Election Blog: One Big Win For Republicans, Many Wins For Democrats In N.H.
Voters headed to the polls across New Hampshire Tuesday to vote in the midterm elections. Click here for all of NHPR's 2108 election coverage. Scroll down to read our real-time coverage of Election Day.
Both of New Hampshire's congressional districts have been won by Democrats. Incumbent Annie Kuster defeated Steve Negron by a sizeable margin, while Chris Pappas beat Eddie Edwards in a much closer race. Pappas will be the first openly gay congressman elected from New Hampshire.
Governor Chris Sununu speaks to supporters after defeating Molly Kelly.
"The next two years are going to be a little bit different," Sununu said, alluding to Democratic gains in the New Hampshire legislature.
The CD2 race has been called for incumbent Democratic Congresswoman Annie Kuster. Speaking to supporters at her Concord headquarters, she promised to continue working for veterans and on bipartisan initiatives to tackle the opioid crisis, among other things.
Democratic challenger Molly Kelly speaks to the crowd at her headquarters in Manchester.
Democrat Molly Kelly concedes to Governor Chris Sununu.
Republican CD1 candidate Eddie Edwards gives an interview at his campaign headquarters in Manchester. Photo by Tom Roy.
Republican former state rep. Steve Negron gave a podium speech in which he spoke about his race against Congresswoman Annie Kuster in the past tense, but did not concede. Photo by Daniela Allee.
The mood is "quiet and patient" at the headquarters of Republican Steve Negron, who is challenging incumbent Annie Kuster in the 1st Congressional District. Kuster currently holds a strong lead in that race.
Retiring Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter pays a visit to the campaign headquarters of Chris Pappas, the Democrat running to replace her in CD1.
NHPR's Daniela Allee is covering the scene at Steve Negron's headquarters in Nashua. Negron is the Republican former state rep challenging Democrat Annie Kuster in CD2.
NHPR's Sarah Gibson is reporting from Republican CD1 candidate Eddie Edwards' campaign headquarters in Manchester.
8: 30 PM
Political reporter Lauren Chooljian gives our broadcast team an update from CD1 Democratic candidate Chris Pappas' headquarters in Manchester.
Minutes before the polls close across the state, Governor Chris Sununu made an appearance at his campaign headquarters in Manchester.
"It's looking good but it's going to be a long night," he told NHPR's Josh Rogers.
There's still a long line for voter registration in Exeter less than an hour before polls close. Photo by Lara Bricker for NHPR.
NHPR's team is set up to report from the Puritan Backroom in Manchester. The Puritan is the restaurant co-owned by CD1 Democratic candidate Chris Pappas, and the site will also serve as Democratic gubernatorial candidate Molly Kelly this evening.
The view of the podium at Sununu's campaign headquarters in downtown Manchester.
Oyster River High School in Durham saw throngs of student voters from the nearby University of New Hampshire campus throughout the day. The polling place is about a mile from the center of campus, and in past years the university has offered transportation for students who wanted to vote locally.
UNH did not offer its own shuttle this year, but other groups like NextGen — a liberal PAC trying to mobilize young voters — did. And that made a big difference for students like Avery Judd.
“To take time out of the middle of the day and either walk here or find someone with a car would have probably discouraged me from voting,” said Judd, who also helped with the New Hampshire Democratic Party on campus this campaign season.
Some students and locals also stepped in to organize their own Election Day shuttles to and from the polls. One of those drivers was Jouval Mejias, who graduated from UNH earlier this year, is serving as the field director for his friend Cam Kenney, who is running for state representative in Durham.
“It’s really important to have that transportation to get here and then transportation to get back, that’s why I’m personally giving people rides, otherwise he—” Mejias pointed to another friend joining him at the polls, “He just told me, if he wouldn’t have called me, he probably wouldn’t have voted. That’s why it’s important to get people to the polls, because every vote counts.”
NHPR's news team will be reporting from campaign headquarters in all the major statewide races. Producer Justine Paradis snapped this photo of signs outside Congresswoman Annie Kuster's HQ at the Common Man in Concord.
In Derry today, Penny Berceli said she came out to vote for a simple reason - change:
Berceli said she had to come and go from her polling place four time because of traffic jams and crowds that prevented her from voting.
In Bedford, officials said long lines for voter registrations were consistent throughout the day. Photo by Allegra Boverman.
Brian Shields is vice-chair of the state Libertarian Party, and he was holding signs for his candidates outside Somersworth City Hall. He says he hopes today’s high voter turnout is a help, not a hindrance, for his third-party base:
The Libertarian Party needs to earn at least 4 percent of the vote in the governor’s race to be on the ballot in 2020.
The hourly voter count in Bedford shows solid turnout. In 2014, there were 9,637 total voters. As of 4 p.m., Bedford counted more than 7,000 ballots. Photo by Allegra Boverman.
Manchester Ward 10 moderator Chris Messier says turnout at his polling location has been "great."
