Don't believe all the hype that New Hampshire will lose its much-vaunted Presidential Primary Election. As a NH taxpayer activist, I am afraid we are stuck with the damned thing.
But then, so are the Democrats.
If you put all the managed news stories, professional political commentary and expertise aside, the last primary election here in the Granite State was nothing more than geographical with two exceptions I will point out later.
In 2004 hard left Howard Dean, whose only claim to fame was he had managed to become a Vermont governor for a time, used that feeble position to run for president. But he is after all a native New Yorker from a big bucks family so that is no surprise over there in the Queen Mountain State where the locals sold their souls to the highest socialist bidder long ago. A dead giveaway as to the political reality in Vt. is when you are in the middle of “farm” country and you walk into a general store – you know the type, two gas pumps, live bait - and you find stacks of New York Times, Boston Globes, and Hartford Courants by the door waiting to be picked up by the local “farmers.”
Then we have Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts, another hard left candidate from a state where he has never had to run a real campaign. Like Dean, Kerry's only fear would be an even more liberal challenger in a Democrat primary in his own state. Other than Dean having to make some small consideration to gun owners in Vermont, neither has ever had to pay any serious attention to a pro-life, family values opponent as would be the case in a national election. (Dean has actually managed a state budget and Kerry has no record of doing anything as a Senator, so there is that small difference as well)
Now take a map of NH after the last waste of everyone's time primary and you will notice Dean won just about every town that touched or was close to Vermont and Kerry did likewise with the NH towns adjoining Massachusetts and Maine.
The only towns that stick out on that primary map are two towns in southeastern NH, Durham and Newington - college student towns! These two towns are former Governor Jean Shaheen territory, who was by the way Kerry's campaign manager for NH.
It seems college student voters are not good followers.
NH Assistant Attorney General “Bud” Fitch who would be the likely person to investigate voter fraud in NH has done nothing to prevent non-resident college voters from swelling our voter lists that I can see. In fact, it looks as though he is more interested in playing politics with his position.
Our last voter list purge was in 2000 and since then thousands of students have registered here in NH where their vote “counts” rather than in their home state. Some are still here, some have left for greener pastures leaving their names on the checklists for anyone to use. Even a non-resident student who won a House seat took off. NH has no voter ID laws. The Coalition of NH Taxpayers tracks their numbers with the limited resources we have and by our estimates they are now the tipping point in our statewide elections.
In a Democrat primary, which we will be having in 2008, non-resident and resident college voters will be the only game in town. Win them and you win NH along with a week or two of good press.
I must say it will be interesting to see what unelectable left-wing candidate the kids will pick for the Democrats this time as well as to watch my NH Democrat friends have their votes watered down by unruly non-resident activists with their own agendas.
Do the resident NH Democrats give up on picking a candidate for their own party or do they jump over on the Republican side as “unregistered” for the day and try to pick
a liberal Republican like McCain again? Are 18-22 year old voters loyal to “Her Highness Hillary” or will they go with a sexy new face?
Beats me. All I want is Hillary to win. (Remember, Hillary voted for the war because she is a brilliant political strategist.)
Ed Naile, Chair, CNHT