122 Seat Gain: Who Would’ve Guessed It?

By Rep. Steve Vaillancourt, Hills. 15

Certainly I would not have guessed it, but it’s time to compare the projected 74 seat gain (most pundits thought I was on the high side) to the 122 seat pick-up which actually occurred.  It seems there are 21 recounts scheduled (three votes for a Dem in Manchester Ward 9; one vote for a Dem in a Nashua ward), so conceivably the margin could reach 300-100.  As this chart will indicate, Democrats now have ZERO reps in Belknap and Carroll Counties; Dems control only one county (Cheshire) while Grafton is even.  The biggest surprises to me are in Nashua where Democrats went from 23 seats down to only six, a stunning loss of 17 seats, and in Strafford County where Republicans went from having only one Rep (Julie, Julie, Julie…Brown) four years ago to leading the delegation 19-18 coming up.  Democrats lost a phenomenal 46 seats in Hillsborough County (I had predicted 25) and only have 1 of the 60 seats in the Hills. County towns!

Take special note of the megadistricts.  I have put a chart labeled Megadistrict Megadisaster for Dems for my TV show.  Democrats were nearly totally wiped out in districts with six or more seats (except for Keene, Portsmouth, and Durham).  Democrats even lost seats in their traditional stronghold, cities:  one in Berlin; three of five seats in Claremont; all five seats in Belknap; seven of nine seats in Rochester; two in Dover; and most surprising of all, two of the five seats in Somersworth-Rollinsford.  In the megadistricts except the college towns and cities, Democrats salvaged only two of eight seats in the Exeter area. 

As I alluded to in this prediction piece written six months ago, I was most interested in the Hills. 27 13-member district where Dems had three seats prior to Tuesday.  Not only did they lose all three, but there was nearly a 2000 vote drop between the lowest Republican winner (Jonathan Maltz, 6106) and the top Democratic loser (M. Knowles, 4139).  This was the case throughout the state—these megadistricts weren’t even close.  (That makes for easier recounts).

Democrats also appear to have lost control of cities.  My count is a net loss of 47 seats, from a 114-20 lead to 67-67 split in the 13 cities (Berlin from 4-0 to 3-1; Claremont from 4-1 to 2-3; Concord from 13-0 to 12-1; Laconia from  3-2 to 0-5; Keene and Portsmouth still at 7-0; Lebanon still at 4-0; Manchester from 28-7 to 14-21; Nashua from 23-5 to 6-22; Franklin from 1-2 to 0-3; Somersworth from 5-0 to 3-2; Dover from 9-0 to 7-2; and Rochester from 6-3 to 2-7).

Those who are more politically savvy than I will have to explain the reasons, but I would point out that if you extrapolate the 122 seat loss to the national level, Nancy Pelosi’s Democrats would have lost not 61-65 seats but something in the range of 140!  Clearly, New Hampshire was the worst state for Democrats in the country, the only New England State where Congressional seats were lost.  I would suggest two reasons—Kelly Ayotte must have had coattails and voters were sick of the tactics of the vile triumvirate of Ray Buckley, Kathy Sullivan and Mikey Brunelle.  Typical of the low level to which they sunk was my own Senate district (18) in which I got three flyers the same day, one which was intended to picture Republican Tom DeBlois as a criminal behind bars.  DeBlois ended up winning Manchester by 700 votes and Litchfield by 1300 for a lopsided 57-43 win over Betsi DeVries.  Republicans should be thanking Ray, KathytheS, and Mikey, not to mention Terie Norelli who like Nancy Pelosi has the unmitigated hubris to think clinging to power will be a good thing for her party.   When will they ever learn? 

When will Dems ever learn that if they are to come back in two years, they need to get rid of the likes of Ray, Kathy, Mikey, Terie, and Nancy?  Will they get the message?  I think not.  Typical of the entire head-in-the-sand mentality was this verbatim quote from Senator Lou D’Allesandro (one of the new five pack of Senators—if he can survive a recount) on Channel Nine’s Close-Up.  Lou actually said, “People are mad, and they don’t know what they’re mad about!”  Oh really, Lou?!  That’s simply another way of calling voters stupid, and neither WMUR host Josh McElveen nor Republican Senate President in waiting Peter Bragdon called Lou out on this most inane of statements.

