Politics

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

Mitt Romney Raised $24 Million Last Quarter

Jan 11, 2012

During the last quarter of 2011, Mitt Romney raised $24 million, his campaign announced today. That means the former Massachusetts governor has $19 million in cash on hand to fund his primary battle.

The Washington Post reports that in a shift from his 2008 run, when he poured $40 million of his own money into the campaign, Romney has made no personal donations.

One of our most popular New Hampshire primary posts looked at how much the months-long political circus affects Granite State tourism. (You can read that post here.)

Political tourism is definitely a niche hobby.

Tracy Lee Carroll for NHPR

 

Last night was vindication for Mitt Romney as the former Massachusetts governor claimed nearly 40 percent of the vote; Texas Congressman Ron Paul took second with 23 percent.

"Thank you New Hampshire. Tonight we made history," said Romney.

How Paul Did It

Jan 11, 2012
NHPR

Texas Congressman Ron Paul did three times better in the 2012 primary than in 2008.  NHPR's Jon Greeenberg sat down with the campaign's state director, Jared Chicoine. Chicoine has a dozen years of electoral work under his belt.  He was in Senator Bob Smith's primary battle with John E. Sununu.  Chicoine also worked with State Senator Bob O'Dell, and the congressional campaign of Sean Mahoney.

Sitting in a hotel lobby in Bow on the night of the primary, Chicoine told us a bit about the Ron Paul ground game.

Transcript available later.

A Second Place Win for Paul

Jan 11, 2012
Erik Swenson for NHPR

Texas congressman Ron Paul’s second place finish  put his supporters into celebration mode last night. 

Coming in second typically feels like a disappointment.  Not for Heather Mellem of Manchester. 

“Romney might win this election, but Ron Paul is first in ideas.  And he’s taken his cause to a level I’ve never expected he could take it to. Amazing,” she said.

NHPR Staff

 

 

 

 

Summary results | Town results

Updates from the field :

"If we don't get our act together at home, we will see the end of the American Century by 2050" - Jon Huntsman 9:34 p.m.

Marc Nozell for NHPR

Neither of them finished in the top three in New Hampshire, but Newt Gingrich and Rick Santorum both say their campaigns will continue.

The two of them battled for fourth place behind Mitt Romney, Ron Paul and Jon Huntsman.

Gingrich says he’ll campaign tomorrow in South Carolina.

“I’m asking each of you not to slow down, in the next couple of days, make a list of every person you know in South Carolina and every person you know in Florida cause those are the next two great contests.”

Santorum Supporters Still Hopeful

Jan 11, 2012
Kevin Flynn

Supporters of former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum say they weren’t surprised by his near tie for fourth place with Newt Gingrich in New Hampshire’s presidential primary.

Rick Santorum told supporters that he knew New Hampshire would be tough to win.

He focused most of his campaign in Iowa and didn’t spend a lot of money in New Hampshire.

While supporters were disappointed in his finish, Dan Tamburello, state co-chair for Santorum’s campaign, says it wasn’t unexpected.

Marc Nozell

 

Former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich wants to put New Hampshire in the rear view mirror.

His followers are already looking forward to South Carolina.

Gingrich supporter Warren Kindler from Epping isn’t surprised that Gingrich didn’t fare well in New Hampshire. 

Kindler: Mitt’s had a long time to campaign in New Hampshire he’s very well known, he’s fairly well liked he’s a neighboring ex-governor, former governor

Flanked by his beautiful wife and daughters, Governor Jon Huntsman emphatically confirmed that, despite coming in third with 17 percent of the vote, he had achieved his goal of exceeding expectations. Apparently this was the momentum the campaign needed in order to continue fighting. He started his speech by saying, "Third place is a ticket to ride," and "South Carolina, here we come!" 

At one point in the speech, after Huntsman said "I believe in America," a lone supporter shouted "And we believe in Jon Huntsman!" which triggered an energetic cheer.

On the air

Jan 10, 2012

NHPR's Brady Carlson is on the air with NPR Political Junkie Ken Rudin, and Dante Scala from the University of New Hampshire. 

Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney used his New Hampshire primary victory speech to attack President Obama — with only a glancing nod to his Republican rivals.

Kevin Flynn for NHPR.

Speaking to a crowd of 150-300 supporters in Manchester, former PA Senator Rick Santorum says the momentum of Iowa and New Hampshire will take him into South Carolina against Mitt Romney.

Santorum thanked Granite State supporters for listening to his message of faith, family, and freedom.

Afterwards, Santorum and his family shook hands for ten minutes before leaving for a private runway at Boston/Manchester Airport. He'll spend the night in South Carolina.

Erik Swenson for NHPR

Speaking to a cheering crowd, Congressman Ron Paul hit on some key points of his campaign.  He noted the large amount of energy that his campaign found on college campuses around the country, and he charged that the Federal Reserve was "taking care" of the  "military-industrial complex" and financing more deficit spending by the government.  He said that the "liberty movement" had brought forward the issues of "funny money" and the cost of acting as the "policeman" of the world.  Paul closed his speech by saying "we will restore freedom to this country." 

The end is near...

Jan 10, 2012

Santorum campaign officials have told the crowd of 150 supporters here in Manchester that the candidate should take the stage in 10 minutes or so.

