Blog: Politics & Policy

Data, news, and analysis of politics and public policy in New Hampshire.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Every four years brings a new round of comparisons between New Hampshire and Iowa, the first two states in the presidential nominating calendar. Discussions about voters in the two states tend to focus on demographic differences like religion and political leanings. 

  New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, however, has a different benchmark to assess the states' electorates: sheer attitude.

NHPR staff photos

Six Republican presidential hopefuls are taking part in an education summit at Londonderry High School on Wednesday.

The summit is being put on by American Federation for Children, a conservative school choice advocacy group.

Lauren Camera, a reporter for Education Week, joined NHPR’s Morning Edition to help sort out where the candidates stand on K-12 education policy.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

When Frances Sullivan lived in Maine, she saw a lot of political ads on TV, especially during primary season. But she didn’t pay too much attention. As an independent, she didn’t participate in Maine’s presidential caucuses.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

The presidential field is crowded: sardine-can crowded. Voters trying to keep up on the race have more than twenty candidates to follow. On the Republican side alone, there are more candidates (17) than there are voters in Dixville Notch. With such a packed GOP field, the leaders are often only polling in the teens, and there is little daylight between clusters of candidates.

krpoliticaljunkie.com

As anyone with a calculator or a newspaper knows, there are 17 candidates for the Republican presidential nomination.  On the Democratic side, it’s a much more manageable number.  Five are in the race to be their party’s standard bearer.  (Six, if Vice President Joe Biden, who is said to be contemplating a race, gets in.)  In any case, the number works for one debate stage.

But why so few Democrats?  

Cheryl Senter/NHPR

While Republican candidates for president have so far logged two debates (and one forum) this election cycle, Democrats are arguing over the timing and number of their own primary debates.

Sara Plourde / NHPR

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign has successfully attracted thousands of enthusiastic volunteers and other supporters. The challenge now is to translate that enthusiasm into success at the polls in early-voting states like New Hampshire.

A recent story by NHPR reporter Sam Evans-Brown examined how Sanders' camp is trying to build an organization -- both in New Hampshire and nationally -- to harness that support once the voting starts. This chart provides a bird's-eye view of what that organization looks like to date.

N.H.'s Civic Health Could Use a Boost

Jul 30, 2015
Allegra Boverman for NHPR

As hosts of the first-in-the-nation presidential primary, Granite Staters often claim a reputation for political sophistication and civic engagement. But a new report finds that relatively few residents are politically involved and, when Election Day rolls around, they are more likely to accept the status quo and stay home rather than cast a ballot.  

portraits of Thomas Jefferson and Andrew Jackson
Rembrandt Peale, courtesy White House Historical Association/Thomas Sully, courtesy US Senate

New Hampshire Democrats are set to take up a question several other state parties have considered in recent weeks: should the party rename its annual Jefferson-Jackson Dinner?

Spokesperson Lizzy Price says state party chair Ray Buckley brought the question to the party's executive committee, which referred it to another panel. That committee, Price says, will "discuss the issue and offer any recommendations back to the executive committee."

NHPR

A new polls shows that in New Hampshire, businessman Donald Trump is leading the pack of Republicans in the presidential race.

The NBC News-Marist poll shows Trump with 21 percent support among potential Republican primary voters. Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush trails at 14 percent, followed by Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker with 12 percent.

Ron? Rand? At Least They Got the Last Name Right

Jul 24, 2015

Politicians are always looking to get their name in the newspaper -- provided that it actually is their name.

A Laconia Daily Sun headline was at least half correct in reporting which GOP presidential candidate has plans to be in Tilton Saturday.

It is, of course, Rand Paul who will be in the state this weekend, rather than his father, three-time presidential hopeful and former Texas congressman Ron Paul. 

Mergers Shrink New Hampshire Insurance Market

Jul 24, 2015

The number of health insurers in New Hampshire shrank by one this morning with the news that the state’s two largest players, Anthem and Cigna, have agreed to merge in a deal worth more than $48 billion.

Twitter

More than anywhere else, New Hampshire political news breaks and is debated swiftly on Twitter. That includes tweets not just from reporters, but from the politicians themselves. Of course, all of this can be followed using the hashtag #nhpolitics.

