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

Hillary Clinton danced on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show,” Jeb Bush was pushed for a “Trumpier” answer on Stephen Colbert’s “Late Show,” and an emotional Vice President Joe Biden told Colbert that he’s not quite ready to start a presidential campaign after his son’s death nearly four months ago, and doesn’t know when he will be.

Polls this week show Trump with a growing lead over other Republican rivals, and Hillary Clinton’s once-commanding lead over Democratic rival Bernie Sanders evaporating in New Hampshire and Iowa.

Brady Carlson/NHPR

Since the Democratic National Committee announced last month its schedule of six debates before the presidential primaries and only one in each of the early voting states, Martin O’Malley has made it his mission to change that.

Jason Moon for NHPR

Harvard Professor Lawrence Lessig became the latest candidate to enter the Democratic side of the 2016 presidential campaign today. Unlike other candidates in the race, he is running on a single issue: getting big money out of politics.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Senate Finance Chair Jeanie Forrester says she is considering a run for governor.

Forrester, a Republican from Meredith, says she was approached by the Republican Governors Association in Washington D.C. months ago but says her attention is on the state budget, which has been in limbo since Gov. Maggie Hassan's veto in June.

“I was flattered; it’s not the priority for me now," Forrester said. "I certainly don’t want to be having the discussion about it; we should be focusing on the budget.”

Paige Sutherland for NHPR

With legislators scheduled to take up Gov. Maggie Hassan’s budget veto in just one week, a bipartisan deal still appears elusive.

On Wednesday morning at a breakfast event at St. Anselm College in Manchester,  two top budget writers – Democratic Sen. Lou D’Allesandro and Senate Finance Chair Republican Jeanie Forrester – said the debate over the state's two-year spending plan remains stuck on whether to include business tax cuts or not.

This story was updated on Wednesday, September 9, at 5:30 PM with an estimate of the plan's revenue effects and a table of its tax brackets.

Jeb Bush's tax plan tries to do a lot. The plan aims to lower the highest tax rate, offer some relief to low earners, reform corporate taxes, stick it to hedge-fund managers and also, by the way, "unleash 4 percent growth" in the economy, as the former Florida governor puts it.

C Hanchey via Flickr CC

Nashua city officials announced the top two vote getters among six candidates in yesterday’s mayoral primary.

Alderman-at-large and former mayor Jim Donchess and former Nashua Chamber president Chris Williams topped the ticket in a mayoral primary that drew a little more than 20 percent of Nashua’s 50,000 registered voters.

Donchess was in first place with 4,179 votes, about 1500 more than Williams. Alderman-at-Large David Deane garnered a third place with 1,968 votes.

Jason Moon for NHPR

Ohio Governor and Republican presidential candidate John Kasich is promising to deal with ISIS sooner rather than later.

Speaking at a national security forum in Concord Tuesday, Kasich told an audience of about 50 that American ground troops are necessary to defeat ISIS. But when pressed about the number of soldiers it would require, he refused to get specific.

The Associated Press


Developers say a shuttered New Hampshire resort where the nation's first presidential primary ballots have been traditionally cast will once against host midnight voting in 2016.

The nearly 150-year-old Balsams resort in Dixville Notch closed in September 2011, and its new owners are still waiting for permits for their extensive restoration plans.

Project spokesman Scott Tranchemontagne says the goal is to have a portion of the resort's Dix House ready for the February primary, but voting also could be held in another building on the property.

Executive Councilor Chris Sununu says he’s running for governor in 2016.

The Republican announced his candidacy Monday, taking aim at Gov. Maggie Hassan, calling her "government-first solutions" wrong for the state.

Jack Rodolico

Democratic presidential candidates and their surrogates lined up to address union members at the annual AFL-CIO Labor Day breakfast.

Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders gave a rowdy keynote address to union members at a Greek Orthodox Church in Manchester. Sanders spoke about his opposition to international trade deals like NAFTA, as well as his long support for union workers - including during last year’s strike against FairPoint Communications.

Several presidential candidates will be spending the Labor Day holiday on the campaign trail in New Hampshire.

This includes Republican businesswoman Carly Fiorina and Ohio Gov. John Kasich, as well as Democratic Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley.

Fiorina will start the day with a house party in Concord. Sanders will speak at a breakfast in Manchester. And Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker begins his second day of a motorcycle tour in Conway.

  Labor Day Weekend is the unofficial end of summer (boo!) It also traditionally serves, every four years, as the informal start of the high season for the New Hampshire presidential primary (yay?)

Candidates from both parties are flocking to the state over the next few days, hitting parades, picnics, conventions, town halls and house parties stretching from Salem to Pittsburg.

To help you navigate the busy campaign weekend, we've put together our Labor Day candidate map below. Click on each dot for details where and when to catch a candidate near  you.

Paige Sutherland/NHPR

New Jersey  Gov. Chris Christie mingled with Granite Staters at the Hopkinton State Fair Friday afternoon.

The presidential GOP candidate shook hands and took selfies with almost every passer-by – stopping to chat about his recent appearance on Jimmy Fallon or the maple trees in his back yard in New Jersey.

He also taste tested a few treats including maple favored cotton candy and some fried cheesecake. And he even picked up presents for his family at home. Smoked cheddar cheese for his wife and maple syrup for his four children.