The large TV's that have been monitoring the race (which is now between him and Gingrich for 4th) have been switched off.  It will allow Santorum to take the stage without having Gingrich visibly overtake him in the results or a Gingrich speech to overshadow his.

Meantime, Santorum has a private plane waiting to take him to South Carolina as soon as he's done.

Todd Bookman for NHPR

Richard Lowrance isn't surprised that Gingrich is only pulling 10-percent of the vote here in New Hampshire. "There was a huge undecided factor right up until today," says Lowrance. "It was really difficult to predict how this would go." 

As a volunteer for the campaign, Lowrance, a Nashua resident, has seen crowds grow at recent events. "I think South Carolina is going to go much better for us. This is still a very open race."

Taylor Quimby for NHPR

Results are still coming in, and candidates are still hitting the podium - but here at Romney HQ, all has gone quiet after an early victory speech from Mitt Romney.  The event space cleared quickly after Romney made his way around the room.  Only staffers and media remain - the latter quietly continuing to log election coverage as it airs across  several flat screen televisions.

Kevin Flynn for NHPR

Field producer Kevin Flynn snapped this photo of a button being worn by supporters at Rick Santorum's camp tonight. With nearly half of the precincts reporting, Santorum is in fifth place with 10% of the vote.

Todd Bookman

The ballroom here at the Radisson hotel has yet to get really crowded, but Newt supporters in attendance remain enthusiastic. One supporter, Glenn Fiscus,  is unsurprised with Newt's poor showing in New Hampshire saying, "Romney did a hatchet job on him in Iowa," referring to the attack ads run by a pro-Romney group in that state. When asked how he liked Newt's chances going forward, Fiscus nods knowingly and says, "We'll see in South Carolina." A pro-Newt group in South Carolina has spent $3.2 million on a negative ad campaign in South Carolina.

Politics on Tap

Jan 10, 2012
Ryan Lessard for NHPR

Huntsman supporters are making full use of the bar in the Black Brimmer and it looks like a predominantly young crowd. Huntsman is holding a comfortable third place position with 17 percent of the vote with nearly half of the precincts reporting. 

Kevin Flynn for NHPR.

Participating in the NH Primary was not something Sean Michael O'Dwyer planned on doing. American-born, reared in Ireland, O'Dwyer heard Rick Santorum's (moral) victory speech in Iowa and was moved.

"When he was talking about looking at his grandfather's large hands," O'Dwyer recalled Santorum's story of going to his grandfather's wake, "he could have been talking about my father...He didn't work in the mines, but my father worked the land and he had these large hands."

Congressman Ron Paul got up to speak at 8:59PM.  The crowd was enthusiastic and let loose many cheers in reaction to Congressman Paul's speech.

 

 

The lights have dimmed at the Ron Paul camp, which mean the speeches will begin in about ten minutes.  Three speakers are slated to go up before Congressman Paul.

NHPR's Jon Greenberg is ready to cover the event.

 

 

Ryan Lessard for NHPR

A group of Huntsman supporters have broken into spontaneous chanting. They are holding up the new red signs yelling "Country First". 

Amid occasional chants of "President Paul," the crowd milling around the Ron Paul election night party is upbeat, though some faces are glum.  The news of some networks calling second place for Ron Paul has not spread through the whole crowd, but those that have heard are not surprised.  Many admit that they were hoping for first but expecting second.

Photo by Steve Duprey, Republican National Committee

Mitt Romney speaks over repeated cheers from an ecstatic crowd of supporters.  "Americans know that our future is brighter and better than these troubled times."  He also alludes to recent attacks he absorbed from his fellow candidates for his time at Bain Capital, saying, "President Obama wants to put free enterprise on trial, and in the last few days we've seen a few Republicans join him."  He made a chant of the message you've seen plastered from campaign signs and stickers, shouting "We still believe!"

 

 

Todd Bookman for NHPR

With Romney being declared the winner, the race now turns to the rest. With less than 20% of the polling stations reporting, Newt is grabbing 10-percent of the votes. The mood here at his HQ remains upbeat, with the crowd starting to file into the ballroom in anticipation of the former Speaker's speech.

 

Photo by Gage Skidmore via Flickr

Everybody is calling the race for Mitt Romney - the question now is by how much?   The mood upstairs reflects  his likely victory; supporters are dancing enthusiastically and waving campaign signs.  They're packed shoulder to shoulder in what is probably a very warm and sweaty room...  Nice and cool down here in the media room.

Kevin Flynn for NHPR.

Bill Boyd is like the father of the bride tonight.  This Merrimack volunteer for the Santorum campaign has spent the whole day preparing the room for the candidate's primary night celebration.  It's a stressful job, but one Boyd says is satisfying.

Boyd says he's been with Santorum since they met in November 2010.  

Todd Bookman for NHPR

Greg Carson, secretary of the N.H. Republican Party, is running out of steam. After a week of non-stop events, Carson said he is looking forward to tomorrow morning.

"I can't wait." 

The secretary isn't endorsing any candidate, but believes that having a large pool of choices is good for New Hampshire voters.

"The only bad thing is that the current mix of candidates is going to lead to some internal fighting," he says. 

Carson's wife, State Sen. Sharon Carson, has endorsed Mitt Romney.

 

 

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