Primary 2016

Jack Rodolico

At the Democratic presidential debate in Manchester last night, Genera Clay was one of a few hundred Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton supporters dancing with placards – as much to support their candidates as to stay warm on this cold evening. Hours before Saturday night’s debate was set to start, these supporters were penned in by a metal fence, and a big flood light lit up the lawn.

Clay was annoyed the Sanders campaign had been blocked out of a crucial voter database as a punishment for the data breach – a move that temporarily hobbled his campaign.

josh rogers/nhpr

Chris Christie has spent more time in New Hampshire than any major candidate running for president.

His local focus has been by necessity as much as  by choice, but it may pay off.

Polls show him gaining traction, and as Christie told the crowd that joined him at an Exeter auto repair shop as he launched a 4-day bus tour, he believes he’s bonded with voters here.

This post was updated at 7:30 p.m. ET

Bernie Sanders' presidential campaign has filed a lawsuit against the Democratic National Committee to regain access to the committee's voter file. The DNC blocked the campaign from the resource Friday after a Sanders staffer accessed data collected and organized by Hillary Clinton's campaign.

After Bernie Sanders announced his proposal to make college free, college affordability has been front and center in the Democratic primary. When it comes to broad goals, the candidates agree. But as for the best way to get there, that’s where they differ.

Tracy Lee Carroll, NHPR

The 2016 New Hampshire presidential primary is officially on for Feb. 9, one week after the Iowa caucuses.

New Hampshire Secretary of State Bill Gardner, who has the final say on the state’s presidential primary schedule, announced the date Thursday morning, for both the Republican and the Democratic races.

Fresh from a GOP debate in which national security issues were dominant, Florida Senator Marco Rubio assured the crowd at a Manchester banquet hall that on his watch American military forces would never have to undertake a fair fight. They would always be better equipped, better trained, and have better intelligence to guide them.

"You know what all of this will mean. it will mean the world will not be perfect, but it will be safer, and it will be better. When America leads, the world is a safer and better place, and when it doesn't the world is chaotic."

Brian Wallstin for NHPR

When Bill Binnie launched WBIN-TV in 2011, less than a year after losing the Republican nomination for a U.S. Senate seat, his goal was to bring more competition to New Hampshire political coverage.

Binnie had another incentive, of course: The tens of millions of dollars spent on political advertising during the state’s first-in-the-nation presidential primary.

CNN

Republican Presidential candidates had their last debate of 2015 in Nevada Tuesday night. In Manchester, dozens of New Hampshire voters gathered at Murphy’s Taproom to watch.

AP / Flickr/CC

New dynamics have entered the GOP race, with terrorism and national security topping voters' concerns. And the race itself is shaking up, with a slightly smaller group of contenders and the party's establishment openly worried about the staying power of Donald Trump. We'll recap the debate highlights and dig into the issues. 

GUESTS:   

GIF created using footage from CNN

 It's been a recurring theme throughout this year's presidential primary race: Early states (like New Hampshire) are losing their clout as candidates run what are essentially nationwide campaign.

The Republican presidential hopefuls debate in Las Vegas Tuesday night will be the first since the terrorist attacks in Paris and in San Bernardino, Calif. In recent weeks, ISIS and how to keep Americans safe have dominated the campaign and shot to the top of Americans' concerns.

A day before the last Republican presidential debate of the year, two Republican candidates held rallies near the Las Vegas strip, less than a mile apart. In spite of their proximity, the events had almost nothing in common.

Marco Rubio was in a medium-size hotel ballroom, with a few hundred people in attendance. It seemed, at first, that Rubio might struggle to fill the room, as supporters came in slowly. But fill it did.

NHPR/Sheryl Rich-Kern

Vermont Senator and Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders is back in the Granite State this week. He spent part of Monday afternoon in Nashua, where he courted students.

Sanders stood behind the podium in a large classroom at Nashua Community College on Monday afternoon. He tailored his remarks for the setting and his audience – about 100 community college students.

Sanders talked about increasing funds for public education, from early childhood learning to college.

The field is set for tomorrow’s GOP presidential debate, with eight candidates set to take the stage for the evening’s main event. The lineup hasn't changed much from the last debate, the main difference being the addition of Chris Christie thanks to his improving poll numbers in New Hampshire.

But the stability onstage belies a shift in the structure of the race, particularly in New Hampshire. After a summer when political neophytes pulled the lion’s share of support, the last few weeks of New Hampshire polling have seen a resurgence by “insider” candidates.

