Blog: Politics & Policy

Data, news, and analysis of politics and public policy in New Hampshire.

Michael Jolly / Flickr

The fight continues to add more debates to the Democratic presidential primary calendar. There's even now an official coalition in New Hampshire focused on bringing another debate to the Granite State before the February primary.

Political candidates send lots of emails as the end of a fundraising quarter approaches. New Hampshire Congressman Frank Guinta is no exception – though there’s a bit more to his story than what’s in the message.

Associated Press

For as long as New Hampshire has hosted the nation’s first presidential primary contest, it seems outsiders have been trying to dilute the state’s influence. The latest such attempt comes from the Republican National Committee chairman, Reince Priebus.

In an interview with the National Journal, Priebus says he’s been supportive of early nominating states like New Hampshire and Iowa in the past, but “I don’t think anyone should get too comfortable.”

Linda Kaiser

In the spring and summer of 1999, then Ohio Congressman John Kasich was in the midst of his first presidential campaign in New Hampshire. As we've reported elsewhere, it was a campaign with some striking similarities to his current run.

Despite the fact that Kasich's earlier presidential bid lasted just a few months, it created its fair share of iconic New Hampshire Primary moments. 

It wasn't long ago when Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker was at the top of the polls in Iowa.

Now, Walker's out of the race.

So which Republican candidate will reap the benefits?

"It’s kind of hard to tell," Iowa Public Radio's Clay Masters told NHPR's Morning Edition. "Political talent here is just stretched so thin because of all the Republicans presidential candidates. Both former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and current Florida Sen. Marco Rubio’s campaigns are saying they’re picking up some support."

modernfarmer.com

Listen to enough political punditry, and you could easily conclude that America's rural areas are vast swaths of Republican support, with little variety in political opinion or voter demographics.

But recent research from the University of New Hampshire's Carsey School of Public Policy undercuts that assumption. In fact, rural America is actually surprisingly varied, researchers found -- at least when it comes to election results.

Map: 2016 Candidate Campaign Offices in N.H.

Sep 18, 2015
Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders will open two new campaign offices in New Hampshire this weekend: one in Portsmouth, the other in Manchester. According to the campaign, that brings Sanders' Granite State offices to four. 

WBUR

WBUR released a new poll of the Republican presidential field this morning. The results mirror other recent polling of the GOP race: Donald Trump and Ben Carson bunched at the top, the rest of the field far below.

Sara Plourde / NHPR

House and Senate members return to Concord this afternoon to consider 10 pieces of legislation passed earlier this year by the Legislature but vetoed by Gov. Maggie Hassan.

Russ Matthews / https://flic.kr/p/7Uw5Ca

As New Hampshire lawmakers prepare for the next phase of the state's long-simmering budget debate, they're being urged to consider a cautionary tale from half-way across the country.

Brady Carlson/NHPR

Since the Democratic National Committee announced last month its schedule of six debates before the presidential primaries and only one in each of the early voting states, Martin O’Malley has made it his mission to change that.

NHPR Staff

Executive Councilor Chris Sununu says he’s running for governor in 2016.

The Republican announced his candidacy Monday, taking aim at Gov. Maggie Hassan, calling her "government-first solutions" wrong for the state.

  Labor Day Weekend is the unofficial end of summer (boo!) It also traditionally serves, every four years, as the informal start of the high season for the New Hampshire presidential primary (yay?)

Candidates from both parties are flocking to the state over the next few days, hitting parades, picnics, conventions, town halls and house parties stretching from Salem to Pittsburg.

To help you navigate the busy campaign weekend, we've put together our Labor Day candidate map below. Click on each dot for details where and when to catch a candidate near  you.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

New Hampshire’s independent streak is wider than ever and still growing. And that could make predicting the outcome of the 2016 presidential primary tougher than usual.

In political terms, increasing numbers of New Hampshire voters are showing their independence by declining to register with either major party. There are more of these “undeclared” voters in New Hampshire today than in any previous election cycle, and they are playing a bigger role in the state's primary elections.

Super PACS Dominate Early Campaign Advertising in N.H.

Sep 2, 2015

If you have any lingering doubt that Super PACs will play an outsized role in the New Hampshire primary, consider this: More than three quarters of the television advertising aimed at first-in-the-nation primary voters this year has been reserved not by candidates, but by independent political groups.

For a change, the big political furor of the week does not involve Donald Trump.

President Obama decided that Alaska’s Mount McKinley, the tallest mountain in North America, will be renamed Denali – as it was originally known before it was named to honor the 25th president nearly a century ago.

Allegra Boverman / NHPR

New Hampshire U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen is set to endorse Hillary Clinton for president.

