Politics

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

With fewer than three weeks until the Iowa caucuses, seven Republican candidates met in North Charleston, S.C., Thursday for the sixth Republican presidential debate.

Fox Business Network hosted the debate, featuring the top seven candidates based on the average of six recent national polls.

Kate Brindley for NHPR

 

Bernie Sanders casts himself as the voice of anti-establishment politics. But he's also a 25-year veteran of Congress.

Democratic rival Hillary Clinton is trying to draw attention to Sanders' record on gun control and health care. The strategy aims to point out the rare inconsistencies in his voting record that could clash with the anti-establishment brand he's cultivated during the presidential campaign.

Kate Harper for NHPR

 

Jeb Bush says he misjudged the intensity of anger among Republican voters before his White House campaign. He says the country in 2016 is "dramatically different" than in past elections.

But in an interview with The Associated Press, the former Florida governor insists he's still a viable candidate. And he says he's broadened his mission in 2016 to include defending conservativism from GOP front-runner Donald Trump.

Bush tells the AP, "I just think it's important to fight this fight. I don't know what the consequences politically for me are."

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Sen. Kelly Ayotte seems to be growing tired of the constant questions about whether she'll support Donald Trump if he's the eventual Republican presidential nominee.

"I think it's a favorite question of the press to ask all of us what we think about Trump, but we are a long way away from Feb. 9," she said Wednesday, when asked about whether she'll support the billionaire businessman.

Natasha Haverty

In the 2016 presidential campaign, few issues have been as fiercely debated as immigration. Here in New Hampshire, the US Southern border thousands of miles away can feel like an abstraction. But a small and growing number of voters in New Hampshire take the immigration debate very personally: the state’s Latino community. And as that community grows, so does its resolve to find a political voice. 

Jason Moon for NHPR

Republican presidential candidate and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie made a string of campaign stops in New Hampshire Wednesday. The visit was sandwiched between two prominent national political events.

 

Bernie Sanders has been outspending rival Hillary Clinton on ads just as the Democratic presidential race appears to be tightening and voters are tuning in.

In the past three weeks, Sanders' campaign has spent $4.7 million on ads to Clinton's $3.7 million. According to advertising tracker Kantar Media's CMAG, that means 1,000 more Sanders commercials than Clinton ads on broadcast TV.

The Sanders ad burst is coinciding with his rise in preference polls in Iowa and New Hampshire.

NHPR/Michael Brindley

When a candidate comes to your town, there’s always a huddle of reporters with microphones and cameras. 

And we hear a lot from those candidates and their supporters at an event. 

But as we get closer to our First in the Nation Primary, here on Morning Edition we’re going to be those reporters with mics, talking with people at a town hall or a diner visit.  But you’re also going to hear us in the communities hosting the candidates, to find out what’s on voters’ minds. 

We start in Nashua at a town hall meeting for Marco Rubio at Nashua Community College.

New Hampshire political history resounds with the names of candidates who used the state's First in the Nation Presidential Primary to vault to national political fame. 

Jimmy Carter. Bill Clinton. John McCain.

But what did those primary elections look like in the moment, town by town across New Hampshire? Where did Bill Clinton stake out his biggest wins, to ensure a close second-place finish in the 1992 primary (and resurrect his presidential campaign in the process)? Just how big was Patrick Buchanan's legendary win in the 1996 GOP Primary? What towns have Republican candidates most consistently relied on to win?

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

The stage has been set for the next Republican presidential debate, slated for Thursday night in South Carolina.

Looking in from the outside will be two candidates who've been on the main stage in most previous debates and have spent considerable time in the Granite State.

Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul and former Hewlett Packard CEO Carly Fiorina were relegated to the undercard debate, after both failed to reach the polling criteria set by debate organizer Fox Business Network.

Paul told CNN Monday night he plans to boycott the debate.

Elaine Grant / NHPR

There is a certain mystique to the New Hampshire presidential primary: flinty New Englanders trudging to the polls through snow and cold to be the first voters in the nation to cast their ballots. That earnest, Norman Rockwell image applies to how candidates are expected to campaign in the Granite State: shaking hands at coffee shops; chatting with locals at small-town diners; courting activists one by one.

Tracy Lee Carroll / NHPR

It’s one of the most conventional nuggets of political wisdom: To win an election, first secure your base, then expand from there.

But recent New Hampshire political history shows that candidates can win their party’s core towns, and still lose the election. It happened, in both parties’ presidential primaries, in 2008. 

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Donald Trump used a campaign stop in Windham to continue his spat with the New Hampshire Union Leader newspaper Monday. A Trump also went after former Governor John Sununu. 

Donald Trump has never been shy about taking pokes at New Hampshire's Republican elite. And within two minutes of taking the stage, Trump was deriding the N.H. Union Leader and its publisher Joe McQuaid.

"Its really a dishonest paper, though. It's terrible."

Sara Plourde for NHPR

Republican leaders in the New Hampshire House and Senate say they’re willing to consider reauthorizing the state’s Medicaid expansion after its sunset date at the end of 2016 — as long as they can find someone to help foot the costs.

