Credit Daniel S. Hurd

NHPR's political coverage from the New Hampshire State House to the First In The Nation Primary, Town Meeting, and the Congressional Delegation. Stories by Senior Political Reporter Josh Rogers, Digital Journalist Brian Wallstin, and the NHPR News team. 

1.15.15: The Invisible Primary and Authentic Brands

Jan 15, 2015
cmh2315fl via flickr Creative Commons / flic.kr/p/neZUmD

New Hampshire’s first-in-the-nation primary may be a year away, but presidential hopefuls are already jockeying for position. Today,we’ll talk about why you should forget election fatigue and start paying attention to the race now – and we'll talk about signs that a politician is considering a run at the presidency.

And we'll continue our series on offbeat college courses, the Uncommon Core, with Beauty Pageants 101.

Listen to the full show and click Read more for individual segments.

The Onion's Former Editor: Satire Is A Careful Craft

Jan 9, 2015
Steve Rhodes via flickr Creative Commons / flic.kr/p/epYJk

In the wake of Wednesday's attack on the offices of Charlie Hebdo in Paris, the former editor of America's Fake News Source The Onion, Joe Randazzo wrote an op-ed piece for MSNBC in which he states, "Satire must always accompany any free society. It is an absolute necessity." Virginia spoke to Joe about his experiences while at The Onion and why satire, in its many forms should always have a place at the table.

Logan Shannon / NHPR

Wednesday’s attack on the offices of Charlie Hebdo in Paris prompted an international outpouring of support from satirists and comedians around the world. On today’s show, a candid conversation with the former editor of The Onion on the careful craft of satire.

Plus, the manliest man of Russia. A simple Google search reveals countless images of Vladimir Putin, riding horseback, hunting, and brandishing weapons. We’ll talk to a scholar about how the Russian leader uses machismo and gender stereotypes to build political legitimacy.

Listen to the full show and click Read more for individual segments.

Jedimentat44 via flickr Creative Commons / flic.kr/p/auAnDK

A simple Google image search reveals countless images of a shirtless Vladimir Putin, riding horseback, fishing, and brandishing weapons. On today’s show: how the Russian leader uses machismo and gender stereotypes to build political legitimacy.

Then, among the most popular New Year resolutions, getting in shape ranks close to the top, but less than 10% of weight-loss resolutions last. A philosopher shares his take on how we should think about exercise, in order to maintain a regimen.

Listen to the full show and click Read more for individual segments.

Kainaz Amaria / NPR

In our monthly check-in with political junkie Ken Rudin, we're covering some of the top national political stories of recent weeks, including the swearing in of a new Congress, the President holding the line on his priorities, and an ever-growing crop of presidential contender possibilities.


NHPR Staff


Fights over Republican leadership and whether to allow guns in the House chamber will take center stage during the opening day of the New Hampshire legislative session.

House and Senate members meet Wednesday to officially begin the session. Sparks are likely to fly among two factions of House Republicans, as backers of Rep. Bill O'Brien will attempt to install him as the majority leader by changing House rules and going against Speaker Shawn Jasper. House members will also vote on whether to allow concealed weapons in the chamber.


A lawsuit pitting the Libertarian Party against the State of New Hampshire passed a crucial test this week. 

The lawsuit seeks to overturn a law passed in 2014 that gives third party candidates less time to collect the necessary signatures to run for Senate or Governor. 

That time limit makes it nearly impossible for third party candidates to run for those offices, alleges the Libertarian Party, which is being represented in this case by the New Hampshire Civil Liberties Union.

It was only days after Shawn Jasper won the race for State House Speaker that Twitter had a new user: @SpeakerJasper. There was only one catch: the Twitter user Speaker Jasper wasn’t the actual Speaker Jasper. (The official Twitter account used by the last few speakers, including Jasper, is @NHSpeaker.)

NHPR Staff

New Hampshire’s Democratic representatives in the U.S. House were split on the $1.1 trillion spending package that narrowly passed the House late last night.

2nd District Congresswoman Ann Kuster voted for the bill, saying it was critical to avoid a government shutdown.

Kuster says she remains concerned about some aspects of the bill, including a provision that would increase the limits on some political donations.

