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Jul122014

NHDP - Can Failed CEO Walt Havenstein Survive His GOP Primary Battle?

Unrest with Conservative Base Puts Havenstein on Ropes

 
Manchester, NH– Failed CEO Walt Havenstein may have narrowly eked his way past the Ballot Law Commission, but as the Republican gubernatorial primary heats up, it remains an open question whether Havenstein will make it to the ballot come November. 
 
After months of gaffes, missteps and blunders, Havenstein's campaign is taking on water. Recently surfaced comments from Havenstein have angered his Tea Party base and bolstered his primary opponent, Andrew Hemingway.
 
Though Governor Christie and Washington Republicans hand-picked Havenstein because they thought he was electable, there's now a growing consensus that the Republican primary is a dead heat. At the same time, the latest WMUR/UNH Granite State Poll showed that Havenstein is badly trailing Governor Maggie Hassan by 26 points as she remains popular among New Hampshire voters with a 60 percent approval rating.
 
“Facing growing unrest from his Tea Party base, Walt Havenstein will now need to fully unleash his anti-middle class Koch Brothers agenda if he hopes to survive the Republican primary," said New Hampshire Democratic Party Deputy Communications Director Bryan Lesswing. "As Havenstein desperately tries to appeal to to the Tea Party voters hoping to reinstall disgraced Speaker Bill O'Brien, he will further undermine any claim of electability that his RGA/Koch Brothers backers may have once hoped for."  

See what commentators had to say about the current state-of-play in the Republican gubernatorial primary just this past week: 
  • “Havenstein still may make the argument for Republicans that he should be their standard bearer, but he can't say it is because he is more electable.” [James Pindell, WMUR]
     
  • “With 2 months to go, GOP governor primary heats up” [AP]
     
  • “That race [Hemingway v. Havenstein] is up for grabs, quite frankly.” [Josh Rogers, NHPR Exchange]
     
  • “…It is more likely that Havenstein could lose his primary than he is to beat Hassan. The conventional wisdom is that Havenstein will pull off the nomination, but that it is not sure bet.” [James Pindell, WMUR]
     
  • Andrew Hemingway received 71 percent of the vote against Walt Havenstein…” [recent Coalition for New Hampshire Taxpayers straw poll]
In light of the troubling news, Governor Christie announced this week that he will try to throw a life raft to Havenstein and the Republican Party by visiting New Hampshire for the second time in weeks.
 
But Governor Christie did no favors for Havenstein in his first trip to the Granite State back in June, as he angered the Republican Tea Party base for meddling in a contested primary and failed to deliver the bounce Havenstein needed, as this week's WMUR UNH Granite State poll made clear.  
 

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