The Boston Globe’s Matt Viser spent the past two years traveling across the country covering the presidential campaign. As a self-professed coffee snob, he used his time on the road to study the world’s coffee culture. The Granite State did not impress:
I discovered that New Hampshire may be first in the nation to hold its primary, but it’s far from first in the nation for coffee (and yes, I know, America runs on Dunkin’ — but this guy doesn’t). In the continued rivalry between Iowa and New Hampshire over political importance, Des Moines easily has Manchester beat on the best coffee scene. But a warning: Charleston, in third-in-the-nation-to-vote South Carolina, tops them both….
State House Majority Leader D.J. Bettencourt today defended the James O’Keefe video in which O’Keefe’s associates secretly videotaped themselves receiving ballots using the names of recently deceased registered voters.
Bettencourt questioned those who have called for the perpetrators of the hoax to be prosecuted by pointing out they “didn’t actually illegally vote.”
His statement puts him at odds with other Republican officials including New Hampshire Republican State Committee Chairman Wayne MacDonald and Manchester Mayor Ted Gatsas. “They should be arrested and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law,” said Gatsas.
For the record, it is a violation of Federal law to procure a fraudulent ballot. “Actually illegally” voting is not required.
The Washington Post documents the dramatic fall in support for the tea party movement among New Hampshire voters.
An NBC News/Marist poll released late Friday showed that for the first time, 53 percent of likely Republican primary voters said they are not supporters of the tea party, while 40 percent said they are supporters and seven percent were unsure.
The latest Suffolk University/7 News tracking poll shows an even more drastic shift. … Now, in the latest tracking poll, support for the movement has plummeted 11 points – from 48 percent to 37 percent of likely GOP primary voters. Opposition has risen four points, from 40 percent to 44 percent. Nineteen percent are undecided.
In the wake of this collapse, Occupy New Hampshire coalesced around an effort to counter the Republican narrative and has taken center stage during the final days of the primary campaign.
Directly across the street from the Radisson is a park, which has been turned into an encampment, with a circle of tents and an information shack, and a rotating cast of protesters on the sidewalk in front. This is the heart of Occupy New Hampshire…
At any given moment the vast majority of Occupy activists are not in the park but out at campaign events, peacefully but forcefully making their voices heard. According to organizers, there are roughly 600 people taking part in Occupy activities in New Hampshire right now.
Leaving the Romney rally there was a sizable crowd of Occupy protesters playing music, handing out literature and bearing signs. … [T]hey are providing a counter-message to the relentless conservatism voters and reporters are repeatedly exposed to on the campaign trail.
UNH political scientist Dante Scala analyzes Granite State voting data in presidential elections from 1960 to 2008 and concludes that the “Yankee Republican, that rural stalwart of New England conservative values, has slowly but surely disappeared from the scene.”
The must-read study from the Carsey Institute documents the state’s “slow motion realignment” from reliably Republican to “Democratic-tilting bellwether.” Scala charts the decline of GOP voters in the “Yankee” rural counties in the north and along the Vermont border; and the corresponding growth in the Massachusetts border counties, Hillsborough and Rockingham, which contributed 55% of the votes cast in the 2008 GOP presidential primary.
Scala counters those who argue that New Hampshire is undeserving of its “first in the nation” role in the presidential campaign because it is unrepresentative of the national electorate.
The fate of Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, and the other competitors will largely be decided by voters who live within the environs of the Greater Boston metropolitan area. As such, they might be a harbinger of how Republicans in other suburbs around the country may choose when it is their turn to cast votes.
Speaking to the Houston Rotary Club in 1992, Rick Perry expressed his displeasure that the New Hampshire primary plays such an outsize role in the presidential selection process.
“I haven’t figured out New Hampshire yet. New Hampshire is so small up there, there were 55,000 people voted in New Hampshire in one side of this thing. … But Denton County’s got more votes than that that will vote in the primary up there. So I haven’t figured out why that’s so important.”
“Why would presidential primary candidates come into state with this going on? Who do you speak to without making someone angry, especially if you don’t have a good lay of the land? If I were running a campaign, I would say, ‘Let’s go to South Carolina for a while until this whole New Hampshire thing washes out.’”
