Tiny New Hampshire taking big role
October 26th, 2012
12:00 PM ET
5 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.

- Follow the Ticker on Twitter: @PoliticalTicker

- Check out the CNN Electoral Map and Calculator and game out your own strategy for November.

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. Reality

    Spending by each President for budgets they actually wrote. passed and

    Reagan 1982-85 increase of 8.7%
    Reagan 1985-89 increase of 4.9%
    GHWBush 1990-93 increase of 5.4%
    Clinton 1994-97 increase of 3.2%
    Clinton 1998-01 increase of 3.9%
    GWBush 2002-05 increase of 7.3%
    GWBush 2006-09 increase of 8.1%
    Obama 2010-13 increase of 1.4%

    October 26, 2012 12:02 pm at 12:02 pm |
  2. Joe Kenya

    Obama 271 Romney 167 with Romeny winning Navada, Florida, New Hampshire, and Colorado the west and NH are the election night suprises but not enough to change the whitehouse. Dems take the senate and close the gap in the house.... and that's when the fight begin

    October 26, 2012 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  3. Marie MD

    Is that 12 for the biggest lies and/or,flip flops? Seems toolow.
    Hope NEVER again to let this mutant run for king, oops, president.

    October 26, 2012 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |

    You should shave your arms Willard. It makes you look like the neanderthal that you are.

    October 26, 2012 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  5. Critical Thinking

    I think that the President will probably win NH with it's whopping 4 electorial votes, while Romney wins FL with 29, VA with 13, NC with 15, CO with 9, and OH with 18. Yes OH, the president can't get above 48% and most undecided voters will turn toward Romney starting next week.

    Start Packing President OBAMA and Vice President BIDEN...this on the job training program has come to an end.

    October 26, 2012 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  6. GOP = Greed Over People!

    Precious, they got his name and I.Q. On the same plate!

    October 26, 2012 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  7. Just ask Massachusetts..,

    Just ask Massachusetts if they would ever re-elect Romney as their Governor. Why or Why not?

    October 26, 2012 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  8. Penny Wright

    A message for women....

    Mitt Romney is for ending funding for Planned Parenthood...including cancer screenings.

    He said he would overturn Roe v Wade.

    We have Republicans trying to redefine rape....trying to force women to get invasive ultrasounds.

    If you think this election won't effect you and your life, think again.

    Vote for Barack Obama......

    October 26, 2012 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  9. steve

    Obama will take NH, OH, CO, NV, MI, WI, but FL will probably go to Mitt. VA, probably a true tossup.

    October 26, 2012 12:37 pm at 12:37 pm |
  10. Critical Thinking has done homework!!!

    I agree with you totally and I wouldn't write off NH yet. This Libya thing is coming to the forefront and we will see what a bunch of liars we have in the White House!

    Also using young women as sex toys for votes rather than treating them like the smart thing women they are is disgusting.

    October 26, 2012 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  11. @Reality


    Spending by each President for budgets "they actually wrote". passed and

    Reagan 1982-85 increase of 8.7%
    Reagan 1985-89 increase of 4.9%
    GHWBush 1990-93 increase of 5.4%
    Clinton 1994-97 increase of 3.2%
    Clinton 1998-01 increase of 3.9%
    GWBush 2002-05 increase of 7.3%
    GWBush 2006-09 increase of 8.1%
    Obama 2010-13 increase of 1.4%

    Can you point me to just 1 budget that Obama himself wrote and was passed. What I have heard is that his budgets haven't had one person sign off on them......?

    October 26, 2012 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  12. some guy in New Hampshire

    John Sununu was governor here. Every time he opens his mouth on Romney's behalf, I feel like I should apologize for the entire state.

    October 26, 2012 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  13. MessageBoards

    Why do I feel as though more Democrats spend their time on message boards than anyone else? Do you people have jobs?

    October 26, 2012 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  14. ThinkAgain: All of the GOP's policies are PROVEN FAILURES

    Mittens 'n' Munster like to yammer on about how the government shouldn't be investing in companies, like the $90 billion invested in green energy. They've both been lying about how "half" of those companies (like their favorite, Solyndra) went bankrupt. Here are the FACTS (google it if you don't believe me):

    Government investment:
    63 companies, 5 went bankrupt
    That's an 8% bankruptcy rate (not "half," like Mittens claims)

    Compare that to Romney's Bain Record:
    77 businesses, 22% filed for bankruptcy or closed within 8 years
    AND Bain lost all money invested in 8% of them

    Here's Bain's "Solyndra," a company called Lifelike that made twin dolls using a photo of your child (I know ... creepy):

    In 1996, Bain invested $2 million, including a personal loan by Mittens. Shortly before it went bankrupt, Bain sold its stake in the company for $15,000. THAT'S A 99% LOSS ON INVESTMENT.

    So I'll give Mittens this: when it comes to being better at something, he's better at picking losers than the government.

    Obama/Biden 2012 = The only sane choice

    October 26, 2012 12:56 pm at 12:56 pm |
  15. ThinkAgain: All of the GOP's policies are PROVEN FAILURES

    "Critical Thinking has done homework!!!"

    OK, here's your lolly ... now run along ...

    October 26, 2012 12:57 pm at 12:57 pm |
  16. zisee

    New Hampshire should show our Country that WE DON'T WANT ANYMORE OF OBAMA LIES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Please as a native of New Hampshire I am begging you to vote for Romney/Ryan.

    October 26, 2012 12:58 pm at 12:58 pm |
  17. zisee

    As a native of New Hampshire, please vote for Romney/Ryan, make our state proud.

    October 26, 2012 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  18. huky123

    I am a registered independent from NH and never been polled by UNH.

    October 26, 2012 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  19. James Mason

    No stronger indicator that the GOP has changed than to see them desperate to try to hang on to NH. Once upon a time – DEMs had no chance up here. Generations of straight-ticket GOP voters. Then wacka-doodle Mel Thompson trying to get nukes for the national guard – Bill Loeb taking joy in attacking Ed Muskie's personal life – Nixon attempting to rig an election he really had in the bag – then the big shift – Elliot Richardson refused to fire Archibald Cox. Since then, the GOP's continued shift from Libertarianism and social moderation to a party trying to put a "Govt Prop" sign on every cervix in America. Also, while NH has always been a strongly Christian Protestant state – people are decidedly uncomfortable with anyone who makes their religion part of their campaign. Wake up GOP – or one of the states where your party was born is going to be one of the places where its death throes become apparent.

    October 26, 2012 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  20. Rick McDaniel

    Every state is important, in this election. The freedom of America, is at stake.

    October 26, 2012 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  21. zisee

    New Hampshire please vote for Romney!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    October 26, 2012 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  22. zisee

    New Hampshire please vote Republican

    October 26, 2012 01:01 pm at 1:01 pm |
  23. huky123

    Furthermore, my wife and I (we voted for Obama in 2008) will be voting for Mitt. I would add that also my 5 brothers and their wives are voting for Mitt. Mitt did a good job in Massachusetts whic is a democratic single party state!

    October 26, 2012 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  24. Samseend

    Obama wins with 277 ...WI, IA, OH, NV...in the bank..williard can have the rest..

    October 26, 2012 01:06 pm at 1:06 pm |

    VOTE straight DEM. Ticket! Don't let the Repubteas take away or freedoms!

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