Shaheen will make the announcement at the New Hampshire Women for Hillary kick-off event in Portsmouth on Saturday, where she’ll be joined by the former Democratic Secretary of State.

In an email to supporters, Shaheen described Clinton as a president who would stand up to help Granite Staters get ahead and stay ahead.

At Saturday’s event in Portsmouth, Clinton plans to discuss challenges women still face across the globe.

Kate Harper

Recent polls have Hillary Clinton trailing Bernie Sanders in the Granite State Democratic presidential primary, but that hasn’t stopped New Hampshire Democrats from joining forces to raise money with the former Secretary of State.

Courtesy NH House of Representatives

The New Hampshire House of Representatives is going through a historic change this summer as it retires its current gavel and the striking post that has seen every House Speaker since George Roberts. The former striking post was made of laminate particle beam, circa 1975, and needed to be replaced after extensive splintering rendered it unable to perform its duty. 

Marc Nozell via Flickr / Creative Commons / https://flic.kr/p/3MY97U

Every four years, New Hampshire welcomes the national political spotlight in the months leading up to the presidential primary. As the hosts of the first primary in the country, Granite State voters have the opportunity to make their voices heard on the campaign trail, at town hall events, and most importantly, at the ballot box.

But it wasn’t always this way.

HUD Grants Lead Remediation Money To Manchester

Aug 25, 2015
Jack Rodolico

Manchester is getting a $2.9 million grant from the U.S Department of Housing and Urban Development to remediate lead hazards in 175 housing units.

While this is the fourth time the Queen City has received the federal grant, the announcement from Senator Jeanne Shaheen's office comes on the heels of a new state law aimed at educating families about lead hazards, and as one of the state's largest landlords faces a lawsuit over lead contamination in a Manchester apartment complex.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Every four years brings a new round of comparisons between New Hampshire and Iowa, the first two states in the presidential nominating calendar. Discussions about voters in the two states tend to focus on demographic differences like religion and political leanings. 

  New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, however, has a different benchmark to assess the states' electorates: sheer attitude.

NHPR staff photos

Six Republican presidential hopefuls are taking part in an education summit at Londonderry High School on Wednesday.

The summit is being put on by American Federation for Children, a conservative school choice advocacy group.

Lauren Camera, a reporter for Education Week, joined NHPR’s Morning Edition to help sort out where the candidates stand on K-12 education policy.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

When Frances Sullivan lived in Maine, she saw a lot of political ads on TV, especially during primary season. But she didn’t pay too much attention. As an independent, she didn’t participate in Maine’s presidential caucuses.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

The presidential field is crowded: sardine-can crowded. Voters trying to keep up on the race have more than twenty candidates to follow. On the Republican side alone, there are more candidates (17) than there are voters in Dixville Notch. With such a packed GOP field, the leaders are often only polling in the teens, and there is little daylight between clusters of candidates.

krpoliticaljunkie.com

As anyone with a calculator or a newspaper knows, there are 17 candidates for the Republican presidential nomination.  On the Democratic side, it’s a much more manageable number.  Five are in the race to be their party’s standard bearer.  (Six, if Vice President Joe Biden, who is said to be contemplating a race, gets in.)  In any case, the number works for one debate stage.

But why so few Democrats?  

Cheryl Senter/NHPR

While Republican candidates for president have so far logged two debates (and one forum) this election cycle, Democrats are arguing over the timing and number of their own primary debates.

Sara Plourde / NHPR

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign has successfully attracted thousands of enthusiastic volunteers and other supporters. The challenge now is to translate that enthusiasm into success at the polls in early-voting states like New Hampshire.

A recent story by NHPR reporter Sam Evans-Brown examined how Sanders' camp is trying to build an organization -- both in New Hampshire and nationally -- to harness that support once the voting starts. This chart provides a bird's-eye view of what that organization looks like to date.

N.H.'s Civic Health Could Use a Boost

Jul 30, 2015
Allegra Boverman for NHPR

As hosts of the first-in-the-nation presidential primary, Granite Staters often claim a reputation for political sophistication and civic engagement. But a new report finds that relatively few residents are politically involved and, when Election Day rolls around, they are more likely to accept the status quo and stay home rather than cast a ballot.  

portraits of Thomas Jefferson and Andrew Jackson
Rembrandt Peale, courtesy White House Historical Association/Thomas Sully, courtesy US Senate

New Hampshire Democrats are set to take up a question several other state parties have considered in recent weeks: should the party rename its annual Jefferson-Jackson Dinner?

Spokesperson Lizzy Price says state party chair Ray Buckley brought the question to the party's executive committee, which referred it to another panel. That committee, Price says, will "discuss the issue and offer any recommendations back to the executive committee."

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