Josh Rogers

Senior Political Reporter and Editor

Josh has worked at NHPR since 2000 and serves as NHPR’s State House reporter. Before joining the staff, he lived in New York, where he worked for a number of different magazines.

Josh’s award winning reporting can be heard locally but also regularly airs on national broadcasts of NPR’s Morning Edition and All Things Considered. Josh is also a frequent analyst on political talk shows in the state. He grew up in Concord, and holds a Bachelor of Arts in American Studies from Reed College.

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Three Republicans hoping for a big showing in the New Hampshire primary -- Jeb Bush, John Kasich and Marco Rubio -- were busy locally this week. The three are also angling for many of the same voters as Primary Day approaches. NHPR caught up with them in Derry, Bedford and Meredith.

State lawmakers get back to work this week. The New Hampshire House meets today; the State Senate tomorrow. Joining me now to talk about some of the matters lawmakers will debate this year is NHPR’s senior political reporter, Josh Rogers.

OK Josh, lots of issues coming up quick this year.

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Donald Trump rallied supporters in Claremont Tuesday night. The GOP front-runner ended things with a rapid fire answers to shouted questions from the audience, and some off the cuff shouting of his own.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

All political campaigns boil down to one question: How do you get more people to vote for your candidate than for any other?

The outcome of this year's New Hampshire Republican presidential primary could hinge on how well campaigns manage this so-called ground game.


josh rogers/nhpr

Chris Christie has spent more time in New Hampshire than any major candidate running for president.

His local focus has been by necessity as much as  by choice, but it may pay off.

Polls show him gaining traction, and as Christie told the crowd that joined him at an Exeter auto repair shop as he launched a 4-day bus tour, he believes he’s bonded with voters here.

Fresh from a GOP debate in which national security issues were dominant, Florida Senator Marco Rubio assured the crowd at a Manchester banquet hall that on his watch American military forces would never have to undertake a fair fight. They would always be better equipped, better trained, and have better intelligence to guide them.

"You know what all of this will mean. it will mean the world will not be perfect, but it will be safer, and it will be better. When America leads, the world is a safer and better place, and when it doesn't the world is chaotic."

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"On the Political Front" is our weekly check-in with NHPR's Senior Political Reporter Josh Rogers.  

WMUR's news team will have no role in next week's Democratic debate.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

A day after chiding the media for, as he put it, allowing Trump to play them like a violin, it was Jeb Bush who decided to bring up the real estate mogul, during a panel discussion with young professionals.

Bush was asked by a name two historical figures and one celebrity he'd invite to a party. His answer came immediately.

"I would not invite Donald Trump."

Winston Churchill and Neil Armstrong would be welcome at his party, said Bush, but it was a firm no thanks on the celebrities.

"I really don't believe in celebrity. I find it superficial."

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

For GOP Chair Jennifer Horn, Trump's call for a "total and complete shutdown" on allowing Muslims into the county was too much. In a statement, she called out Trump's policy statement.

"It is un-Republican. It is unconstitutional. And it is un-American."

The state's top elected Republican official, US Senator Kelly Ayotte, wasn't nearly as pointed but made the same basic argument when asked to weigh in Trump's call to ban Muslim immigration.

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NHPR's Senior Political Reporter Josh Rogers joins Morning Edition most Monday mornings for "On The Political Front."

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

The fact that Chris Christie’s has spent lots of time in New Hampshire was clear the moment he stepped in the door at Janie’s café.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Marco Rubio's pitch to voters in Laconia was loud and clear: his is a candidacy based pitched towards America's future.

"The first thing we must do in this election, both in the Republican party but in the broader electorate, is we must turn the page. We cannot keep electing the same kind of people. Its not because they are evil, it's not because they don't love our country, it's because they don't understand the 21st century."

AP Photo/Cheryl Senter

NHPR's Senior Political Reporter Josh Rogers joins Morning Edition most Monday mornings for "On the Political Front."

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

NHPR's Senior Political Reporter Josh Rogers joins Morning Edition to talk about the politics to watch in the upcoming week. 

So Josh, in the wake of the Paris attacks just about every presidential candidate was on record weighing in on how to deal with ISIS, and on whether or not the U.S should continue taking refugees from Syria. But the person what may have made the most news in New Hampshire on that front was Governor Maggie Hassan.

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John Kasich was blunt as he addressed the voters and several classes of local school children who packed into Hollis pharmacy. 