On Monday’s edition of The Exchange, House Speaker Shawn Jasper said it doesn’t seem politically feasible to expect him to pass a plan that requires more public spending.

www.unionleader.com

NHPR's Senior Political Reporter Josh Rogers joins Morning Edition most Monday mornings for "On the Political Front."

The New Hampshire Union Leader has been booted as co-sponsor of the lone New Hampshire GOP presidential debate.  The network’s explanation: the Union Leader’s editorials going after GOP frontrunner Donald Trump.

Getty Images

 

Businessman Donald Trump is heading back to New Hampshire for a rare daytime campaign rally.

Trump is scheduled to address voters before noon on Monday. His rallies are often held at night, drawing huge crowds and voters who begin waiting in line early in the day for a glimpse of the bombastic GOP front-runner.

His Monday event will be held at the Castleton Banquet and Conference Center in Windham.

www.unionleader.com

ABC News announced Sunday that it has cut its partnership with the New Hampshire Union Leader for the Republican primary debate to be held in Manchester just days before Granite State voters go to the polls.

An ABC executive said the Union Leader’s endorsement of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie in the GOP primary, coupled with the paper’s ongoing spat with Trump, led them to drop the paper from the Feb. 6 debate.

The paper has criticized Trump through a series of front page columns and editorials in recent weeks.

Allegra Boverman

For the first time in its 100 year history, Planned Parenthood has endorsed a candidate in a presidential primary: former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Clinton officially accepted the endorsement yesterday afternoon in Manchester. NHPR’s Natasha Haverty reports.


Crystal Paradis

Actor and writer Lena Dunham and retired U.S. women’s soccer star Abby Wambach began two days of campaigning for Hillary Clinton on Friday. They join Bill and Chelsea Clinton, Al Franken, and other celebrities crisscrossing the state these days on Clinton’s behalf.

Sara Plourde for NHPR

Brady Carlson hosts this run-down on the latest in Primary politics, including behind-the-scenes stories from reporters, tales and trends from the trail, and "only in New Hampshire" moments the rest of the country is missing out on.

On our first podcast of the primary, we look at the week's avalanche of political ads. Then, two seasoned primary watchers weigh in on the celebrities (and non-celebrities) candidates call upon in the primary's waning weeks. Finally, a public radio host who's interviewed hundreds of primary candidates shares her strategy to get them to open up.

Emily Corwin / NHPR

Depending how you look at it, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul’s campaign is going either very well, or quite poorly. His campaign has more endorsements in New Hampshire than any other candidate; yet his polling remains quite low. And on the campaign trail, Rand Paul’s mind often seems to be somewhere else.

NHPR/Michael Brindley

Republican presidential candidate Marco Rubio is pledging to undo each of President Obama’s executive orders, including his most recent actions aimed at curbing gun violence.

Speaking at a town hall meeting in Nashua Thursday, the Florida Senator said the president’s focus should instead be on enforcing existing gun laws.

"As opposed to try to add new ones that are only going to inconvenience law-abiding people because they're the only ones who are going to follow the law," Rubio said. 

Stuart Isett/Fortune Most Powerful Women via Flickr

 

Chelsea Clinton will hit the campaign trail for her mother next week, marking her debut appearance in the 2016 presidential race.

Clinton, 35, will headline three events in New Hampshire on Tuesday, according to an announcement from the Democratic frontrunner's campaign.

As the only child of Clinton and her husband, former President Bill Clinton, Chelsea Clinton remains a political celebrity. Her announcement last month that she is expecting a second child attracted international media attention.

Jason Moon / NHPR

Three Republicans hoping for a big showing in the New Hampshire primary -- Jeb Bush, John Kasich and Marco Rubio -- were busy locally this week. The three are also angling for many of the same voters as Primary Day approaches. NHPR caught up with them in Derry, Bedford and Meredith.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

The New Hampshire House wrapped up its second day of the new legislative session Thursday after voting on dozens of bills and even hosting a few GOP presidential candidates.

Former Governor of Virginia Jim Gilmore was the first candidate to join the House as part of a month-long series leading up to the presidential primary on February 9.

This isn't the first time Carly Fiorina's had to deliver an "elevator pitch" — though, as far as she can recall, this was the first time she's had to give that pitch in an actual elevator.

Carly Fiorina
Allegra Boverman for NHPR

In a conversation with NHPR’s The Exchange, Republican presidential candidate and former technology executive Carly Fiorina called for a more aggressive response when other countries wage cyberattacks on the United States.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

With just a little more than a month to go before the New Hampshire primary, Republican Donald Trump continues to dominate the polls.

Now, as other GOP candidates aim their attacks at one another, it seems everyone else is now fighting for second.

James Pindell covers the New Hampshire Primary for the Boston Globe.

He joined NHPR’s Morning Edition to talk about his reporting on the issue.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

It was a long first day for the New Hampshire House, as lawmakers debated dozens of bills to begin the 2016 session.

The House passed a proposal, 206 to 146, to allow people to carry a concealed firearm without a license. A similar measure passed the House and Senate but was vetoed by Governor Hassan last year.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

The new legislative session began in Concord Wednesday morning on a slightly unusual note.

Before voting started, House Speaker Shawn Jasper pleaded with his fellow lawmakers to respect each other - both in and out of the State House.

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