Kim Davis, a clerk in Rowan County, Ky., is in jail for refusing to issue marriage licenses after same-sex marriage became legal. A same-sex couple received a marriage license in Davis' office Friday morning from a deputy clerk.

But the controversy isn't over. It has divided the crowded campaign trail into those who stand with Davis, and those who don't — plus one in the middle.

Mike De Sisti/Milwaukee Journal Sentinel via AP

Tourists aren't the only ones who'll be flocking to New Hampshire this Labor Day weekend. 

Former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley, New Jersey governor Chris Christie, and South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham get a jump on the weekend with events across the Granite State Friday.

But Saturday is when things really get going.

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton will be in Portsmouth to accept the endorsement of New Hampshire Senator Jeanne Shaheen.

Republican Carly Fiorina sets out on a three-day Labor Day weekend visit to New Hampshire.

It’s a familiar scene: Carly Fiorina’s presidential campaign has a meet and greet at a lumber yard in Wentworth. Nitsa Ioannides and Kerry Marsh stand behind a table, greeting guests.  Ionnides hands you a red CARLY For America sticker and a brochure; Marsh might recommend a yard sign.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Republican Jeb Bush was back in New Hampshire Thursday. The former Florida governor used a stop at Foss Manufacturing in Hampton to go after GOP rival Donald Trump.  Trump, of course, has been deriding Bush for weeks, but criticism of Trump – at least for now -- is a central message of Bush’s campaign.

Allegra Boverman

New Hampshire Congresswoman Ann McLane Kuster says she’ll vote in support of the proposed Iran nuclear deal.

In a statement, Kuster says after carefully reviewing the deal, she believes it’s "the best option we have to prevent a nuclear-armed Iran."

The White House this week secured the support it needed in Congress to guarantee the deal will pass.

Moving forward, Kuster says Congress must ensure military and intelligence agencies have the resources they need to monitor Iran’s actions.

Emily Corwin for NHPR

Rand Paul has been visiting the New Hampshire campaign trail for a while now.  In a visit last September, he was full of vim and vigor, telling a Manchester bar packed with millennials, “When we proclaim our message with the passion of Patrick Henry, and we proclaim it like a man coming over the hill singing, then I think we’ll be the dominant movement again.”

Jason Moon for NHPR

Ohio Governor John Kasich’s presidential campaign is enjoying boom times in New Hampshire – a surge in the polls, and growing crowds at his public events. At the heart of that recent success may be Kasich’s unique political personality.

Paige Sutherland/NHPR

Former Vermont Gov. Howard Dean is back on the presidential campaign trail in New Hampshire, but this time not as a candidate. Dean, who ran for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2004, is now working to get Hillary Clinton in the White House.

States would receive four dollars in federal money for every dollar they invest in substance abuse prevention and treatment under a plan announced today by Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.

The plan, outlined in a conference call with reporters, would direct $10 billion in new federal funds to drug and alcohol addiction programs over 10 years.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

New Hampshire’s independent streak is wider than ever and still growing. And that could make predicting the outcome of the 2016 presidential primary tougher than usual.

In political terms, increasing numbers of New Hampshire voters are showing their independence by declining to register with either major party. There are more of these “undeclared” voters in New Hampshire today than in any previous election cycle, and they are playing a bigger role in the state's primary elections.

For a change, the big political furor of the week does not involve Donald Trump.

President Obama decided that Alaska’s Mount McKinley, the tallest mountain in North America, will be renamed Denali – as it was originally known before it was named to honor the 25th president nearly a century ago.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Ohio Gov. John Kasich didn't take kindly to President Obama's recent decision to rename Mt. McKinley to its Native American name, Denali.

"If I become president, I’m going to name it back to Mt. McKinley," Kasich said, speaking to NHPR's Morning Edition.

The Alaskan mountain - the highest peak in North America - had been named after former President William McKinley, an Ohio native.

"This is not something we appreciate or agree with in Ohio," Kasich said. "I don’t know why (President Obama) had to do this."

This has been the Summer of Trump on the campaign trail. Donald Trump has flown high in the polls, with seemingly nothing emerging to slow his rise.

But as heading into September, here are three hurdles the reigning Republican front-runner might have to contend with that run counter to his success so far:

The State Department released some 7,000 pages of Hillary Clinton's emails Monday from her time as secretary of state. This batch is the latest in a series of monthly, court-ordered releases that started in May. This is the largest batch so far.

An early scan reveals little new information — a lot of logistics planning, tech issues and news articles sent around. One email appears to suggest some confusion at the State Department help desk about Clinton's actual email address.

Sam Evans-Brown / NHPR

If you’ve got an issue -- a single issue -- you want to bring to the nation’s attention, there’s no better place to be right now than New Hampshire.  

The state's position as host of the first presidential primary gives enterprising advocates a chance to seize the attention of would-be White House occupants. But the issues now jockeying for position seem to be proliferating, and advocates' tactics often undercut the image of New Hampshire as a bastion of spontaneous encounters between candidates and ordinary voters.

Kate Harper for NHPR


Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders says international rivals would be mistaken to assume he wouldn't use military force if that's what circumstances required.

The Vermont senator says the United States should have the strongest military in the world. The U.S. should be prepared to act when it or its allies are threatened or in response to genocide. He says he is prepared to use military force, but only as a last resort.