N.H. Democrats Rally Around Clinton, Each Other in Manchester

Oct 25, 2016

New Hampshire Democrats presented a united front Monday at a rally with Hillary Clinton in Manchester.

But  it wasn’t just Clinton these politicians were urging voters to get behind but the whole Democratic ticket.

If you ask Hillary Clinton supporters about this November’s election, the conversation tends to go something like this:

“What brings you here today?, NHPR's Paige Sutherland asked Deb Bauman of Kennebunkport, Maine.

“I wanted to see our next President,” Bauman responded with a smile.

The latest polls show Clinton with a double digit lead against Republican Donald Trump and for many Democrats their focus is shifting down ticket.

More than 4,000 people came out to see Hillary Clinton in Manchester on Monday, Oct. 24, 2016.
Credit Paige Sutherland/NHPR

Like Mike Munhall of Bennington who said he feels confident Clinton will win so now the job is securing her a Democratic Congress.

“Without a Democratic Senate and hopefully a House too, she is not going to get much done because McConnell is going to block her just like he blocked Obama,” Munhall said.

And that message seemed to be clear during Clinton’s remarks Monday at St. Anselm College. The first part of her speech, she focused on the tightly contested race for U.S. Senate between Gov. Maggie Hassan and incumbent Sen. Kelly Ayotte.  And Clinton spoke at length about Hassan’s strengths as Governor, calling Hassan a job creator with a record of bipartisanship

“What I love about Maggie is that she is independent, she knows how to find common ground and how to stand her ground and that is exactly the kind of leader we need in the United States Senate," Clinton said followed by loud cheers.

Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren went hard after Sen. Kelly Ayotte calling her weak for her flip-flopping support for Donald Trump.
Credit Paige Sutherland/NHPR

And when Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren took the microphone, she singled out Hassan’s opponent, Ayotte, calling her weak.

“Well I will say one thing – Donald Trump sure has made Kelly Ayotte dance. Day 1 she loves him, day 2 she hates him, day three she’s back with him – boy [she] spins round and round," Warren said laughing.

Ayotte rescinded her support after Trump’s remarks on women earlier this month. Ayotte said unlike Hassan, who she says will support everything Clinton does, she’ll be an independent voice in the Senate. 

Both Clinton and Warren also urged voters to get behind gubernatorial candidate Colin Van Ostern, and congressional nominees Carol Shea-Porter and Annie Kuster.  And as Monday’s event got underway, they all lined up on stage, hugging each other and waving at the crowd. 

But for Lowell Alexander of western Massachusetts, the focus stayed on Clinton.  He said it’s important Democrats win up and down the ballot but securing the top position is his priority. That’s why he plans to put in a lot of long hours these next two weeks canvassing in New Hampshire for the United Steel Workers.

Pam Hibbs (left) and Donna Butler (right) of Maine were sporting "Trumpbusters" shirts at Manchester's rally.
Credit Paige Sutherland/NHPR

“If you can crush him, crush him because the closer it is the more of his supporters are going to say it was rigged," Alexander said of Trump's claims that the election is rigged.

Jim McCormick, 79, of Nashua says he’ll be making calls every day on Clinton’s behalf.

“I shutter at the thought – can you imagine this person on the international stage insulting everyone on stage – it’s a real fright," McCormick said.

With just two weeks left until the election, Democrats hope that sentiment might bring even more of the party’s supporters to the polls on November 8.