Politics

Political news from New Hampshire Public Radio, from the State House to the First in the Nation Primary.

Young voters in Iowa helped propel Sen. Bernie Sanders to a close second-place finish in the Democratic presidential race. He’ll be looking for similar results here in New Hampshire, but the trick for Sanders will be to translate youthful excitement into actual votes.

Republican senator Marco Rubio spent Sunday campaigning around the state—from a pancake breakfast in Londonderry to a Super Bowl watch party in Manchester. His stops came a day after Saturday’s GOP debate where other candidates challenged Rubio’s readiness for the job. 


Casey McDermott, NHPR

Back in April, Shooter’s Pub in Exeter played host to one of Chris Christie’s first town halls in New Hampshire.

That was months before the New Jersey governor officially announced his bid for president, when he was still just introducing himself to the people of the Granite State.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Marco Rubio got hit hard in Saturday's GOP debate, when Chris Christie accused the Florida senator of sticking to the same rehearsed lines over and over again. And for those few minutes, Rubio seemed unable to break script in the face of the attack.

To be fair, Rubio is certainly a candidate who's loyal to his stump speech. On his visits around New Hampshire, Rubio has essentially stuck to a trusty formula at town halls and rallies. So let's look at speech, and Rubio's classic talking points. Scroll through to read a brief breakdown, and listen to clips.

Before last night’s GOP debate got underway the lawn of St. Anselm college filled with Republican supporters. They had signs and chants—but also mixed in the crowd of 500 or so people were protesters pushing for a $15 federal minimum wage. NHPR’s Natasha Haverty went into the crowd and captured these voices. 

    

Saturday's GOP debate was the final one before Tuesday's New Hampshire primary. Here were five key moments:

1. That awkward start

One key thing has to happen before the debate starts: the candidates have to take the stage.

That proved more complicated than usual on Saturday night, as the ABC News Republican debate began with Ben Carson refusing to walk out to his podium, even after the moderators called his name.

Jason Moon for NHPR

On Friday night, New Hampshire Democrats gathered in Manchester for the annual 100 Club Dinner. The event provided a chance for Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton to make closing arguments ahead of next the Primary next Tuesday.

Friday night’s Mcintyre-Shaheen 100 Club Dinner was a who’s who of prominent Democrats, both local and national. Among the speakers were National Democratic Party Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz, Congresswoman Ann Kuster, Senator Jeanne Shaheen, Governor Maggie Hassan, and of course Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton.

Latino voters are expected to turn out in record numbers across the country this election year. For many, learning the basics of how to vote is the first step.


Victory in the New Hampshire Primary is usually counted in one way:  the candidate with the most vote wins.

But there’s another measure of primary success, something less tangible than vote totals: How long, and intensely, does a candidate woo New Hampshire voters?

The clear winners in that race this year are Republicans Chris Christie and John Kasich.

Allegra Boverman / NHPR

Jason Kirkwood, a machinist born and raised in Rochester, came to a Bernie Sanders campaign rally after work on Thursday.

While he’s has come across plenty of Clinton fans here in his hometown, “I think there’s a lot of Bernie supporters. I think it’s kind of divided,” he said, “I think there’s a lot of Hillary supporters but I personally don’t like her because I truly think she’s a pawn in the game to the corporate leaders.”

Sheryl Rich-Kern

In the hallway at Nashua High South, students walk by presidential candidates like Trump, Cruz, Sanders and Clinton — or at least their life-size cutouts on cardboard. The school is hosting a mock primary, and the chatter in the library is as intense as the real deal.

"Guys by alphabet, E through K, L through P, Q through Z. Get in the right alphabet. And get out your student IDs.

As students line up to get their ballots, sophomore Thalia Henningsen lingers behind. She’s like many of today’s eligible voters. Still undecided. Here's our exchange:

Allegra Boverman / NHPR

Based on the large Donald Trump sign that decorates his lawn on South Road in Hopkinton, you might assume Eric Habben plans to vote for Donald Trump.

“Initially I was, but now I’m really torn as far as whether I will or not," Habben said.

Jason Moon for NHPR

Last night, all eyes were on the Democratic presidential contenders as they sparred in their final debate before the New Hampshire Primary. Voters who turned out to see them, at the University of New Hampshire, ranged from firmly decided to not yet sure.

The fifth debate between Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders was their first appearance as a duet, and that helped to highlight some of their harmony – even as it heightened their crescendos of dissonance.

With Martin O'Malley having suspended his campaign earlier in the week, the two remaining rivals for the Democratic presidential nomination met in New Hampshire on Thursday night — on stage together for nearly two hours.

"I happen to respect the secretary very much; I hope it's mutual," said Sanders.