Wikipedia

"On the Political Front" is our weekly check-in with NHPR's Senior Political Reporter Josh Rogers.  

NHPR/Michael Brindley

If you’re hosting a party, what kind of music would you play? What kind of food would you serve?

Those are the types of questions Ohio Gov. John Kasich faced recently at one of the more unique series of campaign events during this New Hampshire presidential primary season.

“So what’s your question – who would I invite?” said Kasich, seemingly puzzled by the question of who he would invite to a party he was hosting.

“Who would you invite? What would a party look like if you hosted a party?”

WMUR's news team will have no role in next week's Democratic debate.

Carly Fiorina
Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Republican candidate Carly Fiorina has been crossing New Hampshire this week. As terror attacks in Paris and in California make headlines, Fiorina has been arguing her business background – doing deals in other countries –would make her the best commander in chief. Fiorina’s potential supporters like that argument.

This is Fiorina’s tenth swing through New Hampshire in half as many months.  Through all those stump speeches, her small government, pro-business message hasn’t changed. Neither has her intensity.

Natasha Haverty

Last night Presidential Candidate Donald Trump came to Portsmouth for a few minutes, to pick up an endorsement from the New England’s police union. 

Editor's Note: Some readers might find some of the language below offensive.

This post was updated at 11:30 a.m. ET

Donald Trump has made his most outrageous statement yet in a string of beyond-the-pale utterances.

There are many ways to describe Bernie Sanders: a democratic socialist, an independent senator, a Democratic presidential candidate. But the best adjective may just be: consistent. No matter how you label it, Sanders' worldview is locked in.

Over 40 years, Sanders has built his political career on a very focused message about what he calls a "rigged economy."

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Tonight Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is scheduled to campaign in Portsmouth. The visit comes in the wake of his call for a “total and and complete shutdown” of Muslims entering the United States.

Trump will start the evening meeting with the New England Police Benevolent Association. This is his first campaign stop in the state since his proposal to bar Muslims from the country.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

A day after chiding the media for, as he put it, allowing Trump to play them like a violin, it was Jeb Bush who decided to bring up the real estate mogul, during a panel discussion with young professionals.

Bush was asked by a name two historical figures and one celebrity he'd invite to a party. His answer came immediately.

"I would not invite Donald Trump."

Winston Churchill and Neil Armstrong would be welcome at his party, said Bush, but it was a firm no thanks on the celebrities.

"I really don't believe in celebrity. I find it superficial."

Jason Moon for NHPR

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton stopped in Salem on Tuesday where she held an event focused on manufacturing jobs.

 

 

In a packed gym at Woodbury School, Clinton unveiled her proposals to boost employment in that sector. They included the creation of a few tax credits; one aimed at communities hit by layoffs, and another geared toward employee training.

 

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

For GOP Chair Jennifer Horn, Trump's call for a "total and complete shutdown" on allowing Muslims into the county was too much. In a statement, she called out Trump's policy statement.

"It is un-Republican. It is unconstitutional. And it is un-American."

The state's top elected Republican official, US Senator Kelly Ayotte, wasn't nearly as pointed but made the same basic argument when asked to weigh in Trump's call to ban Muslim immigration.

Sara Plourde/NHPR

Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders is waving off super PACS that want to help him.

In an email Monday to supporters, his campaign manager Jeff Weaver says Sanders has been surprised to learn about the pro-Sanders campaigns of outside groups that are allowed to raise unlimited amounts of money from donors. Sanders rails against such groups on the campaign trail, saying they contribute to a corrupt political system.

"They should spend their money somewhere else," Weaver writes in the email. "We do not want their help."

Allegra Boverman / NHPR

Over a presidential campaign season that grows longer every four years, candidates have long counted on voters changing their minds before Primary Day. But we don’t often hear about how or why voters make up their minds in the first place. NHPR followed up with three voters to see how they are forming – and changing—their opinions over the course of the campaign.

Sara Plourde for NHPR

Democratic presidential candidate and Vermont U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders sat down with Exchange host Laura Knoy and Senior Political Reporter Josh Rogers for an in-depth discussion about the issues on New Hampshire voters’ minds this election season. 

flickr/barjack

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

Brady Carlson

It is perhaps the most famous moment in New Hampshire primary history: a packed auditorium, Ronald Reagan, and the moment he said: "I am paying for this microphone, Mr. Green!” [sic]

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