New Blue?
I am often asked whether I think New Hampshire can still legitimately be considered a toss-up state for purposes of electoral map calculations. I have previously written that it certainly seems like the Granite State is transitioning from purple to blue, at least in the context of recent elections.
But the larger question is whether these recent results are indicative of a more permanent demographic shift in the state’s underlying partisan composition. One could make the alternative argument that the big Democratic victories we have seen here recently are simply a function of the national turmoil of the past 8 years, and the desire of voters to punish Republican incumbents for it.
But now the Carsey Institute at the University of New Hampshire has weighed into this debate with a new study, one which provides some hard data suggesting the Granite State’s rapidly changing electorate has been trending Democratic over the past 10 years. With the two parties now roughly at parity in the state in terms of voter registration, the study finds that a majority of new voters are more likely to self-identify as Democratic. So while this debate is likely to continue among local political observers for some time to come, the study’s implications for future voting trends in New Hampshire have given us some new food for thought.


Posted On: 10-16-2008 13:53:34 by Nate Deleault
While I will give that NH appears to be trending Democratic in voting preference, one needs to be careful in saying that we are changing our minds on fundamental issues. Take our Governor and many of the state Senators elected in 2006. Even though this was a year that clearly favored Democrats, these folks still pledged to oppose new broad based taxes and opposed attempts to pass a mandatory seatbelt law, both of which are generally supported by a majority of Democrats. So Dean i would tend to agree with you that NH appears to be more in the category of punishing the Republicans rather than signing on to core Democratic beliefs (larger more pro-active government, higher taxes etc.) It would not surprise me in the least if the Republicans managed to take back the house, even up the senate and gain a majority on the executive council, even if Obama wins. This would be the direct result of record spending in Concord and greater regulation.

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