris Sununu the lead over Democratic State Sen. Tom Sherman 52%-37%, and Rep. Chris Pappas a slim lead over Republican Karoline Leavitt 47%-42%.

In a potential 2024 presidential race, the poll shows President Joe Biden beating Trump 46%-43%, with 8% undecided.

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNH

Trending Stories for Seacoast Current (August 22-28, 2022)

More From Seacoast Current