It's not exactly a rambunctious crowd here at the Derryfield in Manchester. Folks are just eating, talking or checking their phones for the latest poll numbers. Smith himself hasn't shown up yet and there hasn't been any spontaneous cheering or chanting.
Supporters don't seem anxious so much as resigned - but they're still hopeful. They're also hungry, and not just for the food - there has been a real lack of polling updates. Those with smartphones are making good use of them, but several supporters are turning to members of the press for the latest numbers.
Long-time friends and supporters of Maggie Hassan are early attendees at the Hassan camp at the Puritan Conference Center in Manchester. Nancy Rockwell, Hassan's pastor, waits to give Hassan a bouquet of pink roses, with Chaplain Sue Goodspeed.
Across the room, long-time friends of Hassan's family Sue Ratnoff and Lynda Beck gaze at a television, above the podium. "We're more than friends," Ratnoff says. "We know she's honest. And by the way, she'd make a terrific governor."
Kevin Smith supporters finally outnumber media and campaign staff. People are hitting the bar, and the gourmet food buffet featuring tomato basil crackers, tabouli and hummus. Still, the Derryfield Country Club is far from full.
Early numbers are coming in with 5% of the precincts reporting and Smith is already far behind his primary opponent Ovide Lamontange. Smith has about 2.5 thousand votes (23.5%) and Lamontange has about 8 thousand (75.4%).
Voters in southwestern New Hampshire are showing support for their candidates in today’s primary.There are a few local races in the Monadnock Region, but most eyes are on the governor’s race.
Janine Lesser is casting her vote for Democratic candidate Jackie Cilley.
"I believe that she has managed to change the conversation about the fiscal structure in the state, and you don’t get a candidate like that very often," says Lesser. "I think she is the strongest of the candidates, and I’m excited about her."
NHPR will have special live coverage of tomorrow's state primary beginning at 8 pm and lasting throughout the evening. Laura Knoy of The Exchange will host the live broadcast, and we'll hear from NHPR reporters and analysts at the camps of gubernatorial candidates, Jackie Cilley, Maggie Hassan, Ovide Lamontagne, and Kevin Smith.
Check back here at nhpr.org and follow @nhpr on twitter for the latest primary results, news, and photos.
Last week, the Justice Department approved New Hampshire's new law requiring voters to present a valid photo ID at the polls, or to sign an affidavit attesting to their identity in order to vote. Josh Rogers, NHPR’s Senior Political Reporter, is here with more on what New Hampshire voters can expect.
If you haven’t heard that Republican congressmen Charlie Bass and Frank Guinta are facing primary challenges, you’re far from alone. At least, that’s according to a recent Granite State Poll.
Representative Frank Guinta faces one challenger, while fellow Republican Charlie Bass has four people vying for his slot on the November ballot. But University of New Hampshire pollster Andy Smith says more than nine out of ten constituents have no idea who these would-be contenders are.
When the Supreme Court ruled on the Affordable Care Act, it said states must be given a choice about expanding their Medicaid programs.
Option A: Keep things as they are.
Option B: Enroll more people, and the Federal government will help you pay for their care.
Democrat Jackie Cilley likes that second option. She says that if New Hampshire doesn’t grow its Medicaid rolls, poor people will continue to slip through the cracks, and that Republican lawmakers in Concord would bear the blame.