Kelli True / NHPR

New Hampshire Republican Party chair Jennifer Horn is seeking a second term.

According to multiple media reports, Horn sent out an email to the state GOP Executive Committee this morning confirming her candidacy.

The party holds its annual meeting on Jan. 10 in Derry, when the chair will be formally elected.

scottlum / Flickr/CC

We're checking in with political junkie Ken Rudin about recent national political news, including the run-off election in Louisiana, fallout from Obama's immigration executive order, and the response to deaths of Michael Brown and Eric Garner.


  • Ken Rudin - host of The Political Junkie, a weekly radio show covering national, state, and local politics. He is an expert in U.S. politics and campaign history, and a former NPR political editor.


AUGUSTA, Maine - On the Maine Legislature's opening day, partisan lines were drawn in the Republican-led Senate, which rejected a demand from Democrats that would have effectively left the voters of southern Maine's District 25 without a state senator.

Logan Shannon / NHPR

“Apple Pay” came out of the gate with great fanfare and claims that the mobile-payment system will make purchasing easier and more secure.  On today’s show, a closer scan of Apple Pay and find out who is set to benefit – and who is not.

And, from traffic cams to EZ Pass, big brother is riding along with us more than we think. But just how much are drivers being monitored? And, after a week of historic wins and losses, we’ll sample the art of the concession speech.

Listen to the full show and click Read more for individual segments.

Marc Nozell via Flickr CC

Former state Rep. Kevin Avard upset Democrat incumbent Sen. Peggy Gilmour on Tuesday, adding at least one seat to the Republican’s majority in the New Hampshire Senate. 

Avard took 50.8 percent of the 21,335 ballots cast in the District 12 contest to beat Gilmour by 323 votes. The narrow margin gives Republicans a 14-10 majority in the Senate, with at least one race that was too close to call.

In District 7, Democratic incumbent Andrew Hosmer had a lead of about 100 votes over Republican challenger Kathy Lauer-Rago.

Political Losers: The Concession Speech

Nov 4, 2014
born1945 via flickr Creative Commons

No politician wants to write a concession speech, but in politics there can only be one winner. We spoke to Brady Carlson about what happens after the race is called. Here are a few memorable political concession speeches and even an inside look into how a candidate goes about writing one.

Nixon's 1962 California Gubernatorial concession speech.

11.4.14: Winners & Losers

Nov 4, 2014
Garry Night via flickr Creative Commons

While we can’t predict the outcome of the midterm elections, two things are certain: there will be winners and there will be losers.  Today’s show is all about winning and losing, starting with the brain chemistry of champions. And we’ll examine the victors and the vanquished in the natural world through the parasite-host relationship.

Plus, we’ll take a look back at political losers throughout history, including Samuel Tilden, who never got over his loss to Rutherford B. Hayes in 1876.

Listen to the full show and click Read more for individual segments.


Political Junkie Ken Rudin never left public radio. His weekly podcast has your dose of political analysis. And in time for the midterms this year, he's put together a special program for radio audiences as well. Before you dig in to this program, remember that he'll be live in studio with us on 4 November for our election night coverage as we track returns around the state.

Allegra Boverman

  2nd Congressional District Democrat Ann McLane Kuster worked to distance herself from President Obama during an appearance Thursday night at the UNH Law School.

Earlier this year, Kuster told NHPR’s Laura Knoy that she considered herself one of the President Obama’s biggest supporters. Thursday night, in a public conversation with Knoy, she cited areas when she disagreed with the president.

She also defended her vote on the farm bill which cut food stamps by more than $8 million.

Ryan Lessard / NHPR

Arizona Senator and former Republican presidential nominee John McCain was out campaigning for gubernatorial hopeful Walt Havenstein Sunday.

  McCain and Havenstein greeted people as they dined at the Puritan Backroom restaurant in Manchester, shaking hands and posing for pictures. McCain says he came to lend Havenstein support in what he calls his ‘second favorite state’ because of Havenstein’s business background.

