PORTSMOUTH, N.H. — In the final days of the campaign, Republican gubernatorial candidate Walt Havenstein was still making introductions. In jeans and a yellow sweater, Havenstein worked the crowd at New Hampshire Brew Fest with his wife, Judy, at his side. Most of the voters he met had never heard of him or they recognized his face but knew little about his positions.

The same day, incumbent Democratic Gov. Maggie Hassan was quickly recognized as she toured a Seabrook Market Basket.

“I am wicked excited, because this is the second governor I’ve gotten to meet,” employee Chrissie Wiggin said. “I will definitely be voting for her. She seems really nice, she cares about the people.”

The power of incumbency has buoyed Hassan’s re-election bid from the start – both in simple name recognition and by allowing her to point to first-term accomplishments as she meets voters. Havenstein, meanwhile, is learning the particular challenges of a political newcomer. Since entering the race in April, he’s had to simultaneously introduce himself, state his positions and make the case that Hassan doesn’t deserve another term. The election is Tuesday.

“We need to create an environment where people are willing to invest,” Havenstein told one voter at the Brew Fest.

“I want to get jobs back to our state,” he told another.

That message seems to be resonating with people who hear it.

“We need a change; Maggie Hassan has done nothing,” Kerry Yaceshyn of Rindge said. Then, turning to her friend, “Can you take a picture of me with him? If he’s governor that would be so cool.”

Lauren Conroy, 22, said she’d never heard of Havenstein before meeting him but he seemed like a family man. On the trail, Havenstein often talks about how his son moving to Texas for a job opportunity that didn’t exist in New Hampshire prompted him to run for governor. Conroy and her friend said Havenstein is a clear choice to represent their values.

“Our state is getting very overrun by Democrats,” she said.

Havenstein’s not anonymous to every voter. John McLaughlin, a Republican from Hampton, was very familiar with his platform.

“He’s focused on small business, I think that’s where we need to be right now,” McLaughlin said. “(Hassan’s) about raising taxes.”

Voters who met Hassan at Market Basket, however, had good things to say about her leadership. Bill Beaulieu, an assistant manager, wrote to Hassan and asked her to tour the store after her work on the Market Basket settlement. Beaulieu and many other employees at the store believe Hassan was instrumental in saving the thousands of Market Basket jobs following a summertime protest.

“She’s the real deal,” he said.

Maureen O’Donnell, a former educator, said Hassan has effectively worked with Republicans. She’s upset by Havenstein’s ads that say Hassan wants an income tax. Hassan has pledged to veto one should it ever come to her desk.

“She straight out said that she wouldn’t (support) an income tax,” O’Donnell said. “I think it’s so unfair of him to say that. He doesn’t know New Hampshire like she does.”