Tiny New Hampshire taking big role
October 26th, 2012
12:00 PM ET
2 years ago

Tiny New Hampshire taking big role

(CNN) – New Hampshire's four electoral votes are turning into one of the presidential election's most fiercely fought-for prizes, with both candidates headed to the state next week and top surrogates streaming in to try and sway the notoriously independent voters there.

President Barack Obama heads to New Hampshire Saturday for a rally in Nashua, while his GOP rival Mitt Romney will be in the state next week for an event in Manchester. Joe Biden will also travel north for a rally Monday.

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On Friday, the president's campaign announced first lady Michelle Obama would travel to the Granite State next week for a rally at the University of New Hampshire, where she'll be joined by Caroline Kennedy. (UPDATE: Michelle Obama's event in New Hampshire was canceled Friday as the East Cost prepared for Hurricane Sandy.)

Polls, which showed New Hampshire leaning toward Obama in the summer and early fall, have recently tightened. An American Research Group survey taken October 9-11 showed Romney with a two point edge over Obama, 49%-47%. But a UNH poll taken October 17-21 showed Obama with the edge, leading Romney 49%-41%. Both polls were taken ahead of the final presidential debate.

Obama's team, looking to boost voter turnout in the state, has been airing an ad in New Hampshire and other battlegrounds harking back to the razor thin 2000 Florida presidential vote, using the 537-vote deficit in Florida that ultimately put George W. Bush in the White House to encourage Democrats to get out and vote.

The ad is also a vivid reminder to Granite Staters that their four electoral votes can sway a presidential outcome. Bush won 48% of the vote there in 2000, compared to 46% who went for Gore, but the result was buffered by 4% who went for third party candidate Ralph Nader. The four electoral votes that went for Bush were the lynchpin in the 271-266 Electoral College result.

Obama won the state by ten points in 2008, but Republicans were resurgent in the 2010 midterm elections, winning a seat in the U.S. Senate and the state's two House seats, which were previously held by Democrats.

New Hampshire will also be a key battleground in the fight for women voters. The first lady's trip to the state's largest university will underscore the Obama campaign's attempt to paint Romney as extreme on contraception and reproductive rights. New Hampshire Republicans have long been more conservative fiscally and more middle-of-the-road socially, making the push for social moderates all the more important for Obama's team.

One of Romney's top surrogates in New Hampshire, Sen. Kelly Ayotte, steered clear of any social issue controversy this week when she canceled campaign events for Indiana Senate candidate Richard Mourdock.

The push for women voters in New Hampshire also carries ramifications beyond the presidential ballots. Female Democrats are vying for seats in three of the down-ballot races in the state as well. If they're all successful on November 6, New Hampshire would be the first state with a female governor, and an all-female Congressional delegation.


Filed under: 2012 • Mitt Romney • New Hampshire • President Obama
soundoff (50 Responses)
  1. Guest

    I was listening to Ty Wood's father( one of the seals whod died in benghazi) this morning. Biden said something to him so crass if I quoted him, WRAL would not allow that language on this site.

    October 26, 2012 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  2. Mike Taylor

    Was Mitt visiting a fat farm? Is Gary Johnson going to be in NH?

    October 26, 2012 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  3. kiwisepp

    Hello American People, I am a green-cardholder and am initially from china. I can not vote. But i will win either way.

    My home country wins, if you vote for Romney. China will have another 8 years for fast and solid development just like Bush's 8 years, borrowing our money and going on wars

    My adopted country wins, if you vote for Obama. Do you understand:

    1) what does 99% mean,
    2) do you know what he means with 47%
    3)who did pull you out of Iraq
    4) who will pull you out of Afghanistan

    Romney is a disgusting person I have ever seen. He fooled the far right first and now he is trying to fool the moderates.
    The entire GOP is disgusting. See who are they, first is Todd Akin, then you got this Meatloaf. years ago, you got Sarah Palin, Michell Backmann.