"We are a bit of a bellwether," he told photographer Allegra Boverman, "People seem to be voting with determination."
Messier, right, was busy putting out new ballots when Boverman caught up with him.
NHPR's Casey McDermott reports that voter turnout in Durham, home of the main UNH campus, just surpassed 3,900. In 2014, total voter turnout for the midterm election was 4,268.
Portsmouth polling places saw a morning rush of voters. After casting their ballots, some stopped by Alyssa Almeida Duncan’s studio for an Election Day portrait.
Before noon, the photographer had taken more than a hundred photos of voters, each holding up a large “I Voted” poster. She plans to welcome in voters for the free photos until the polls in the Port City close at 7 p.m.
The idea, she says, is to promote civic engagement. And her doors open to all voters, regardless of party.
Stopping by her studio, two voters who had just posed for their portrait spoke of the importance of this midterm election. And, a woman added, to “smash the patriarchy.”
The booming economy has been a major talking point this election, but some voters aren’t convinced it will last. 23-year old Zach Venne of Manchester says he’s voting because he’s concerned about the economy and student debt.
“I myself had a lower amount of student loan debt, and that was over 20,000 dollars," he told NHPR's Sarah Gibson. "If you’re focused on paying off your debts, then you don’t have money to spend in the economy; if you don’t have money to spend in the economy, then the economy stagnates.”
Venne voted mostly for Libertarian and Dem candidates, and he said registering today at Ward 3 was easy - he just brought a copy of his lease.
NHPR's Casey McDermott, who has been covering efforts to change New Hampshire's voting laws since 2016, is reporting from Oyster River High School, the polling place for UNH students.
turnout in gonic, near rochester, was high at 800 by noon (they had ~450 votes total in the primary). clerk says it feels like a presidential year. it's starting to rain, and people outside are trading red wave/blue wave chants #nhpolitcs #ElectionDay @nhpr pic.twitter.com/8ogvVBbKmk— Annie Ropeik (@aropeik) November 6, 2018
State Rep. Jim MacKay, who's running for his tenth term in the New Hampshire House, greeted voters outside Concord's Ward 4 polling place Tuesday morning. He said he's feeling good about his chances for re-election, but, "you never know."
In Bow, a steady stream of voters headed into their polling place at Bow Memorial School.
Voter Rosanne Kane told NHPR's Robert Garrova that the governor's race was top of mind. She said she's voting for Democrat Molly Kelly, and for all the other Democrats on her ballot, because of her feelings about President Trump:
Gary Nylen, a life-long Republican, was also casting a ballot in Bow. He said he was thinking about national politics, and the potential for compromise:
Nylen, who is in his 70s, also said he's never seen the country as divided as he believes it is now.
Southern N.H. reporter Sarah Gibson reports long lines, "glitches" with ballot counter at Manchester's Ward 3.
Long lines at Ward 3 in Manchester. Some glitches w/ the ballot tabulator this morning - officials say it could be because of the type of paper in this year’s ballot. They says it’s been fixed, & there are spare tabulators on hand at city hall. #nhpolitics pic.twitter.com/0fx7vyUEkT— Sarah Gibson (@schadgibson) November 6, 2018
Former Congressman Frank Guinta voted in Manchester's Ward 1. "I'm exercising my civic duty," he told NHPR's Josh Rogers.
As NHPR's Britta Greene reports, a top issue on Plainfield voters' minds is compromise. Listen to what voters Betsy Rybeck-Lynd, Dave Lillie, and Robin Liston had to say:
Josh Rogers is talking with voters and volunteers at Manchester's Ward 3.
Managing Editor Cori Princell brought her dog Satchel to Concord's Ward 5 polls this morning. She's not alone in bringing her dog along to witness democracy in action, if the #dogsatpollingstations hashtag on Twitter is any indication.
Senior Political Reporter Josh Rogers stopped by Ward 3 in Manchester, where the voter registration table has been busy this morning.
"Tell your listeners to send coffee," poll worker Albert Perrault told Rogers.
In Concord, 70-year-old Greg Mackers says he's hoping his vote will help make some changes and move the country forward:
Twenty-six-year-old Holly McIntyre says the current political climate in New Hampshire and across the country has been tense, but moving as well:
NHPR's Robert Garrova is in Bow, where a steady stream of voters have been casting ballots this morning.
Upper Valley reporter Britta Greene is capturing the scene in Plainfield, where officials say they had to start "crowd control" as the polls opened, and in Lebanon, where - as pictured in the second photo - someone saw a great marketing opportunity.
Harold Jones is a poll worker who has been helping with elections in Plainfield for fifteen years. He says this is the biggest turnout he's seen for a midterm:
Campaign workers hold signs outside Hillside School in Manchester.
Polls are open across New Hampshire. NHPR's news team will be reporting throughout the day and evening, talking to voters, candidates, and poll workers around the state. You can follow our reporters on Twitter right here.