The discovery of 21 so-called "phantom ballots" in Maine's state Senate District 25 has Democrats crying foul. All 21 ballots were cast in Long Island for Republican Cathleen Manchester. Some Democratic officials are calling on Maine's Secretary of State Matt Dunlap to intervene. But Dunlap says the outcome of the disputed election is up to the Maine Senate.
Nationally, only thirty six percent of Americans eligible to vote did so in the recent elections. Not since the start of World War Two has turnout been so low. Here in New Hampshire, results were much stronger, but, still, many eligible voters did not participate. We’ll explore what’s behind this seeming voter malaise.
Although top races got the attention in this year’s mid-term elections, voters in a majority of states also had a slate of ballot measures to consider. We’ll look at what some of the big topics were, from marijuana laws to the minimum wage, and how the results fit into the overall narrative for this year’s election. First, though, we'll look at a law in New Hampshire that prohibits 'ballot selfies.'
The U.S. Senate race went to incumbent Jeanne Shaheen, while our Congressional districts split, with Republican Frank Guinta the First District victor, and Democrat Ann McLane Kuster winning in the Second.
We’ll also look at the Governor’s race, and another term for Democrat Maggie Hassan, and the new balance of power in the legislature.
Democrats Jeanne Shaheen and Maggie Hassan buck national Republican trends; state republicans pick up seats in the State House and a look at the strength of the Democratic party's local political machine. NHPR's senior political reporter Josh Rogers discusses some of the key midterm results with Morning Edition host Rick Ganley on this special edition of On the Political Front.
The polls had predicted this race would be tight, and for a time last night, even after media outlets had declared Jeanne Shaheen the winner, Scott Brown briefly held a slim lead. But by nights end, it was Shaheen and her backers savoring a win in a contest party leaders here and in Washington wanted dearly.
“Tonight, tonight, the people of NH chose to put NH first.”
Democrat Maggie Hassan defeated Republican Walt Havenstein to claim a second term as governor. Despite a solid showing by Havenstein it was one of the first state races to be called last night.
Standing before her supporters in Manchester, Hassan cited familiar priorities and stressed that much work remains to be done.
“Together we will make it easier for our families to get ahead, by continuing our healthcare expansion, by holding down the cost of higher education, and by restoring or increasing the minimum wage in New Hampshire,” she said.
Governors in New Hampshire are rarely tossed after a single term, but this race ended up being tougher than expected. Walt Havenstein started a thirty point underdog, but the race became increasingly closer as the season progressed.
“To go from a standing start – 7 percent name recognition and Judy didn’t know who they were – to bringing this race to a competitive finish is an incredible accomplishment,” remembered Havenstein as he conceded defeat, “and you should all be proud of what you have done.”
Havenstein, who led two defense contracting firms, including BAE systems, dropped more than $2 million dollars of his own money into this race, but even so top Republicans knew Havenstein faced long odds.
“This contest was a little bit David and Goliath as I think everybody knows,” said State Senator Jeb Bradley, “Our David, Walt Havenstein fought the fight of his life, and came very close tonight,”
First district Republican Frank Guinta came out on top yesterday in his third matchup with incumbent Democrat, Carol Shea-Porter. NHPR’s Emily Corwin reports Guinta edged Shea-Porter by 3 points.
After her defeat Carol Shea-Porter was unexpectedly upbeat, saying “I love election day! And I love the people that I got to see, I’m proud of the constituent services we did, I’m proud of the work we did in the office in Congress, but I love the campaign side too!”
Former state Rep. Kevin Avard upset Democrat incumbent Sen. Peggy Gilmour on Tuesday, adding at least one seat to the Republican’s majority in the New Hampshire Senate.
Avard took 50.8 percent of the 21,335 ballots cast in the District 12 contest to beat Gilmour by 323 votes. The narrow margin gives Republicans a 14-10 majority in the Senate, with at least one race that was too close to call.
In District 7, Democratic incumbent Andrew Hosmer had a lead of about 100 votes over Republican challenger Kathy Lauer-Rago.
The mid-term elections are almost but not quite over - with polls still open in some New Hampshire communities. This hour on The Exchange, as we wait for results to come in, we’re reflecting back on some of the major themes at play in 2014.
Here are some of the important facts about today's election in New Hampshire. You can also read NHPR's reporting on the candidates and find all of our election coverage and resources right here.
RACES TO WATCH
U.S. Senate: Incumbent Democrat Jeanne Shaheen is vying for a second term. She's up against Scott Brown, the former U.S. Senator from Massachusetts who is trying to become just the third person to represent two states in the Senate.
Hoping to retain the GOP’s slim majority in the state Senate, if not build on it, the New Hampshire Republican State Committee has spent tens of thousands of dollars on an advertising push over the final weeks of the campaign.
The party has focused its spending on a handful of races that could determine who takes control of the state’s upper chamber, which Republicans now control 13-11.
The NHGOP has poured a total of roughly $72,000 into two rematches from 2012 that Republicans won by the slimmest of margins.
Political Junkie Ken Rudin never left public radio. His weekly podcast has your dose of political analysis. And in time for the midterms this year, he's put together a special program for radio audiences as well. Before you dig in to this program, remember that he'll be live in studio with us on 4 November for our election night coverage as we track returns around the state.