2016 Elections

As New Hampshire students head back to school this week, education is on many parents’ minds. And with the gubernatorial primary less than two weeks away, candidates’ positions on these issues could play a major role on voters’ decisions. 

In this year’s governor’s race, the candidates’ views fall largely along party lines, with differences over how much and where to spend money.

If you’ve spent any time following the Republicans running for governor this year, you’ve probably heard plenty of talk about the need to jumpstart New Hampshire’s economy.

Michael Brindley

Republican Kelly Ayotte is running for re-election, and while most of the headlines are about her race against Gov. Maggie Hassan, Jim Rubens has something to say about that.

The former state Senator is challenging Ayotte’s re-election in next month’s Republican primary, but even his supporters know the odds are against him.

Donald Trump will give a speech Wednesday outlining his immigration stance. Given the last week of news coverage, he could have some serious explaining to do.

An immigration policy centered around extreme positions — mass deportation of 11 million immigrants in the country illegally, plus building a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border — initially helped Trump stand out in the massive Republican primary field.

GOP Gubernatorial Candidate Chris Sununu says it's wrong to ask questions about a major investor in the Waterville Valley Ski resort that was once investigated for terror ties.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

New Hampshire U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen says recent attacks focused on the Clinton Foundation are a diversionary tactic by Republicans to take attention away from Donald Trump.

The Associated Press reported last week that while Secretary of State, more than half of Hillary Clinton’s private meetings with those from outside government were with people who donated to the foundation.

Emily Corwin / NHPR

The Radisson ballroom was not yet full, and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump would not arrive for almost an hour. Already, the crowd chanted, “lock her up.” Peter Vincello from Raymond was on his way in, with his 15 year-old son.

“He kinda talked me into it. I was actually supporting Cruz in the primary.” But now, Vincello said, “He says all the right things, second amendment, getting the economy back, law and order.”

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Updated 08/26/2016:

The New Hampshire Attorney General's Office issued a statement outlining their position on the legality of guns in schools when used as polling places.

Reporter Jason Moon joined All Things Considered host Peter Biello to discuss the statement.

The statement from the Attorney General's Office in full:

Libertarian presidential candidate Gary Johnson and vice-presidential candidate Bill Weld are campaigning in New Hampshire today. They'll be holding a rally in Concord's Eagle Square at 5:30. Earlier this afternoon they paid a quick visit to a frequent campaign stop-- the Red Arrow Diner in Manchester. 


For political observers and journalists, there is something appealing about the idea of a bellwether town -- a place whose vote in an election consistently matches up with the statewide totals. Journalists can patrol the main streets of bellwethers for man-on-the-street interviews, confident they will feel shifts in the broader political winds.

But the data shows that true bellwethers are an endangered species in many parts of the country. 

NHPR

Democrat Colin Van Ostern and Republican Ted Gatsas are leading the cash race in the contest for governor.

Campaign finance reports filed Wednesday show Van Ostern has raised just over $1 million and Gatsas just below that amount, not including a $75,000 personal loan. The totals are significantly higher than their competitors. The primary is Sept. 13.

Republican Rep. Frank Edelblut has contributed $750,000 to his own campaign, giving him the highest cash on hand at this point.

Donald Trump needs to stop the bleeding.

Since the two parties' conventions, he has plummeted in the polls — both nationally and in the states.

His campaign knows this. His new campaign manager, KellyAnne Conway, is a veteran Republican pollster well aware of Trump's deficiencies with certain voting groups.

Donald Trump, the Republican presidential nominee, is known for his outspoken personality and oversize public image, which he believes help build his brand name.

"Whether it's good press or bad press, it's getting your name out there," Washington Post investigative reporter Michael Kranish tells Fresh Air's Dave Davies. "Getting your name on the gossip pages and the front pages and even the sports pages, [is] all in the effort of building the name."

When Governor Maggie Hassan talks about why she got into politics her explanation tends to center on her son, Ben.

“Right after he was born Tom and I learned that Ben had severe and pervasive physical disabilities.”

Less emphasized is the role of her father, Robert Wood, a pioneering academic and who held top government jobs -- and even considered his own run for United States Senate in Massachusetts.

Is Donald Trump considering wavering on a key campaign promise?

That's what several news reports published over the weekend suggest. And while the Trump campaign issued a statement denying any shift on immigration policy, top surrogates and campaign operatives hinted that a change just might be on its way.

The issue: what to do with the estimated 11 million immigrants already living in the United States illegally.

