Bass, Guinta Face Largely Unknown Challengers In Primaries

Sep 10, 2012

If you haven’t heard that Republican congressmen Charlie Bass and Frank Guinta are facing primary challenges, you’re far from alone.  At least, that’s according to a recent Granite State Poll. 

Representative Frank Guinta faces one challenger, while fellow Republican Charlie Bass has four people vying for his slot on the November ballot.  But University of New Hampshire pollster Andy Smith says more than nine out of ten constituents have no idea who these would-be contenders are.

“And I think that’s a critical factor, because what primaries are all about is the party itself selecting somebody to be their standard-bearer," Smieth says.  "And that person has to be acceptable to broad ranges of people in the party.  It also means they have to be known by people in the party.”

Smith says as the state’s majority party, the GOP can more confidently field primary candidates, while Democrats like to rally around one candidate early on.  Bass and Guinta have a much more difficult task in November—close rematches against Democratic rivals Ann Mclean Kuster and Carol Shea-Porter.  And, to make things even more interesting, they’ll be campaigning in newly redrawn congressional districts.