    October 26, 2012 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  4. OBAMA2012

    Critical thinking, you are so immature. Using young women, what! All the ad is saying is make sure u vote for the right person stop putting extra effort into this! The president will win NV,OH,WI,CO,IA,and MI. Gov Romney will win FL,VA,NC and come up short on electoral votes!

    October 26, 2012 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  5. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    By the way, is that a fake plate or does that mean that someone's car is out in the parking lot getting a ticket courtesy of you?

    October 26, 2012 01:11 pm at 1:11 pm |
  6. Steve

    No one likes Romney, not even his own party.

    But they do want to fulfill their pledge to make Obama a one term President.

    SO they are stuck with him., even to the detriment of the nation.

    Massachusetts doesn't even like him, and he is their ex-Governor.

    What do they know? : the truth about him. Lying scheming panderer.

    October 26, 2012 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  7. Blue Bird

    Character matter? Who has talked about this? The Republicans, correct? So, why didn't Republiocans cry aloud about Romney's character? Romney is a war and tax dodger, flip flopper and liar. Is " Mr. Corporations are people " Romney a good guy for America? We the voters are the juidge.

    October 26, 2012 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  8. SMJ

    Flori-DUH may go to Rmoney (we did, after all elect a crook as Governor), but the President wins the rest. All he needs is NH, IA, WI, and OH and it's over, baby!! OBAMA/BIDEN 2012!!!

    October 26, 2012 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  9. Mungstu Teshome

    This is directly to "Critical Thinking has done homework!!!" I can't believe you said that, after all the Republican "Willards Robme" and his friend are trashing women right regarding abortion. I am a republican women and i will not stand seeing my right taken and abused by this clown Willard Robme. I am going to vote today at Ohio and i have 10 family in Nevada, Florida and they all already vote to the President, how have fought for the right of women. I wish all the republican can shot them self on their ball so they can feel how we women are abused and humiliated.

    October 26, 2012 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  10. Keane

    Like their Massachusetts neighbor, New Hampshire belongs to Obama!!!

    October 26, 2012 01:28 pm at 1:28 pm |
  11. Ray E. (Georgia)

    Humm,
    It's not over yet is it? The Election is going to be a close election. Most of the Polls are indicating a Romney Victory. The Country has a host of problems that need real leadership, something that has been missing he last 4 years. Jobs is at the top of the list. The Tea leaves are indicating Romney will be elected.

    October 26, 2012 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  12. Keane

    Americans will come to realize that the anti-Islam film was created and sent to Egyptian TV as part of a political agenda to create unrest in the Middle East. Benghazi security forces would have more apt to defend our Libyan Ambassador if they had not felt the protestors and attackers were justified in rioting over that inflammatory film. American, ever question the timing of that film coming out during election season? You should.

    October 26, 2012 01:33 pm at 1:33 pm |
  13. mass resident

    Let me tell you I'm from Boston and Willard wouldn't get my vote.. He fired most of the women he hired and penalized mass if you didn't have health ins. and gas prices went up with state taxes the guy is a liar and he's planning on buying his way into the presidency..

    October 26, 2012 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  14. S.B. Stein E.B. NJ

    Did Romney ever answer the question as to why he never ran for a second term as governor of MA? I think that everyone needs to ask that question.

    October 26, 2012 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  15. Mungstu Teshome

    And you "critical thinking" i don't think you are a women, but if you are kill yourself. All women who is voting for Willard Robmen just take yourself to the highest building and throw yourself. You all have to be ashamed of yourself. As a women i feel insulted by all of you who is voting for this monster Willard Robme. He will destroy our lives and make us bag, just like you all brain dead people was crying during Bush Administration. Aren't we enough with Bush??? Our country is back on track, please any one out their make a different by voting for Obama2012

    October 26, 2012 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  16. rh

    It's like the media doesn't notice it is Romney's second home. That he has spent many many hours there and many many dollars there, even before either of his presidential campaigns.

    If he lose NH, I expect him to lose every state. I believe Obama will win, but I believe that NH will definitely go to Romney.