I call him on it in this week’s edition of More Politically Alert which I just taped.  It’s already up on http:/vimeo.com/channels/mpa and will air on Channel 23 in Manchester Wednesday and Sunday at noon, Thursday at 9 p.m. and next Tuesday at 11 p.m.

The goal here is not to rant…but to report the numbers, a district by district comparison of my predictions vs. what actually happened.

First here’s what I wrote when making the predictions….

 

74 Seat Gain in N.H. House would bring GOP margin to historical norm of 250-150

Here are my final NH House predictions, a gain of 74 seats for a 250-150 Republican advantage (more than 12-8 on an average committee).  Ironically this is the same as Democrat Jim Splaine has been predicting for quite some time.  This would take things back to very close to the numbers prior to the 2006 landslide when Dems picked up an unheard of 91 seats (GOP gained 15 back in 2008).  As always, I weight top of the ticket as the most important factor, and this year, I don't mean the race for Governor but rather the mood of the country.  While Obama is not officially on the ballot, his influence is being felt (see latest Gallup analysis).  I place great emphasis on the generic national average, and although it's come down from eight to five points favoring Republicans (Gallup has it even), it's likely to be greater than that when the universe of likely voters is considered, and Republicans usually poll a point or two better than final polls.  A major caveat is that my analysis has always presumed Lynch winning by 10-12 points.  If in fact it's as close (two points) as Rasmussen and ARG have reported this past week, numbers will be even worse for Democrats.

 About a dozen of these seats each way are close calls, what I like to refer to “gun to your head” predictions.   If you were forced to decide, what would you do?  I would not be overly surprised to see Republicans "steal" a seat in Keene and even Portsmouth, but I'm not predicting it here.  Much of this is based on V number primary analysis, the percentage candidates received of their own party's primary voters (I've produced V numbers for all 750 State Rep candidates).  It's especially useful in multi-member districts which lean one way or the other.  Is there one candidate who stands out as significantly below others in his/her party?  If so, that candidate might be vulnerable to being picked off, especially if one candidate on the other side outperforms others in the party.  That’s why I give Republicans a seat in Berlin which I previously had at 4-0 D. 

 Hills. 27, the 13-member district of Hudson, Pelham, Litchfield, remains the most interesting one to me, the canary in the coal mine.  It's currently 10-3 R.  If Democrats hold those three seats, GOP gains should be much lower statewide election night, but I don't see that happening.  If Dems maintain two of those seats, gains will be somewhat limited, whereas if Dem turnout is light, GOP could take all 13 seats here signifying a statewide "bloodbath".  I'm predicting middle ground, that Mary Knowles hangs on while her husband John and Hardy lose and the district winds up 12-1 R.

 The two-member Belk 2 race (Tilton, Sanbornton) is particularly interesting.  I am very impressed by first-year Rep Liz Merry and think she has a chance of holding on, but cannot predict it based on turnout and the fact that while receiving fewer votes than Fields in the GOP primary, Tobin received double-digit Dem write-ins.  Watch this one Nov. 2

I have to plead a particular ignorance in regard to Nashua but have tried to talk to people there since it seems Republicans could make major inroads which I had not previously foreseen.  In western Hillsborough County, I have scaled back my projections of GOP gains--it seems to be an area going increasingly Dem, maybe "forever".

I have reversed my prior prediction that Republicans would take two seats in Merr 13 (Bow, Dunbarton).  Eric Anderson's decision not to run again means Walz should hold that second Dem seat.  I've also added a  Dem seat since they managed to fill (with write-in) the third spot in heavily Dem Newmarket.  Even if it's not an enthusiastic candidate, the area is so Dem that a GOP pick-up here would be a surprise.

