Originally published on Fri December 20, 2013 1:43 pm
Scott Brown still knows how to make an entrance.
The former Massachusetts senator — and a soon-to-be official resident of Rye, N.H. — arrived at the New Hampshire GOP's holiday party in his trademark pickup truck Thursday evening, and was greeted by more than 100 chanting protesters.
There are 11 gubernatorial races this fall, and one of the most competitive is in the swing state of New Hampshire.
There, Republican Ovide Lamontagne and Democrat Maggie Hassanare vying to replace a popular Democrat who opted not to seek a fifth term. Both political parties and outside advocacy groups are pushing hard in a race where neither candidate enjoys a clear edge.
The decisive role female voters may play in the key battleground state of New Hampshire hasn't been lost on President Obama and his political allies.
If Democrats sweep the swing state's major races on Election Day, New Hampshire would become the first state to have women hold its entire congressional delegation and the governor's office. Obama would also pick up four potentially crucial electoral votes.
"We have held hundreds of events targeting women voters," said Harrell Kirstein, a spokesman for the Obama campaign in New Hampshire.
That New Hampshire Sen. Kelly Ayotte is even being considered as Mitt Romney's running mate is somewhat remarkable. After all, New Hampshire has just four electoral votes, and Ayotte has been a U.S. senator — her first elected office — for less than two years.
But if any senator could be said to possess a refreshing charm, it might be Ayotte, 44, a mother of two young children, who still lives in her hometown of Nashua and is married to a former combat pilot.
Republican presidential challenger Mitt Romney spent his July Fourth holiday marching in a New Hampshire parade, and backtracking statements a top adviser made about the individual mandate in the Obama health care law.
There was something for almost everybody in Wolfeboro's Independence Day parade: a local brass band, bonnet-wearing Daughters of the American Revolution, a Zumba instructor shimmying across the bed of a pickup truck, and even a Jimmy Durante impersonator, complete with prosthetic nose.
Republican Sen. Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire is the latest politician to appear on the campaign trail with presumed Republican presidential nominee Mitt Romney. That's fueled speculation that Ayotte is being considered as a running mate.
New Hampshire, one of the least religious states in the nation, has become the latest front in the political battle over contraception. State GOP leaders oppose the new federal rule compelling insurers to provide birth control to employees of religious organizations. They want to change a 12-year-old state law that requires contraceptive coverage under insurers' prescription drug policies.
It's hard to miss the politics fueling state House Speaker William O'Brien's push to carve out a religious exemption from the contraception mandate.
As several states debate measures to legalize gay marriage, New Hampshire is considering a repeal of its same-sex marriage law. The repeal has the backing of some top leaders in the GOP-controlled Legislature. But rescinding rights is never easy, particularly in a state that takes its liberties seriously.
Mitt Romney's campaign stops Tuesday in New Hampshire, at small restaurants with largely invited crowds, featured lofty patriotic themes and seemed designed to help him lock down his current base of support in the Granite State.
"America the Beautiful," the Founding Fathers, the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution were referenced by the GOP presidential contender during his last bit of stumping in New Hampshire before heading off for a three-day bus tour of Iowa, which holds its caucuses in a week.