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Jeb Bush says the federal government needs to allay public concern over refugee resettlement and chastised president Obama for “demonizing” people who disagree with him on refugee resettlement. 

Bush, who earlier said the U.S. should focus its efforts on resettling Christian refugees from the middle East,  now says resettlement of all refugees from Syria should pause until current policies could be strengthened.  

Paige Sutherland for NHPR

Governor Hassan’s stance on Syrian refugees aims to be calibrated.

Unlike some Governors, Hassan isn’t presuming to tell Washington New Hampshire won’t accept refugees.

And unlike others, she’s not accusing leaders who want to stop taking refugees of fear mongering.

Instead, Hassan is plotting, what, right now, is a lonely course: trying to explain, if not sell, something resembling a middle ground.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Governor Maggie Hassan is defending her call for the U.S. government to stop accepting refugees from Syria. 

Hassan is the only democratic among the 30 U.S governors opposing current U.S. policy on Syrian refugee resettlement.

She says calling for "a pause" in  Syrian refugee resettlement in light of the Paris attacks is consistent with she called the first job of government, protecting the people.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

In a statement, Governor Hassan said U.S. intelligence and defense officials need to assure that the process for vetting refugees is "as strong as possible."

Until that happens, says Hassan,  "the federal government should halt acceptance of refugees from Syria." 

Senator Kelly Ayotte also says no refugees should be allowed into the country until the government can "100 percent guarantee" they are not affiliated with the Islamic State.

Reuters / Vincent Kessler

On the Political Front is our Morning morning check-in with NHPR's Senior Political Reporter Josh Rogers.

The New Hampshire campaign trail has been mostly quiet since the Paris attacks.  Democrats were in Iowa for their weekend debate; Republicans have been mostly elsewhere since late last week. How much will Paris change things?

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Rand Paul has spent plenty of time in New Hampshire over the past few years, and tried to build up some local political capital.

Kate Brindley for NHPR

NHPR's Senior Political Reporter Josh Rogers joins Morning Edition most Mondays to talk about the week ahead in Politics. 


Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Republicans John Kasich and Chris Christie have both made a strong showing in New Hampshire a top priority. And after signing the required paperwork and handing over the $1000 filing fee, both men were quick to praise the judgment of New Hampshire voters, and tout the effect of a strong local showing.

"This is the way to do it. Forget me, this is a great process. I have confidence that the people of New Hampshire make really good choices and then then present it to the country."

That was John Kasich. Here's Chris Christie:

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

If any single mode of campaigning could be said to typify the New Hampshire Primary it would probably be the town hall meeting, where would-be presidents throw open the floor to questions from all comers. Some New Hampshire Primary winners - think John McCain - have put town halls at the very center of their strategies. But that’s not been the case with top candidates this year.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

When Marco Rubio sat down for a  discussion  with young professionals at St. Anselm College the issues were mostly light:

Does Rubio hit the gym to wind down after debates? No.

What kind of food might he serve at a party? Tex-Mex.

And how does the Florida Senator feel about Star Wars?

Jeb Bush went straight to New Hampshire after Wednesday night's Republican debate. That's where the former Florida governor needs a strong showing if he is to remain a contender for his party's nomination and where he's now working to reignite a campaign seen as sputtering.

The large sign that hung above Jeb Bush's head during his New Hampshire campaign stops read "Jeb Can Fix it." It was intended to refer to Washington, but to GOP voters like Larry Eller, who turned out to see Bush at a Geno's Chowder Shop in Portsmouth, the first thing Bush needs to fix is how he's campaigned.

Via Bonnie's Plants

Diablo…..Falstaff…..Kryptus…Churchill. The names might fit a racehorse, or on the transom of a yacht. But bearers of these names grow in the ground. And in New Hampshire, October is when Brussels Sprouts can achieve their apotheosis.

"They are a good fall treat and a good keeper."

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

N.H.’s Executive Council took its show on the road Wednesday to the town of Mason. There was no high-profile item before the council, but regardless of the agenda, expect the council to be front and center politically through next November.

via C-Span

Democrat Mark Connolly is best known for an 8-year run leading N.H.'s Securities Bureau, where he pursued high-profile fraud cases, including against Tyco International and the Ponzi scheme known as FRM.  

After clashing with the Attorney general’s office and former Governor John Lynch over the state’s handling of FRM, Connolly resigned in 2010, and wrote a book accusing the state of a cover-up.

He then set up shop as an investment advisor. When Connolly spoke at last month’s New Hampshire  Democratic Convention, he stressed his work policing the world of high finance.

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