I am fairly confident in predicting Dems will lose their seats in Derry and Weare/Goffstown and Salem and Plaistow; less confident that they will be reduced to zero in the Amherst and Merrimack and Hollis districts.  I'm more confident of GOP gains in Dover than I am in Carroll 1 and Coos 3 but enthusiasm of GOP turnout was the determining factor in all instances, as it is in picking Blankenbecker to hold on as the only Concord R.   Although I’m not at all confident in predicting a Dan Eaton loss in Cheshire 2, I base it on the fact that while he usually tops the ticket in the three-member district in the primary, he came in last this time.  And more shoes (such as today’s Union Leader editorial) are sure to drop in the next five weeks.  Also, I cling to the slender hope that there is some justice in this world!

 

For sake of consistency here, Republicans are always listed first, Democrats second.

 

I would be comfortable with a swing of four seats (the Janeway, Sgambati, Reynolds, and one other, maybe Devries or Gilmore) in the NH Senate from 14-10 D to 14-10 R although it could be greater.  There's one report (Now New Hampshire) that shows Hassan in trouble.  I'm not using that in my predictions, but it's out there.

 

 

                                                                                                Prediction         Actual                                    County            2004                2006                2008                2010    Gain    Gain/ 2010

 

Belknap          17-1                 14-4                 12-6                 17-1    +5      +6   18-0

Carroll            13-1                 9-5                   10-4                 13-1    +3      +4   14-0

Cheshire         7-17                 4-20                 5-19                 9-15    +4      +5   10-14

Coos                7-4                   4-7                   4-7                   7-4      +3      +2    6-5

Grafton          14-12                7-19                 7-19                 14-12  +7      +6    13-13

Hillsborough   79-44              53-70               56-67               81-42  +25     +46  102-21

Merrimack     20-24               9-35                 11-33               19-25  +8       +16  27-17

Rockingham   79-11               59-31               62-28               74-16  +12     +18  80-10

Strafford        13-24                1-36                 5-32                 10-27  +5       +14  19-18

Sullivan           3-10                 1-12                 4-9                    6-7     +2       +5     9-4

 

TOTAL          252-148           161-239           176-224      250-150   +74    +122  298-102                                                                             (-91)                (+15)              

 

 

                                                                                                Prediction       Actual

­District/Towns/City/Wards             2004    2006    2008    2010     Gain   Gain/2010

Belk 1  New Hampton, Ctr Harbor      1-0       1-0       1-0       1-0        --       --   1-0

Belk 2  Sanbornton, Tilton                   1-1       1-1       1-1       2-0        +1    +1   2-0

Belk 3  Meredith                                  2-0       2-0       1-1       2-0         +1    +1   2-0

Belk 4  Laconia                                     5-0       2-3       2-3       4-1       +2     +3   5-0

Belk 5  Alton, Belmont, Gilford           7-0       7-0       6-1       7-0        +1     +1  7-0

Belk 6  Gilmanton                                1-0       1-0       1-0       1-0         --       --   1-0

 

BELKNAP COUNTY                         17-1     14-4     12-6     17-1        +5     +6  18-0

 

                                                                                                Prediction     Actual              

District/Towns/City/Wards             2004    2006    2008    2010    Gain    Gain/2010

Carr 1  Bartlett, Conway, Jackson       3-1       2-2       2-2       3-1    +1          +2    4-0

Carr 2  Albany, Easton                        1-0       0-1       0-1       1-0     +1          +1    1-0

Carr 3  Freedom, Ossipee, Sandwich  3-0       1-2       2-1       3-0     +1          +1    3-0

Carr 4  Wolfeboro, Moultonborough   4-0       4-0       4-0       4-0     --           --     4-0

Carr 5  Effingham, Wafefield              2-0       2-0       2-0       2-0      --          --      2-0

 

CARROLL COUNTY                        13-1     9-5       10-4     13-1      +3        +4    14-0

 

                                                                                                Prediction              Actual     

District/Towns/City/Wards             2004    2006    2008    2010   Gain        Gain/2010

