New Hampshire

Let The Veepstakes Begin
January 08, 2012

MEREDITH, N.H. -- There are two days still left to go before the polls close in New Hampshire, but Mitt Romney is on a victory lap. At his rally today in Rochester, he brought on stage not only his wife and rock-jawed sons but also their lovely wives and picture-perfect kids, as if it was already the election night party. And he has embarked on what certainly looks like the auditioning of possible running mates. This evening, he appeared with Chris Christie.

Mitt Romney, Much Obliged
January 08, 2012

What better person than the French-speaking Mitt Romney to lay bare the pure beating heart of noblesse oblige. Sunday morning's NBC debate in Concord, N.H. was a vast improvement over the ABC one the night before -- it occurred to the non-Romney candidates that they might want to train their fire on the man who's up 20 points in the New Hampshire polls. Their focus trailed off as the debate progressed, but Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich did manage to produce a revealing exchange at the outset regarding Romney's motivations to enter politics.

The Great Granite State Getaway
January 08, 2012

ROCHESTER, N.H. -- Four years ago, the Republican candidates for president met for a final debate before the New Hampshire primary. Mitt Romney had been the presumed frontrunner but was no longer -- he had been embarrassed by Mike Huckabee in Iowa and was facing a resurgent John McCain in New Hampshire. Yet his rivals could not resist going after him, even in his weakened state. They ganged up on Romney in a tag team, taking turns with their shots and cackling in glee whenever someone else landed a hit.

New SC Numbers Show It’s All About NH
January 06, 2012

Today brought three new South Carolina polls:  Romney leads 37 to 19 for Santorum and 18 for Gingrich in this CNN/Time poll. Romney leads 31 to 24 for Santorum and 24 for Gingrich in this ARG poll. And Romney leads 27 to 24 for Santorum and 18 for Gingrich in this Rasmussen poll. The numbers jump around, but they all point overwhelmingly to the same conclusion: The only way Romney is going to lose South Carolina—and therefore earn himself a bona fide fight—is if the Santorum-Gingrich vote gets consolidated.

Boston Globe Endorses Hunstman; Romney Smiles
January 06, 2012

It’s tempting to believe that anything that boosts Mitt Romney’s rivals is bad news for Romney himself. In fact, that’s not the case, and today’s Boston Globe endorsement of Jon Hunstman illustrates why.  According to the latest Suffolk University tracking poll, Romney has a 23-point lead in New Hampshire over Ron Paul, his closest competitor. Barring a near-miraculous turn of events, Romney will win next Tuesday’s primary contest. The real question, as I noted yesterday, is whether any of the non-Paul contenders can use New Hampshire to establish himself as a credible alternative.

Another Difference Between Gay Marriage And Polygamy
January 06, 2012

Rick Santorum’s moment in the sun is proving to be quality entertainment, as the sweater-vested culture warrior takes his wackiness on tour across New Hampshire and finds himself outmatched by college students. Last night, Santorum was on the losing end of an argument about gay marriage, which he compared, as he often does, to polygamy. Aside from all the obvious reasons, is there an important (and often overlooked) way in which polygamy and gay marriage differ? Yes: One is much more popular than the other. Polling shows that a majority of Americans support same-sex marriage.

Granite-Faced Pragmatism -- And Concession
January 05, 2012

I'm soon headed to New Hampshire for the final days before the primary, but I figured I'd weigh in with a quick thought to add to Walter Shapiro's comprehensive assessment of the situation on the ground there, and Noam's argument that Tuesday's election does matter after all. Here it is: I'm having a hard time seeing how Rick Santorum substantially closes the gap with Mitt Romney with so little time to spare.

Why Santorum’s Fate Hinges on New Hampshire
January 05, 2012

Politico has a piece up today arguing that “N.H. is next, but S.C. is key,” as the headline puts it. The piece goes on to explain:  The Republican presidential candidates have swept into New Hampshire so swiftly, you might be tricked into thinking that next Tuesday’s primary really matters. But with Mitt Romney’s dominance here still unshaken, the other members of the GOP field are already plotting to make their strongest stand against the national front-runner in South Carolina — a conservative state in the heart of a region in which Romney has long struggled to break through.

Conservative Republicans’ Tragic Failure To Stick With a Candidate
January 05, 2012

The results of the Iowa caucuses illuminate the basic structure of today’s Republican Party and offer clues about what’s to come between now and the end of January. Pew’s “political typology,” the latest iteration of which appeared last May, provides the best point of departure. That report used a statistical technique known as cluster analysis to identify four major pro-Republican groups: Staunch Conservatives (11 percent of registered voters), Main Street Conservatives (14 percent), Libertarians (10 percent), and “Disaffecteds” (11 percent).

Can Rick Santorum Pull Off an Upset in New Hampshire?
January 05, 2012

BRENTWOOD, N.H.—During all those lonely months in Iowa, wandering from Pizza Ranch to dingy motel, wondering if 10 voters would show up at the next event, Rick Santorum must have fantasized about his return to New Hampshire, powered by a stunning upset in the caucuses. Somehow, though, it is doubtful that Santorum imagined that his first event in the state would be held in the auditorium of a nursing home. Or that maybe a third of the crowd would drift away before Santorum finished speaking. For nearly 90 minutes, Santorum answered random voter questions.

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