By Nicholas Davis
Welcome to the first edition of my swing state series where I will breakdown the key issues and events focusing on 9 crucial swing states. New Hampshire is first in line due to its least amount of electoral votes. We’ll continue on from smallest to largest electoral totals, finishing with Ohio, which many say is the most important considering it has voted for the winner in every election since 1960.
With 16 days until the general election, Republicans and Democrats alike have taken the fight to the battleground states. President Obama visited New Hampshire Thursday, continuing to hammer away at the lack of specifics of Romney’s tax plan.
“I’m gonna let you in on a little tip – when a politician tells you that he’s going to wait until after the election, it’s not because their plan is so good, they don’t want to spoil the secret,”
Not to be outdone, the Romney camp responded to the President’s stump speech with accusations of their own. Romney spokesman Ryan Williams said:
“Today, President Obama only offered Granite State voters more misleading attacks to distract from his failed record, his reckless spending and his inability to present a discernible vision to move our country forward,’’
In addition to refuting Obama’s claims, the Romney campaign was represented by Kentucky Senator Rand Paul on Saturday. In his own words, Paul will try to “encourage the conservative base” and generate publicity for the Republican ticket.
Obama won the endorsement of New Hampshire in 2008. Against John McCain, Obama won convincingly in the Granite State, taking 54% of the vote. This election cycle proves to be much more difficult however. The latest polling averages from Real Clear Politics indicate that Obama has only a slight edge, a measly .8% advantage.
These results come with mixed reactions. With the economy at the forefront of this election, New Hampshire voters tend to be more interested on the economy and less so on social issues. Unemployment here is one of the lowest in the country at 5.7% for September and according to The New Hampshire Poll conducted by American Research Group, 49% of New Hampshire voters approve of the overall job done by the President but only 41% approve of his work on the economy.
I find it fascinating that Obama is struggling in 2012 in comparison to his first go-around. The economy is indeed struggling to recover from the greatest recession since The Great Depression, although it is steadily adding jobs each month. The contrast between the state’s unemployment rate and the national average shows that the people of New Hampshire have their focus on the national economy. In the same poll I mentioned above, the Governor Lynch received a 50% approval rating when it comes to the economy, a significant improvement over Obama.
New Hampshire holds just 4 electoral votes and both candidates are treating it as such. Neither candidate until today had visited the state in almost a month choosing instead to keep their sights on Florida, Ohio, and North Carolina, states with 29, 18, and 15 votes respectively.Whether New Hampshire goes Democratic or Republican, its effect on the national race likely will not have a huge impact.
With just 4 electoral votes, both candidates can win without the people of New Hampshire.