Ches 1 Gilsum, Westmoreland            0-1       0-1       1-0       1-0     --          --         1-0

Ches 2 Walpole, Alstead, Marlow      1-2       0-3       0-3       1-2     +1         +1       2-0

Ches 3 Keene                                       0-7       0-7       0-7       0-7     --           --         0-7

Ches 4 Hinsdale, Chesterfield             1-3       0-4       0-4       1-3    +1           +1        1-3

Ches 5 Fitzwilliam, Richmond            0-1       0-1       0-1       0-1     --           +1        1-0

Ches 6 Swansey, Troy, Harrsville      2-2       1-3       1-3       2-2      +1          +1        2-2

Ches 7 Rindge, Jaffrey, Dublin           3-1       3-1       3-1       4-0      +1         +1         4-0

 

CHESHIRE COUNTY                      7-17     4-20     5-19      9-15    +4           +5      10-14

 

                                                                                                Prediction                   Actual

District/Towns/City/Wards             2004    2006    2008    2010  Gain          Gain/2010

Coos1  Pittsburg, Colebrook               2-0       2-0       2-0       2-0      --             --       2-0

Coos 2 Lancaster, Jefferson, Whtfld   3-1       2-2       2-2       3-1      +1            +1     3-1

Coos 3 Gorham                                   1-0       0-1       0-1       1-0       +1            --      0-1

Coos 4 Berlin, Milan                           1-3       0-4       0-4       1-3       +1            +1     1-3

 

COOS COUNTY                                7-4       4-7       4-7       7-4       +3            +2       6-5

 

                                                                                                Prediction              Actual

District/Towns/City/Wards              2004    2006    2008    2010    Gain       Gain/2010

Gr 1     Littleman, Lyman                     2-0       2-0       2-0       2-0       --          --     2-0

Gr 2     Franconia, Bethlehem               0-1       0-1       0-1       1-0      +1         --      0-1

Gr 3     Lincoln, Bath, Easton, WV       2-0       2-0       1-1       2-0      +1          +1    2-0

Gr 4     Thornton, Woodstock              1-0       0-1       0-1       1-0        +1          +1   1-0

Gr 5     Haverhill, Warren                     2-0       2-0       2-0       2-0         --          --     2-0

Gr 6     Orford, Campton, Rumney       2-0       0-2       0-2       1-1        +1          +1   1-1

Gr 7     Plymouth, Hebron                     0-2       0-2       0-2       0-2         --           --    0-2

Gr 8     Bristol, Ashland, Holderness    3-0       1-2       2-1       3-0         +1         +1    3-0

Gr 9     Hanover, Lyme                          0-4       0-4       0-4       0-4         --           --    0-4

Gr 10   Enfield, Canaan, Dorchester      1-2       0-3       0-3       2-1        +2         +2    2-1

Gr 11   Lebanon                                      0-4       0-4       0-4       0-4         --          --     0-4

 

GRATON COUNTY                           14-12   7-19     7-19     14-12       +7       +6   13-13  

 

                                                                                                Prediction         Actual

District/Towns/City/Wards            2004    2006    2008    2010   Gain         Gain/2010

Hills 1 Antrim, Hancock, Hillsboro    2-1       0-3       0-3       1-2    +1          +2      2-1

Hills 2 Francestown, Deering              1-1       0-2       0-2       1-1    +1          +2      2-0

Hills 3 Peterborough, New Ipswich    3-1       1-3       1-3       1-3      --           +3     4-0

Hills 4 New Boston, Lynd, Mt Vern    3-1       1-3       3-1       3-1     --           +1     4-0

Hills 5 Hollis, Mason, Brookline         3-1       2-2       3-1       4-0     +1          +1    4-0

Hills 6 Amherst, Milford                     8-0       7-1       7-1       8-0      +1         +1     8-0

Hills 7 Goffstown, Weare                    8-0       8-0       7-1       8-0     +1          +1      8-0

 

Hills 8 Manchester Ward 1                  1-2       1-2       0-3       1-2      +1           --      0-3

