2016 Elections

Coverage of the 2016 races in New Hampshire, from the White House to the State House.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Sen. Kelly Ayotte, expected to face a tough re-election battle next year, has received a $500,000 donation from a Republican entrepreneur who wants his party to confront climate change.

AP/Allegra Boverman

As Harry Reid, the Senate’s Democratic leader, prepares to retire from Congress, he’s turning his attention to the handful of races next year that could sway control of the Senate. And, according to a recent story in Politico, Reid has taken a particular interest in New Hampshire – specifically the question of whether Gov. Maggie Hassan will jump into the Senate race herself.  

Republicans have been talking about reforming their party since President Obama's re-election in 2012. The recent Supreme Court rulings on same-sex marriage and Obamacare and the reversal of several Southern Republican governors on the Confederate battle flag gave the GOP a new chance. But change can be hard.

In presidential years, the party has a math problem, according to GOP strategist Steve Schmidt. He points out that while Democrats are attracting growing segments of the population, like Latinos and Asians, Republicans are relying on their traditional base of white voters.

Ryan Lessard/NHPR

Amid the fanfare and rumbling antique cars of the Amherst Fourth of July parade, candidates for president greeted residents and posed for pictures. Four candidates in total walked the parade route.

Republicans South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham and former Texas Governor Rick Perry jogged energetically from handshake to handshake, often joking with residents. Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush kept a steadier pace behind them.

Paige Sutherland for NHPR

After officially entering the GOP presidential race in his home state of New Jersey on Tuesday, Gov. Chris Christie kicked off his campaign with a five-day trip to New Hampshire.

At a town hall event in Sandown Tuesday night, Christie told voters, "I want to be the next president of the United States and I plan to win the next election." And he's relying, in large part, on his personality to help him do that.

Former U.S. Sen. Jim Webb has become the fifth Democrat to announce he is seeking the party's nomination for president.

"[Our] country needs a fresh approach to solving the problems that confront us and too often unnecessarily divide us," Webb said in a statement. "We need to shake the hold of these shadow elites on our political process."

Webb, 69, joins former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, former Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley and former Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee in the 2016 contest.

Independence Day means fireworks, BBQs, flags – and, in New Hampshire, presidential politics.

The three-day weekend has lured at least eight candidates for president to the Granite State. The candidates, Republican and Democratic, will appear up and down the state, Friday through Sunday. So, if you've always wanted to discuss foreign policy with the future leader of the Free World while holding a sparkler, now might be your chance.

www.merrimack4th.com

You may be planning a lazy holiday weekend this Fourth of July. But for many presidential candidates, the Fourth is just another opportunity to work for votes, though with one big difference: On Independence Day, the campaign trail is likely to follow a parade route.

This post has been updated to reflect Christie officially getting in the race for president.

Peter Biello / NHPR

While campaigning for the GOP Presidential nomination in Exeter, New Hampshire Thursday, Florida Senator Marco Rubio said he’s disappointed in the Supreme Court’s ruling to uphold part of President Obama’s Affordable Care Act. 

The Supreme Court’s decision will allow people who live in New Hampshire, as well as Senator Rubio’s home state of Florida and 32 other states, to keep their subsidies for healthcare plans purchased through Healthcare.gov. But Rubio says he disagrees with the court’s decision on the law, which he says is deeply flawed.

Presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders is on the rise in New Hampshire. But that might not matter if the independent senator from Vermont can't get on the Democratic ballot in the first-in-the-nation primary state.

Due to a quirky New Hampshire filing process — and Sanders' status as an independent rather than a registered Democrat — there are lingering questions about how easy it will be for him to file for the primary next year.

josh rogers/nhpr

Hillary Clinton’s been officially running for president for two months, and the rain was falling in a steady drizzle, but for core supporters of Clinton – and that’s who made up much of the crowd of more than 300 – yesterday remained a day to celebrate.

Emily Corwin

Ohio’s Republican Governor and potential presidential candidate John Kasich stopped in Portsmouth Thursday to test his appeal with a handful of Seacoast Republicans. Kasich was the 10th presidential hopeful to luncheon with Renee Plummer and her politically active friends. Some consider Plummer the region’s most active Republican networker.

Kasich, a longtime congressman, former Fox TV host, and current Ohio governor, says he knows how to navigate Washington bureaucracy. And, he said – his administration would be sensitive to issues like mental illness and drug addiction. 

Updated at 1:00 p.m. ET

Rick Perry, the former governor of Texas and 2012 Republican candidate for president, formally announced a second bid for the White House.

At a rally in Addison, Texas, this afternoon, Perry told a group of supporters: "Today I am announcing that I'm running for the presidency of the United States of America."

He decried that "weakness at home has led to weakness abroad" and that "Our economy is barely growing."

As presidential candidates visit the early caucus and primary states of Iowa and New Hampshire, they're hearing about heroin and meth. Drug overdoses now kill more Americans than traffic accidents. And, in many places, there's a growing acceptance that this isn't just a problem for other people.

New Hampshire is in the throes of a crisis. Last year more than 300 people in the small state died of drug overdoses. Mostly opiods like oxycontin and heroin.