Here's how news of Gov. Maggie Hassan's budget compromise unfolded on Twitter through the day. 

When it comes to 2016 presidential campaign spending in New Hampshire, there’s one clear winner so far: The state Democratic Party. 

Roughly 30 percent of total candidate spending in New Hampshire so far this year has gone to the state party, and it came as a single, $100,000 expense: Hillary Clinton’s purchase of the party’s so-called "voter file." 

NHPR's recent interactive map showing how Granite Staters are donating to the 2016 presidential candidates is a unique visual guide to campaign fundraising.

On first glance, a couple of obvious geographic partisan disparities jump out. For instance, Republican donors are heavily concentrated in southern Hillsborough County and Rockingham County. There's also a pocket of Republican donors in the Lakes Region.

Michael Jolly / Flickr

The Union Leader will host its own Republican presidential debate in less than 3 weeks, part of an effort to preserve New Hampshire’s influence in the nominating process.

Zach Nugent for NHPR

Rep. Frank Guinta's recent troubles with the Federal Election Commission have put a serious dent in his fundraising efforts over the past few months. 

Sara Plourde / NHPR

Governor Maggie Hassan’s veto of the Republican-backed state budget bill has dominated State House news in recent weeks. But Hassan’s veto pen has seen plenty of non-budget action this session, as well.

What We Know About Marco Rubio’s New Hampshire Ad Buy

Jul 13, 2015

WMUR, New Hampshire's largest TV station, reversed itself last week and decided to sell ads to Republican Sen. Marco Rubio’s presidential campaign.

  Here are five things we can tell you about the Rubio ad buy, based on the orders uploaded to WMUR’s public FCC file.

1. The first ad will air during the noon hour on December 1, during a broadcast of “Who Wants to be a Millionaire,” and the last during the noon hour on Primary Day, presumably February 9, 2016 - during a broadcast of “Who Wants to be a Millionaire.”

At campaign events, house parties and town hall meetings across the state, presidential contenders are being met by potential voters who want to know what they plan to do about the role of money in politics.

And the candidates aren’t shying away from the question.

Democrats have taken aim at Citizens United, the Supreme Court’s 2010 ruling that struck down limits on independent expenditures by corporations and unions.

Four Things You Should Know About Money in Politics

Jul 9, 2015
Beverly via Flickr CC

What are the limits on presidential campaign funding? Can I really spend whatever I want to help my candidate get elected?

Thomas Fearon / NHPR

A new report finds New Hampshire is struggling to improve its mental health system, as it agreed to in a $30 million dollar lawsuit settlement. 

A court-appointed monitor finds, one year into the settlement, the state is lagging on nearly every benchmark. 

If you’ve been wondering how the state budget battle might play out through the dog days of summer, the past week provided some insight. None of it, however, seems very promising for a smooth resolution.

Brady Carlson/NHPR

Medicine came up often when GOP presidential candidate and former neurosurgeon Ben Carson campaigned at the Corner View Restaurant in Concord Wednesday.

“I’ve never lost my awe of the brain,“ Carson confided to a pre-med student who approached him inside the diner with a portrait to sign.

But Carson wasn’t alone in talking about -- and expressing wonder at -- the human body.

Candy Carson, the candidate’s wife, swapped birth stories with a group of women in the restaurant.

Unlike Trump, Carson Says He Plans To Watch His Language

Jul 7, 2015
Paige Sutherland for NHPR

Donald Trump is providing an example for his fellow GOP presidential candidates -- an example of how not to talk on the campaign trail.

The Hechinger Report

Here at State of Democracy, we love a good graphic. Maps, charts, tables -- any illustration that displays lots of data in a clear, informative manner earns a gold star from us. Here's one recent example that caught our eye: a map showing the graduation rate for nearly every school district in the United States in 2013.

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.  

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Donald Trump's recent comments about undocumented Mexican immigrants have cost him business deals ranging from the Miss USA Pageant to a clothing line at Macy's. Trump's stance is also drawing increasing criticism from his rivals for the GOP presidential nomination.

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.

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