— Jerry DeLemus, Granite State Liberty PAC chairman and Kimball supporter, on fight to oust Jack Kimball as New Hampshire Republican party chair.
The conventional wisdom that Mitt Romney will win the New Hampshire primary ignores a key point, writes Ana Marie Cox. Granite State voters haven’t fallen in love.
[V]oters’ familiarity with his name has failed to make him especially loved: of the announced presidential candidates, Romney has the highest name recognition but lowest “positive intensity” score, as tracked by Gallup. Mitt Romney belongs to a select group of politicians that fails to excite the emotions of the population either direction….
There is a name for this set of candidates: losers. Pundits’ predictions that Romney’s New England ties — he owns a summer home in New Hampshire in addition to having served in neighbouring Massachusetts — will clinch him the New Hampshire primary seem to gloss over the failure of those ties to make much of a difference in 2008. New Hampshire voters knew Mitt Romney then, and refused to vote for him.
Michele Bachmann seems to believe Hurricane Irene — and last week’s earthquake — were a message from God to reduce government spending:
“I don’t know how much God has to do to get the attention of the politicians. We’ve had an earthquake; we’ve had a hurricane. He said, ‘Are you going to start listening to me here?’ Listen to the American people because the American people are roaring right now. They know government is on a morbid obesity diet and we’ve got to rein in the spending.”
“I live on the Gulf Coast. We put up with hurricanes all the time. In 1900, before FEMA, the local people rebuilt the city, built a seawall, and they survived without FEMA. … There’s no magic about FEMA. More people are starting to recognize that. They’re a great contributor to deficit financing and quite frankly they don’t have a penny in the bank.”
— Rep. Ron Paul, in Gilford, New Hampshire, on why a national response to Hurricane Irene is unnecessary.
In Portsmouth this morning, Rick Perry got his first taste of retail politicking, New Hampshire style. Here’s how one of his home state newspapers, the Dallas News, covered it:
Gov. Rick Perryhit a buzz saw of protest and pushback Thursday morning in this liberal corner of New Hampshire.
Hecklers drowned him out as he popped into a bakery to greet voters. They hardly had to bother; nearly everyone Perry interacted with came armed with a pointed question about his views on climate changeand the large number of uninsured Texans.
Whether it was masochism, a lapse in planning, or optimism that he could charm a bunch of Democratsinto converting wasn’t clear. Maybe his aides wanted to give Perry a dose of humility after days of national attention.
The crowd hammered Perry over his positions on evolution, health care and climate change, but it was Social Security and Medicare — which Perry has called an unconstitutional Ponzi scheme — that generated the most heat.
Inside the café, Gail Mitchell and a companion grilled him: “You said Social Security was unconstitutional.”
“Social Security’s going to be there for those folks,” Perry answered his inquisitors, making reference to the elderly.
In the first survey of likely primary voters since Gov. Rick Perry entered the race, Mitt Romney maintains an 18-point lead over his nearest competitor in the New Hampshire presidential primary.
36% of those surveyed by Magellan Strategies say if the election were held today, they would vote for Romney. Rick Perry (18%), Ron Paul (14%) and Michele Bachmann (10%) trail.
Mitt Romney ............. 36% 42% 39%
Rick Perry .............. 18%
Ron Paul ................ 14% 10% 7%
Michele Bachmann ........ 10% 10%
Herman Cain ............. 3% 4%
Other ................... 3% 4%
Jon Huntsman ............ 3% 3%
Newt Gingrich ........... 2% 3% 8%
Rick Santorum ........... 1% 2% 3%
Undecided ............... 10% 8% 8%
Romney has also maintained his high favorabilty rating (66% favorable / 24% unfavorable). Of all the remaining candidates, only Rick Perry (51% / 27%), Michele Bachmann (49% / 39%) and Herman Cain (36% / 34%) have net positive favorability ratings.
The survey results are based on an autodial survey of 613 likely Republican primary voters and undeclared voters likely to vote in the 2012 Republican Presidential primary. The interviews were conducted August 15-16, 2011. This survey has a margin of error of +/‐ 3.96% at the 95 percent confidence interval.