Politics

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

 

We’re a little more than two weeks from the New Hampshire primary — and, as you might expect, we’re in for another busy weekend on the campaign trail.

NHPR/Michael Brindley

It's no coincidence that Democratic presidential candidate Martin O'Malley has campaigning harder in Iowa than in New Hampshire. 

For a campaign that continues to lag in the polls, he's counting on the Iowa caucus changing the dynamic of what has essentially become a two-person race.

"Once the voters start to vote, that usually changes the dynamic. Not always, but usually. And the first state that comes up is Iowa, so that’s what we’re focused on," O'Malley said during an interview with NHPR's Morning Edition.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

At a Bernie Sanders campaign event at Southern New Hampshire University, environmentalist and author Bill McKibben introduced himself by saying, “I’m all that you have to endure for just a couple more minutes before the man himself arrives.”

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

During a four-day visit to New Hampshire, Texas Sen. Ted Cruz pitched a consistent message.

Cruz finished off his trip the same way he started, selling himself as the presidential candidate the establishment fears most.

"Because Cruz actually will stand, with the American people against the career politicians in both parties. "

Paige Sutherland/NHPR

Just two weeks into the new legislative session, Gov. Maggie Hassan has signed into law two bills aimed at tackling the state’s opioid epidemic.

The fast tracked bills came out of the state’s legislative drug task force that was crafted during last year’s special session. In 2015 more than 400 people died of a drug overdose.

WBUR/MassINC Polling Group

Remember those “mystifying” undeclared voters of New Hampshire everyone keeps talking about?

Well, if the results from a new WBUR poll are any indication, a good portion of this group still hasn’t settled on which party’s primary they’ll participate in – let alone which candidate they’ll end up voting for.

NHPR file photos

With every day that passes leading up to the New Hampshire primary, the pressure builds on Republican presidential hopefuls looking to make a splash here.


Natasha Haverty

 With less than three weeks to go before the state’s presidential primary, a new poll from UNH shows Bernie Sanders leading with nearly twice as much support as rival Hillary Clinton. Today, former President Bill Clinton showed up to make his case for why that should change. 

Brian Wallstin for NHPR

A bill aimed to legalize Keno in New Hampshire again passed the N.H. House. The measure will now head to the Senate – where a similar bill died during the previous legislative session.

The bills considered high priority by New Hampshire's legislative drug task force, which is designed to address the state’s opioid crisis, passed the N.H. House with ease Wednesday afternoon.  

After getting through the Senate last week, these bills will now head to Gov. Maggie Hassan, who will sign them into law Thursday.

Kate Brindley for NHPR

The UNH Survey Center turned plenty of heads this week with its latest poll on the New Hampshire Democratic primary. The poll, conducted for WMUR and CNN, had Bernie Sanders leaping even further ahead of Hillary Clinton, now leading 60 to 33 percent.

The poll did come with a few caveats. 

Super PACs are, in some ways, playing a more visible role than ever in this year’s presidential primary — running a large share of the television ads, but also in some cases taking on many of the voter-contact responsibilities usually reserved for a traditional campaign

But it’s not always so easy to see what these groups are doing – or who’s footing the bill. And it’s looking like voters in Iowa and New Hampshire will have to wait until after they head to the polls to find out who’s behind some of the most active super PACs in this year’s primaries.

The presidential primary has now reached the final two-week stretch before Iowans meet to caucus on Feb. 1, but Texas Sen. Ted Cruz is spending some of those precious final days making a swing through New Hampshire.

Unlike Iowa, where Cruz is neck and neck with Donald Trump, New Hampshire is a state where Trump dominates, leading the rest of the pack by nearly 20 points in recent polls.

But Cruz said he believes the campaign is entering a "different phase," where voters will take a closer look at candidates' records — particularly Trump's.

Casey McDermott, NHPR

 At Dartmouth’s Tuck School of Business Monday afternoon, John Kasich made a point to emphasize his willingness to work across party lines – with a nod to one of New Hampshire’s top Democrats.

Former Democratic Governor John Lynch now works at the Tuck School where Kasich was speaking and introduced the candidate ahead of the event. Kasich, in turn, nodded to Lynch several times throughout his remarks.

Paige Sutherland/NHPR

 

Ted Cruz is accusing his Republican rival Donald Trump of exhibiting inconsistent conservativism, suggesting he is not prepared to be president.

Cruz accused the billionaire investor of becoming "rattled" and "dismayed" by the Texas senator's gains.

The war of words between Cruz and Trump intensified in recent days, with Trump continuing to question Cruz's eligibility to be on the ballot given his Canadian birth and for not disclosing loans hereceived from Citibank and Goldman Sachs for his 2012 senate race.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Donald Trump was characteristically adamant at a recent town hall meeting in Claremont, New Hampshire.

"All I do is tell the truth. I tell the truth."

Andrew Burton/Getty Images

NHPR's Senior Political Reporter Josh Rogers joined Morning Edition to talk about Sunday night's Democratic debate and Republican Ted Cruz's big push here in New Hampshire.

NHPR/Michael Brindley

Republican presidential candidate Sen. Rand Paul has pledged to do everything he can from keeping current front-runner Donald Trump from becoming the GOP nominee.

"I think he’s a bad messenger. I think he sends a bad message," the Kentucky Senator said during a campaign stop in Londonderry Saturday. "I think his message is not on limiting power; it’s on give me power. I think that’s a real problem and I’m going to do everything I can to make sure he’s not the nominee."

But Paul also says he'll back Trump if he's the eventual nominee.

Sara Plourde for NHPR

In this week's episode we get into the primary free-for-all, from three towns that all want to be the first to vote first in the nation;  to the dozens of lesser-known names on the primary ballot and what exactly they're doing there. 

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

 

Republican president candidate Jeb Bush has scored the endorsement of South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham.

A spokesperson for the Bush campaign said Graham will announce his endorsement later Friday.

Graham has been a coveted endorsement for candidates running for the Republican nomination since he holds major clout in South Carolina, one of the critical early voting primary states.

 

Sam Evans-Brown / NHPR

How do you define an attack ad? Is Hillary Clinton attacking Bernie Sanders, in her most recent ad? In it, she declares “It's time to pick a side, either we stand with the gun lobby, or we join the president and stand up to them.”

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?

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