And Clinton reciprocated:

Paige Sutherland/NHPR

All this week, NHPR has been seeking out New Hampshire residents to talk politics, far from the presidential primary campaign trail. For our last installment, Paige Sutherland visited a Manchester gym to ask voters what's on their minds.

AP Photo/David Goldman

Hillary Clinton says she hopes New Hampshire voters bring both their hearts and heads with them when they vote in the state primary Tuesday.

Clinton said in her closing statement in Thursday's debate that she doesn't want voters to choose between the candidate they support emotionally and the one they back intellectually.

Clinton says she will bring her heart to the presidency, but "we have to get our heads together" to solve problems facing the country.

Bernie Sanders ended the debate with an anti-establishment declaration.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

The New Hampshire Senate on Thursday passed three bills aimed at combating the state’s ongoing opioid crisis.

The measures include the creation of a state drug court program, improvements to the state’s prescription drug monitoring program, the addition of more than $2 million to help police combat the drug epidemic, and money to buy 27 additional state police cruisers. 

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Gov. Maggie Hassan’s final State of the State address Thursday focused on three themes – combating the state’s drug crisis, re-authorizing the expanded Medicaid program and boosting job growth.

All are initiatives with some bipartisan support, but there’s significant political disagreement over the details.

GOP Presidential hopeful Marco Rubio’s pretty much stuck to the same stump speech for months— a focus on America’s God given rights, the threats posed by ISIS, and, a promise to repeal all of President Obama’s executive actions.

He makes the case that he’s the most electable Republican running, referencing Hillary Clinton through the whole speech.

But since Iowa, Rubio’s added one more character to his speech, a guy whose photo made it into the gallery up on the wall here in the large conference room here at St. Anselm: Bernie Sanders.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

During primaries, candidates usually try to appeal to their party’s hardliners. In New Hampshire, John Kasich has been doing the opposite: pitching himself as a mainstream politician with a bipartisan record. 

Ask a Kasich supporter what they like about him? You’ll hear something like this:

"Middle of the road...Not an ideologue...He’s more moderate.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Gov. Maggie Hassan delivered her final State of the State address Thursday at the State House.

Scroll down for a live blog of the speech, links to background articles on the issues Hassan discusses, the Republican response by N.H. Senate Majority Leader Jeb Bradley, and full text and audio of Hassan's speech.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

New Hampshire Senator Kelly Ayotte is calling for ABC News to include Carly Fiorina in the last GOP Presidential debate before the New Hampshire Primary. Fiorina is the only remaining GOP candidate to be excluded from the debate, which takes place Saturday.

AP Photo/John Locher

New Hampshire voters will get one last chance to hear from the two Democratic presidential candidates Thursday night before heading to the polls for next week’s primary.

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders will square off at a debate at the University of New Hampshire.

Boston Globe political reporter James Pindell joined NHPR's Morning Edition to talk about the Democratic race.

Kate Brindley for NHPR

At a CNN town hall forum in Derry Wednesday night, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton defended collecting $675,000 in fees for three speeches she made to Goldman Sachs.

Clinton says she made speeches to lots of groups and pushed back against the idea that the money she made would influence her.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Gov. Maggie Hassan will give her last State of the State address Thursday at 1:30 at the State House.

The two-time Governor will finish up her term in November as she pursues a U.S. Senate seat against incumbent Republican Kelly Ayotte.

The Four Aces Diner on Lebanon's Bridge Street is a real old fashioned diner car: leather booths and linoleum counter, a blackboard of specials. But on this particular morning, the folks inside— not so up for talking politics.

Paige Sutherland for NHPR

In the final stretch before the New Hampshire Primary – Republican Chris Christie added another top state lawmaker to his list of New Hampshire endorsements. That's after House Speaker Shawn Jasper officially backed Christie at the State House on Wednesday.

So far Chris Christie has the most New Hampshire endorsements of any Republican candidate in the race.

Jack Rodolico for NHPR

Gary Mountford of New London is exasperated. He likes former Florida Governor Jeb Bush. But there’s a central challenge Bush has faced since he announced his candidacy for president.

"I wish more people were listening," says Mountford.

Casey McDermott, NHPR

At campaign stops in Henniker and Hooksett on Wednesday, Texas Senator Ted Cruz riffed heavily on his ideas for reforming Washington, directing plenty of anger at the so-called political establishment.

And in this way, the Republican presidential candidate said he’s found some common ground with Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, one of his Democratic rivals.

Richard Taylor and his wife Susan linger in the stands of a hockey rink in Bow at about 9 o'clock in the morning. Marco Rubio’s just finished a town hall. Like most of the people I come across at Rubio's campaign stops, Taylor says he’s weighing Rubio against another candidate—in most cases that’s Ted Cruz.

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