Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Blue to Red: Why New Hampshire Could Likely Go For McCain

In the Real Clear Politics Polling Average gives Senator McCain a 1.4% edge over Senator Obama. Certainly this doesn't ensure a McCain victory, but there are a number of factors that give Senator McCain an advantage in the state. First, he is established in NH like no other candidate. He has people who volunteered for him this year, and people who volunteered for him eight years ago. He put all his eggs in the NH basket during the primaries, it not only paid off but it created a fiercely loyal and dedicated group of volunteers who were on his side when everyone else was saying he was toast. The race was essentially between him and Governor Romney, and Governor Romney has done a nice job at mending fences and smoothing over any hard feelings his supporters may have had at the time of the primaries.

McCain fits NH well. 'The Live Free or Die State' is one of the strongest anti-tax states in the union. It is very respectful of people who serve. It is full of New England-style Republicans; a slightly more moderate Republican that recognizes that working with Democrats is simply a fact of life. A necessity in a state is teeters between red and blue, in and a region that that is dominated by Democrats.

The other edge he has is Senator Obama's potential weakness. All polls except one since Senator Obama's 'bitter remarks' give Senator McCain the edge, where prior Senator Obama had the edge. There is a sizable segment of the population that is not dissimilar to the rural PA and OH voters that so decisively rejected Senator Obama in the primaries. The regional industries are different, but there is a large number of hard working middle class voters in small towns or rural areas that are sick of being looked down upon. NH is also another state that chose Clinton over Obama reflecting another similarity with OH and PA.

Demographics are what make NH difficult to call. NH voted Kerry in the last election by a slim margin, and Bush in 2000. It is a growing state with much of the new population migrating from Massachusetts, a decidedly blue state. So it is likely to remain a close race, but it is one that Senator McCain is very likely to win in November.

1 comment:

Ted said...

This just in (Muncie Free Press) from Indiana's leading political analyst and commentator, Brian Howey:

"My Prediction: A month ago, I would have been comfortable predicting a McCain-Romney ticket. But if McCain wants to attract Hillary Clinton voters, he might look at young, attractive Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin who is creating considerable buzz these days. If I had to bet: McCain-Palin. At this point, I think the gender opportunity trumps geography."