Local Elections

Will NHGOP Flip a Congressional Seat or Two?

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Will NHGOP Flip a Congressional Seat or Two?

Just in case you think Democ­rats are talk­ing through their hats when they pre­dict a “blue wave” in Novem­ber, let me give you a peek at my state’s 2018 recent Con­gres­sional pri­mary. I admit that New Hamp­shire is a small sam­ple size. This is a cau­tion­ary tale, not a pre­dic­tion of anyone’s “wave.”

Our entire cur­rent fed­eral del­e­ga­tion — two Sen­a­tors and two Mem­bers of Con­gress — is Demo­c­ra­tic. Repub­li­can chal­lengers for New Hampshire’s two Con­gres­sional dis­tricts are in place after a pair of fiercely-​contested pri­maries. They are now work­ing to replace Democ­rats in a state where inde­pen­dents make up 40% of the elec­torate, state Democ­rats just shat­tered their own record for num­ber of pri­mary bal­lots cast, and where in 2016 Don­ald Trump fin­ished behind Hillary Clinton.

The state’s chief elec­tion offi­cial, whose pre­dic­tions about turnout are usu­ally on tar­get, had esti­mated that 90,000 Demo­c­ra­tic bal­lots would be cast in the Sep­tem­ber pri­mary. Actual num­ber was over 126,000, which includes a sub­stan­tial num­ber of primary-​day reg­is­trants. The num­ber of GOP bal­lots cast — around 100,000 — looked ane­mic by comparison.

So much for this being an off-​year elec­tion. New Hamp­shire Democ­rats showed in the pri­mary that they are fired up. They want to hang on to those two seats in Con­gress. It’ll take fired-​up Repub­li­cans and allied inde­pen­dents — local ones — to rise to the challenge.

The Gran­ite State Repub­li­can con­gres­sional can­di­dates proved them­selves to be effec­tive grass­roots cam­paign­ers in highly com­pet­i­tive pri­maries. They’re not bur­dened with com­pla­cency. That’s one rea­son why I think that the star­tling num­ber of Demo­c­ra­tic bal­lots in the pri­mary looks more like rea­son for cau­tion than rea­son for panic.

That’s the view from one small dis­trict. How was pri­mary turnout in your area?


Ellen is a New Hamp­shire writer who blogs about the life issues at Leaven for the Loaf.

Now’s the time to cel­e­brate the First Amend­ment and sup­port inde­pen­dent jour­nal­ism by hit­ting DaTip­Jar. Thank you!

Just in case you think Democrats are talking through their hats when they predict a “blue wave” in November, let me give you a peek at my state’s 2018 recent Congressional primary.  I admit that New Hampshire is a small sample size. This is a cautionary tale, not a prediction of anyone’s “wave.”

Our entire current federal delegation – two Senators and two Members of Congress – is Democratic. Republican challengers for New Hampshire’s two Congressional districts are in place after a pair of fiercely-contested primaries. They are now working to replace Democrats in a state where independents make up 40% of the electorate, state Democrats just shattered their own record for number of primary ballots cast, and where in 2016 Donald Trump finished behind Hillary Clinton.

The state’s chief election official, whose predictions about turnout are usually on target, had estimated that 90,000 Democratic ballots would be cast in the September primary. Actual number was over 126,000, which includes a substantial number of primary-day registrants. The number of GOP ballots cast – around 100,000 – looked anemic by comparison.

So much for this being an off-year election. New Hampshire Democrats showed in the primary that they are fired up. They want to hang on to those two seats in Congress. It’ll take fired-up Republicans and allied independents – local ones – to rise to the challenge.

The Granite State Republican congressional candidates proved themselves to be effective grassroots campaigners in highly competitive primaries. They’re not burdened with complacency. That’s one reason why I think that the startling number of Democratic ballots in the primary looks more like reason for caution than reason for panic.

That’s the view from one small district. How was primary turnout in your area?


Ellen is a New Hampshire writer who blogs about the life issues at Leaven for the Loaf. 

Now’s the time to celebrate the First Amendment and support independent journalism by hitting DaTipJar. Thank you!