Kate Harper for NHPR

Campaigning in Hampton, Hillary Clinton criticized republicans for not supporting the Export-Import Bank, which Clinton says has helped produce hundreds of millions of dollars of exports from N.H. businesses.

Clinton met with local businesspeople at the Smuttynose Brewery.

Republican Chris Christie says the U.S. needs to boost military spending and not back off on intelligence and surveillance programs. 

Speaking in Portsmouth’s Prescott Park, Chris Christie said the army needs more soldiers, the navy more ships, the air force more planes --and the government more intelligence.

Christie called for an extension to the Patriot act, and said concerns over data collection and privacy are overblown.

NHPR Staff

The state’s highest court has upheld a ruling that struck down a 2012 law linking registering to vote with state motor vehicle laws.

In a unanimous ruling the court called the voter form language  “confusing and inaccurate” and that it unreasonably burdens the fundamental right to vote.”

Out-of-state college students challenged the law, which added language to the form noting that drivers need to register vehicles and apply for a state driver’s license within 60 days of becoming a resident.

josh rogers/nhpr

Chris Christie’s first stop was the Farnum Center drug and alcohol treatment facility in Manchester. He stressed addition can affect anyone, and that recovery is possible.

"I just believe everybody deserves a second chance, that everybody deserves to understand that this is treatable."

 NHPR's 2016 Primary candidate calendar and map are your best sources for details on where and when to catch all of the contenders in this year's race for the White House.

Download our iPhone app, State of Democracy, for a mobile interactive map of candidate events. 

Logan Shannon / NHPR

Disasters in developing nations bring out the better angels of the world’s governments and citizens, but where that aid goes has a lot to do with media coverage. On today’s show, we discover why the world’s worst disasters don’t always get the most aid. Also today, a political scientist argues that fringe candidates have a shot at the presidency – if they can get the support of their party. And, if you think Chris Christie is the first presidential candidate whose weight could make or break him, think again.

josh rogers/nhpr

Hillary Clinton came to Keene to listen to workers at Whitney Brothers children’s furniture plant. But she also offered up a tough assessment of the country’s  small business economy.

“We have stalled out. I was very surprised to see that when I began to dig into it.”

When Rand Paul took the podium at Milford Town Hall, he was quick to indicate his vision of what granite state voters want.

“I come to N.H. to announce that I will fight for your right to be left alone.”

Paul railed against government surveillance of phone records and said he’d keep the federal government out of states when it comes to education. He also cited a balanced budget amendment and term limits for member of congress as a way to “defeat the Washington machine.”

Updated at 12:30 p.m. ET

Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., announced today that he will seek the 2016 GOP presidential nomination.

"I have a message — a message that is loud and clear and does not mince words," he told supporters in Louisville, Ky. "We've come to take our country back."

Gage Skidmore via Flickr CC

 New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is taking his signature town hall events on the road.

The potential Republican presidential contender will be kicking off what his team has dubbed a "Tell it like it is" town hall tour in Londonderry, New Hampshire on April 15.

A spokeswoman for his political action committee says a second town hall will he held on April 17.

He'll also hold events in Manchester and Newmarket and speak at a New Hampshire GOP-organized summit in Nashua.

Gage Skidmore / Flickr/cc

It's our monthly check in with Political Junkie Ken Rudin. We're covering some of the top political stories of recent weeks including Indiana's controversial Religious Freedom Restoration Act, federal budget proposals from congress, and the latest from the presidential field of hopefuls.

  Guest:

Gage Skidmore via Flickr CC

 New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is planning a two-day swing through the early-voting state of New Hampshire next month.

The potential Republican presidential contender will be making the trip on April 14-15.

A spokeswoman for his political action committee says Christie is planning to meet with community leaders while he's in town. She says they'll discuss important issues facing the country, including entitlement reform.

Christie is then set to return to the state for the New Hampshire Republican Party's "First-in-the-Nation Leadership Summit" on April 17.

Josh Rogers/nhpr

Easygoing amid a swarm of media, the former Florida Governor chose a Hudson biotech firm for his first  N.H. stop in his likely presidential bid.

"I am joyfully pursuing the possibility of this," Bush said.

Along they way, Bush talked policy with members of the Nashua Chamber of Commerce. He faced questions on education and immigration, areas where his views are at odds with many conservatives in his party.

The  “grown up” approach to immigration policy, Bush told the crowd,  is to provide  undocumented immigrants a path to legal status.

U.S. Department of State

Two prominent staffers in U.S. Sen. Jeanne Shaheen’s office will be leaving to lead Hillary Clinton’s efforts in New Hampshire as she prepares for her likely 2016 presidential bid.

Mike Vlacich was Shaheen’s 2014 campaign manager and Kari Thurman served as the campaign’s political director.

Vlacich received national attention last fall after defending Shaheen’s seat against well-funded Republican challenger Scott Brown.  

Shaheen, who was in the Granite State this week, tells NHPR she wishes her fellow employees all the best.

josh rogers/nhpr

Rick Perry gave a morning speech at St. Anselm college. By lunch he was at a Concord law firm, stressing the executive experience he gained as Texas’s longest serving governor.

Perry described the national mood as "pessimistic," but said would take just a few good decisions -- particularly on energy policy -- to change that. He also called for for cooperation across the asile.

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