Josh Rogers/NHPR

While campaigning in Manchester, Republican vice presidential candidate Mike Pence reminded the audience that New Hampshire is where Trump got his first victory.  And he worked to reassure the crowd that despite reports to the contrary, the GOP nominee’s campaign has never been stronger.

Pence told the crowd he didn’t hesitate when Donald Trump asked him to be his running mate, because as he put it-- Donald Trump gets it. Pence suggested that those who don’t get that won’t ever understand.

Donald Trump often questions whether Hillary Clinton is honest or trustworthy enough to be president. This week, he took up another line of attack: that Clinton is in failing health.

Claims about Clinton's health have circulated for years but have gained new traction recently, in part thanks to a comment by Trump and questions raised by Fox News host Sean Hannity.

It's a line that draws thunderous applause at Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump's campaign rallies, one that can sometimes even bring the crowd to its feet: Let's bring back America's lost manufacturing jobs.

And is there any question why? The United States has lost nearly 5 million manufacturing jobs since 2000 alone, hollowing out factory towns all over the country and leaving countless working-class Americans struggling.

Jason Moon for NHPR

The political arm of Planned Parenthood of Northern New England waded into the Democratic gubernatorial primary Tuesday morning when it endorsed Executive Councilor Colin Van Ostern. The move has exposed a disagreement among abortion rights activists over the role they should play in this election.

Former Republican presidential candidate Marco Rubio said he stands by comments he made during the bruising GOP primary campaign earlier this year, including referring to Donald Trump, now his party's nominee, as a "con man."

"I've stood by everything I ever said in my campaign," Rubio said in an interview with the Miami Herald editorial board.

Donald Trump's missteps since the conventions have put Hillary Clinton in a dominant position.

If the election were held today, according to the latest NPR analysis of polling, demographics and on-the-ground reporting, Clinton would win in a landslide of 2008 proportions. She has solidified her leads in key battleground states and crosses the threshold of 270 electoral votes needed to win the White House in the NPR Battleground Map with just states where she already has a significant lead.

josh rogers/nhpr

You can verify that New Hampshire is a presidential battleground by the campaign schedules of both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. You can also see in in the attention Granite Staters are getting from vice presidential candidates.

When vice presidential candidates work the campaign trail, the goals tend to be straightforward: rally loyalists, raise money, attack the opposing party's nominee -- and avoid gaffes. By that standard, consider Senator Tim Kaine’s two days in New Hampshire a success.

Natasha Haverty

Let’s just get this out of the way: it’s okay if you’ve been so distracted by the presidential race that you forgot about the state primary coming up in September. But now that we’re good, let’s look at one big question hanging over those smaller, state races:  what impact will the top of the ballot—the campaign everybody is thinking about—have on local elections? 

Allegra Boverman/NHPR

One-third of New Hampshire’s 24 senators are retiring this year, leaving 8 vacant seats. That’s a lot by recent standards, and it puts a big question mark over New Hampshire politics after Election Day. But those state Senate races haven’t exactly been in the spotlight in this busy election season.

Even the candidates acknowledge it.

Jason Moon for NHPR

A crowd of roughly 1500 supporters greeted Donald Trump at his campaign stop in Windham Saturday night. And while their enthusiasm was clear, many also expressed trepidation over the way Trump made headlines last week.

Kate Harper for NHPR

A new WBUR poll of New Hampshire voters shows that Democrat Hillary Clinton has a commanding lead over her Republican rival Donald Trump in this year’s general election. The poll also has good news for Democrat Maggie Hassan’s bid to unseat Republican Senator Kelly Ayotte. Steve Koczela joined NHPR’s Peter Biello to dissect the results of the poll. Koczela is president of MassINC Polling Group, which conducted the WBUR survey.

Now here's a political endorsement you might not expect.

Hillary Clinton is the candidate who set up a private email server and was — in the words of the director of the FBI — "extremely careless" in how she handled classified information.

And her campaign and the Democratic Party just got hacked. Yet, prominent leaders in the cybersecurity industry are coming out in favor of Clinton for president.

The scene is something you just can't make up.

(Editor's note: Both major presidential candidates this year are Protestants. Both of their running mates were raised as Catholics. Beyond that, their faith profiles are very different. We dug into the faiths of the Republican candidates below and of the Democratic ticket here.)

Some party loyalists are scrambling to try to course correct Donald Trump's erratic presidential campaign after the nominee suffered a startling number of self-inflicted campaign wounds in just the kick-off week of the general election race.

Jason Moon for NHPR

New Hampshire’s largest public employee labor union is throwing its weight behind Democrat Colin Van Ostern in his bid for governor. It’s the latest in a spate of union endorsements in the race.

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