Emily Corwin / NHPR

Democrat Jeanne Shaheen was joined on the campaign trail this weekend by one of her party’s biggest stars: Elizabeth Warren, the Massachusetts Senator who defeated Scott Brown in 2012. While Shaheen’s campaign stops targeted core Democratic constituencies – college towns and union halls --  Scott Brown’s campaign sought votes a bit farther afield.

Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren made one thing clear to the crowd at the University of New Hampshire.  Scott Brown is not from here.

NHPR Staff

The dynamic of this high-profile race has changed little since former Massachusetts Senator Scott Brown began plotting a return to Washington, from New Hampshire, the state in which he spent his early childhood.

Last night's NECN/Concord Monitor/UNH debate at the Capital Center for the Arts in Concord was true to form.

Jeanne Shaheen repeatedly cast Brown as an opportunist:

David Lane / Union Leader

First congressional district candidates Frank Guinta and Carol Shea-Porter met Tuesday night on NH1’s TV debate. Both candidates took aim at the other’s voting record in Washington.

Scroll down for audio of the full debate.

These candidates know each other well. This is the third time they’ve run against each other. And this debate often focused on refighting old battles.

Democrat Carol Shea-Porter was quick to blame Guinta and Republicans for the mandatory budget cuts known as sequestration.

Brady Carlson/NHPR

In a wide-ranging conversation with NHPR’s Laura Knoy Monday evening, GOP gubernatorial hopeful Walt Havenstein covered a gamut of economic and social policy issues.

Havenstein’s overall campaign is focused on the state’s economy. At the taping of NHPR’s “Rudman Center Conversations with the Candidates” Havenstein said his view of New Hampshire’s poor business climate was cemented when his 31-year-old son had to leave the state in order to take the next step in his tech career.

As Election Day draws near we’re checking in each week on political ads and ad spending with Dave Levinthal, Senior Political Reporter for the Center for Public Integrity.

Over the past week Levinthal says political ads have turned negative – really negative.

Anyone who’s been paying attention the last few months knows who and what will be appearing on the ballot in a few weeks. (And if you haven’t been paying attention, get off the sidelines already!) 

But how that information gets on the ballots is a process we don’t think much about.

In the run up to the 2004 election, NHPR's Lisa Peakes visited Captial Offset Printing, the company that had printed ballots for the state for decades.

Here's her story from the NHPR archives:

In a debate Thursday morning on WGIR, Governor Maggie Hassan repeatedly went after Republican Walt Havenstein for a pledge he signed earlier this year with the conservative group Americans for Prosperity.

“By singing that Koch brothers pledge, he is pledging to undo our Medicaid expansion, he’s pledging no matter what to do what the Koch brothers and Americans for Prosperity tell him to do.”

Josh Rogers / NHPR

The race to represent New Hampshire’s 2nd Congressional District is catching fire here and nationally.

A poll last week put incumbent Rep. Anne Kuster, a first-term Democrat, behind her GOP challenger, state lawmaker Marilinda Garcia. It looks like it will be a close contest.

At 31, Marilinda Garcia would be one of the youngest members elected to the U.S. House this year. So perhaps it’s no surprise that when Garcia won the GOP congressional primary last month, a large and loud crowd of millennials was in the house.

Ryan Lessard / NHPR

Governor Maggie Hassan touted her economic credentials at a campaign stop at a Manchester marketing company Tuesday. She also fired a few shots at her opponent, Walt Havenstein.

Hassan argued she’s better equipped to help small businesses than rival Walt Havenstein. Internet marketing company Commonplaces was a beneficiary of job training grants. Hassan championed that program and what she terms bipartisan successes like increasing higher ed funding, raising the gas tax and expanding Medicaid.

Here’s a statement about campaign advertising that may surprise you even if you’ve seen the influx of ads on TV and online video sites: “Candidates, parties and groups ran at least 10,300 TV ads in the New Hampshire U.S. Senate race.”

That statement comes from a project called “Who’s Buying the Senate?”

Allegra Boverman / NHPR

We're checking in with Ken Rudin for our monthly 'Political Junkie' show. We'll look at how the election season is progressing in New Hampshire, compared with other mid-terms around the country. 


  • Ken Rudin – host of The Political Junkie, a weekly radio show covering national, state, and local politics. He is an expert in U.S. politics and campaign history, and a former NPR political editor.