November 6, 2008


Blue Hampshire: A passing phase? (KATHY McCORMACK, 11/06/08, Associated Press)

[A]llan Racklin, who teaches sociology at Franklin Pierce University, isn't ready to call New Hampshire blue. He said he would wait another election cycle or two and see if the anti-Bush phenomenon wears off before he even considers the question.

"Even in terms of the intensity of the blue, it's a mix of candidates in terms of what kinds of Democratic principles, or shade of Democrat we have," he said. For example, he said, Senate winner Jeanne Shaheen "is at best a moderate, very moderate, very tentative Democrat. A generation or two ago she would have fit very nicely into the moderate wing of the Republican Party."

Wayne Lesperance, who teaches political science at New England College, also says it's too early to tell.

"What's going to be really important is to see what happens in two years," he said. "If we accept the argument that so much of the success for people like (U.S. Rep.) Carol Shea-Porter and Jeanne Shaheen is attributable to Barack Obama's candidacy, what happens in two years in the case of Carol Shea-Porter if she has to run again, (and U.S. Rep.) Paul Hodes if he has to run again? Is that same level of support going to be there? ... This Democratic groundswell, is it sustainable?"

Jennifer Donahue of Saint Anselm College's Institute of Politics expects the state to move back and forth politically depending on what voters are experiencing in a given election cycle.

The implosion of ex-Governor Craig Benson (R) and the conservatism of Governor John Lynch (D) has given the Democrats a very strong top of the ticket in a state where the governor is up for election every two years. The GOP would benefit from John Sununu taking a run at governor in '10.

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Posted by Orrin Judd at November 6, 2008 8:37 AM
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