    October 26, 2012 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  17. larry

    The dems are trying very hard to change the subject,the issue here is jobs, and all of us know obamas record, pretty dismal, Romney will get this country going and get us working

    October 26, 2012 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  18. Commentater

    "Tiny New Hampshire" , it's so cute and tiny, filled with tiny little people who average about 2' – 8-1/2" tall and who only weigh about 62 pounds.... they all live in the "Shire". The state motto is "Follow The Yellow Brick Road"

    October 26, 2012 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  19. mass resident

    He used excatly the same health care reform thats obama has just now its called obama care . He didn't run again in Mass because he knew he wouldn't make it back in we have a democrate now. I don't trust him he changes his mind like the weather. How are we to have a president that is already rubbing foreign people the wrong way. Mark my words we will be in war within a yr of his getting in office. All our troops will be away from their familys and dying over seas all for what. The rich keep on getting rich and the middle class and porr keep on struggling.... I'm a single mom what happens with me.

    October 26, 2012 01:44 pm at 1:44 pm |
  20. ronvan

    CONFUSED? According to what I am seeing and hearing, things are GETTING BETTER!!, NOT GREAT, but moving in the right direction. Go ahead and elect M. R. and watch all of that stop in its tracks! Hold onto your pants as our troops start moving BACK overseas. And watch that money of yours fly away into the hands of the rich!! And lets not forget the "party of NO", rebublicans, who have openly stated that they want Obama out and to heck with US. BUT, it really doesn't matter because if M. R. wins then the dems. will become the party of NO!!

    October 26, 2012 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  21. REDFIRESTORM

    2 % growth is right around where it has been staying all previous obama quarters - we need AT LEAST 3% to get the economy going and start creating real jobs - obama policies have failed to raise the quarterly growth above the point needed. romney business intervetion needed now. sorry, obambi-poo poo

    October 26, 2012 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  22. Ann Wilson

    Romney is a very successful CORPORATE RAIDER. He intends to raid what is left of the middle class and
    give all the tax breaks to the rich 1%. His economic policies were already tried in the 1920's and 1930's, when our conservative political leaders wanted to pay down the deficit at the expense of economic growth. History shows that that approach triggered the Great Depression of the 1930's. This is simple history–look it up yourself. That austerity
    approach is currently failing in Italy, Spain and Greece. Economically speaking, you have to have some economic
    growth first before you can pay your debts, otherwise you will go broke. Simple as that.

    October 26, 2012 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  23. Stew22

    Obama inherited a bad economy and made it worse. As far as ending wars, All he did was move troops around and start other conflicts. He's worse than Bush in my opinion. Not only did entangle us in more middle eastern conflicts but he doubled our deficit, restricted our ability to tap into our natural resources, stopped the expansion of the keystone pipeline, made it less attractive for small and large businesses to grow with growing govt regulations and restrictions and of course Obama care. Unless Romney is elected, Obama care and higher taxes will go into effect Jan 2013. Romney will work with congress to repeal these. As a small business owner who wants to hire more people and grow, my vote is for Romney.

    October 26, 2012 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  24. Phyllis G Williams

    Sununu is more brilliant than his Creator Who says "Ye are all ONE in Christ Jesus" (Galatians 3: 28)
    ONE body,ONE Spirit, ONE hope, ONE Lord, ONE faith, ONE baptism, ONE God and Father of ALL, Who is above ALL,
    and through ALL, AND IN YOU ALL" (Ephesians 4: 4-6)

    October 26, 2012 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  25. pkrbkr

    How naieve of me to think that the election of the first African American president meant that racism was fading. Instead it is there, maybe more subtle, but very obviously in the hearts and minds of many. Very sad for all of us. And the party that feeds into this is the "Christian family values" party.....and why doesn't Romney call out those who say this stuff...instead he says,"nobody asks me for MY birth certificate." At least John McCain repudiated a lady who spoke against Obama calling him a Muslim. We need to see below skin color and recognize that we are ALL God's children.....the slaves built the White House, for gosh sakes! I suggest some of you who write and believe this racist garbage recognize what our history has been. And, as the saying goes, treat others and speak of others, as you would like to be treated and spoken about.

    October 26, 2012 02:03 pm at 2:03 pm |
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