|NEW HAMPSHIRE||4 Electoral Votes|
Sen. Kerry hails from neighboring Massachusetts and he had spent more than 75 days campaigning here for the first-in-the-nation primary and so he was a familiar face to voters. Concord Monitor Editor Mike Pride believes that, "Kerry won New Hampshire at least in part because of his performance during the primary." Pride noted that it is hard to get comfortable with Kerry, but that his frequent visits during the primary gave voters plenty of time to do so. Kerry's selection of former Gov. Jeanne Shaheen as his national campaign chair was also significant. Kerry-Edwards state director Nick Clemons said that Shaheen's role was not just window dressing. "She knew that New Hampshire was winnable, and no doubt made our lives easier by ensuring we had what we needed in New Hampshire," Clemons said. "She is also still the most effective in-state surrogate, both with voters and the press." Clemons said that the campaign "employed a very aggressive earned media strategy, an unprecedented field program, and a paid media program that kept us competitive with the Bush campaign." In addition there was synergy with the gubernatorial campaign. "It also helped that John Lynch ran a disciplined campaign with a moderate message that coincided with that of John Kerry," stated Clemons.
On the Republican side, the party's registration advantage eroded considerably between 2000 and 2004. Some observers said that first-term Gov. Craig Benson, whom Democrats had repeatedly labeled as corrupt since his election in November 2002, exerted a drag on President Bush's re-election effort. Bush ran more than 5,000 votes ahead of Benson. Clemons asserted that, "George Bush did not represent the kind of Republicans that NH GOPers normally support. This state is socially moderate and fiscally conservative, and they viewed George Bush as socially conservative and fiscally--out of control (after all, this is the home state of Warren Rudman)." The Monitor's Mike Pride also suggested that doubts about the war in Iraq were greater in New Hampshire than in some other places.
In his early reflections on the results, Saint Anselm College Prof. Dante Scala summed up, "All in all, much of blue New Hampshire turned deeper blue, and much of red New Hampshire was downright scarlet."
Not only was New Hampshire the only state to flip from red to blue, New Hampshire Democratic chair Kathy Sullivan notes that, "For the first time since 1964, our presidential nominee captured more than 50 percent of the New Hampshire vote." Both Clemons and Sullivan also point to the party's gains in down ticket races.
There was a minor postscript in New Hampshire. On November 5, 2004 Ralph Nader, citing "reports of irregularities in the vote reported on the AccuVote Diebold Machines in comparison to exit polls and trends in voting in New Hampshire," requested that the New Hampshire Secretary of State conduct a hand recount in selected precincts. Ida Briggs, a software consultant from Michigan, did the analysis that came to Nader's attention. The recount did not turn up significant discrepancies.
New Hampshire Democratic Party Chair Kathy Sullivan Nov. 3, 2004 post-election message.
Kerry-Edwards State Director Nick Clemons Dec. 16, 2004 observations.
Concord Monitor Editor Mike Pride spoke with Democracy in Action in a brief Dec. 22, 2004 telephone conversation.
|Final Month (Oct. 2-Nov. 2, 2004)|
W. Bush - 1 visit (1 day)
Dick Cheney (and Lynne Cheney) - 0 visits
Laura Bush (solo) - 1 visit (1 day)
Kerry - 3 visits (3 days)
John Edwards - 1 visit (1 day)
Teresa Heinz Kerry (solo) - 1 visit (1 day)
Elizabeth Edwards (solo) - 3 visits (3 days)
|Eight Months (March 2-Nov. 2, 2004)|
W. Bush - 6 visits (6 days)
Dick Cheney (and Lynne Cheney) - 2 visits (2 days)
Laura Bush (solo) - 3 visits (3 days)
Kerry - 5 visits (5 days)
John Edwards - 3 visits (3 days)
Teresa Heinz Kerry (solo) - 1 visit (1 day)
Elizabeth Edwards (solo) - 4 visits (4 days)
The Union Leader [Manchester] (10/14/04)
Foster's Daily Democrat (10/21/04)
The Telegraph [Nashua] (10/24/04)
Concord Monitor (10/20/04)
Valley News (10/24/04)
Keene Sentinel (10/24/04)
Portsmouth Herald (10/24/04)
Third Party and Independent
Nader Ballot Access
On August 11, 2004 the campaign submitted more than 5,500 signatures; New Hampshire requires 1,500 signatures in each of the two congressional districts. The NHDP charged the New Hampshire Republicans with manipulating the process by coordinating a petition drive for Nader (August 10 NHDP News) and later challenged Nader's nomination papers based on "evidence of fraud, forgery and deceit" (September 13 NHDP News). However, on September 24 the five-person state Ballot Law Commission rejected the Democratic challenge in a vote of 5-0. (September 25 Statement by Nader coordinator).
Republican State Committee
Party of NH
"D" Haddock (D)
launched on August 23, 2001,
published by the Publius Group.
Copyright © 2004, 2005 Eric M. Appleman/Democracy in Action.