Hills 9 Manchester Ward 2                  2-1       1-2       1-2       3-0      +2           +2     3-0

Hills 10 Manchester Ward 3                0-3       0-3       0-3       1-2       +1          --       0-3

Hills 11 Manchester Ward 4                2-1       0-3       1-2       1-2       --            +1     2-1

Hills 12 Manchester Ward 5                0-3       0-3       0-3       1-2       +1           +1     1-2

Hills 13 Manchester Ward 6                2-1       1-2       2-1       2-1        --            --      2-1

Hills 14 Manchester Ward 7                1-2       0-3       0-3       1-2        +1          +2      2-1

Hills 15 Manchester Ward 8                2-1       1-2       1-2       2-1        +1          +1      2-1

Hills 16 Manchester Ward 9                1-2       0-3       0-3       0-3          --          +1      1-2

Hills 17Manchester 10, 1l, 12             6-2       2-6       2-6       5-3          +3          +6     8-0

      (Manchester Total--                      17-18   6-29     7-28     17-18       +10    +14   21-14)

 

Hills 18 Bedford                                 6-0       6-0       6-0       6-0        --            --        6-0 

Hills 19 Merrimack                             8-0       7-1       7-1       8-0      +1            +1      8-0

Hills 20 Nashua Ward 1                      1-2       0-3       1-2       2-1      +1            +2      3-0

Hills 21 Nashua Ward 2                      2-1       1-2       1-2       2-1      +1            +2      3-0

Hills 22 Nashua Ward 3                      0-3       0-3       0-3       1-2      +1            +1       1-2

Hills 23 Nashua Ward 4                      0-3       0-3       0-3       1-2       +1           +1       1-2

Hills 24 Nashua Ward 6                      0-3       0-3       0-3       1-2       +1           +1       1-2

Hills25 Nashua Ward 7                       0-3       1-2       1-2       2-1       +1            +2      3-0

Hills 26 Nashua Wards 5, 8, 9            4-6       2-8       2-8       4-6        +2            +8    10-0

       (Nashua Total--                            7-21     4-24     5-23     13-15     +8        +17     22-6)

 

Hills 27  Hudson, Pelham, Litchfield  13-0     11-2     10-3     12-1     +2        +3       13-0

 

HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY           79-44   53-70  56-67   81-42     +25     +46   102-21 

  

 

                                                                                                Prediction       Actual            

District/Towns/City/Wards              2004    2006    2008    2010  Gain     Gain/2010

Merr 1 Danbury, Wilmot, NLond.       1-1       1-1       1-1       1-1      --        --     1-1

Merr 2 Franklin                                    2-1       1-2       2-1       3-0      +1      +1    3-0

Merr 3 Newbury, Sutton                      0-1       0-1       0-1       1-0      +1       +1    1-0

Merr 4 Hopkinton, Warner, Webster   1-2       0-3       0-3       0-3       --        --     0-3

Merr 5 Bradford, Henniker                  1-1       0-2       0-2       0-2       --        +2     2-0

Merr 6 Andover, Loudon, Boscawen  3-3       1-5       2-4       3-3        +1      +4     6-0

Merr 7 Chichester, Pembroke              1-2       0-3       0-3       1-2       +1       +3     3-0

Merr 8 Allenstown, Epsom, Pittsfld.   3-1       0-4       1-3       4-0       +3       +3     4-0

Merr 9 Hooksett                                   4-0       3-1       4-0       4-0        --         --     4-0

Merr 10  Concord Wards 1, 2, 4          1-3       0-4       0-4       0-4        --          --     0-4

Merr 11  Concord Wards 4, 8, 9, 10    1-4       1-4       0-5       1-4       +1         +1    1-4

Merr 12  Concord Wards 5, 6, 7          1-3       1-3       0-4       0-4        --          --     0-4

Merr 13  Bow, Dunbarton                   1-2       1-2       1-2       1-2         --         +1    2-1

 

MERRIMACK COUNTY                   20-24   9-35     11-33   19-25   +8         +16  27-17

 

 

 

 

 

 

                                                                                                Prediction          Actual

District/Towns/City/Wards              2004    2006    2008    2010  Gain     Gain/2010

Rock 1 Northwood, Candia, Deerfld.  5-0       3-2       3-2       5-0     +2        +2      5-0

Rock 2 Raymond                                 3-0       3-0       3-0       3-0      --          --       3-0

Rock 3 Londonderry, Auburn              9-0       9-0       9-0       9-0      --          --       9-0

Rock 4 Salem, Windham                     13-0     13-0     12-1     13-0    +1         +1    13-0

Rock 5 Derry                                       11-0     9-2       9-2       11-0    +2          +2    11-0

Rock 6 Atkinson                                  2-0       2-0       2-0       2-0       --           --      2-0

Rock 7 Chester, Danville, Sandown    4-0       3-1       4-0       4-0       --           --      4-0

Rock 8 Hampstead, Kingston, Plais.   7-0       7-0       6-1       7-0       +1          +1    7-0

Rock 9 Epping, Freemont                    3-0       2-1       2-1       2-1        --          +1     3-0

Rock 10  Brentwood                            1-0       1-0       0-1       1-0       +1          +1     1-0

Rock 11  East Kingston, Newton         1-1       1-1       1-1       2-0       +1          +1      2-0

Rock 12  Newfields, Newmarket         1-2       0-3       0-3       0-3        --           +2     2-1

Rock 13  Exeter, NoHam., Stratham    7-1       3-5       3-5       5-3       +2          +3      6-2

Rock 14  Seabrook, Kensington          4-0       2-2       3-1       4-0        +1          +1      4-0 

Rock 15  Hampton                               5-0       1-4       3-2       3-2         --           +2      5-0

Rock 16  Portsmouth, Newington        0-7       0-7       0-7       0-7         --            --      0-7

Rock 17  Greenland                             1-0        0-1       1-0       1-0         --           --       1-0

Rock 18  New Castle, Rye                  2-0        0-2       1-1       2-0          +1           +1    2-0

 

ROCKINGHAM COUNTY                79-11   59-31   62-28   74-16      +12    +18    80-10

 

                                                                                    Prediction                     Actual

District/Towns/City/Wards            2004    2006    2008    2010  Gain        Gain/2010

Straf 1 Rochester                                 6-3       1-8       3-6       4-5   +1          +4   7-2

Straf 2 Somersworth, Rollingford       0-5       0-5       0-5       0-5     --          +2   2-3

Straf 3 Straff., Farm., Barring, Milt.   6-2       0-8       2-6       4-4    +2          +6   8-0

Straf 4 Dover Wards 1, 2                     0-3       0-3       0-3       0-3    --            --   0-3

Straf 5 Dover Wards 3, 4                     1-2       0-3       0-3       1-2    +1           --   0-3

Straf 6 Dover Wards 5, 6                     0-3       0-3       0-3       1-2    +1           +2   2-1

Straf 7 Durham, Lee, Madbury           0-6       0-6       0-6       0-6      --            --   0-6

 

STRAFFORD COUNTY                    13-24   1-36     5-32     10-27  +5         +14   19-18

 

                                                                                                Prediction            Actual

District/Towns/City/Wards              2004    2006    2008    2010 Gain       Gain/2010

Sull 1   Grantham, Plainfld, Cornish    0-2       0-2       0-2       0-2    --           --     0-2

Sull 2   Newport, Croydon, Spring.     1-2       1-2       3-0       3-0      --          --     3-0

Sull 3   Sunapee                                    1-0       0-1       0-1       1-0    +1          +1    1-0

Sull 4   Claremont, Unity, Lempster    1-4       0-5       1-4       2-3     +1          +2    3-2

Sull 5   Charlestown, Acworth, Land.  0-2       0-2       0-2       0-2      --           +2   2-0

 

SULLIVAN COUNTY                        3-10     1-12     4-9       6-7      +2          +5    9-4