Rep Steve Vaillancourt
Normally I would headline this as the UNH poll, but Andy Smith asks that it be referred to as the WMUR/Granite State Poll, and since the station is paying for the poll results, we should at least honor that request.
As regular visitors to this site know, I look to look at the geographical breakout of votes. When it comes to predicting State Senate and State Rep races, this data can be extemely useful
According to the poll which showed Barack Obama up 15 points (52-37), he was leading in every region except the Massachusetts border (no surpise); and it was close in the Manchester area (no surprise since that region includes the highly Republican towns of Bedford, Goffstown, Londonderry, Hooksett, etc). Similarly, although ahead of Ovide LaMontagne by only two points (42-40 or 38-36 depending on which group you focused on), she was ahead everywhere except the Mass border and Manchester (Ovide's back yard).
Here on the numbers:
North Country--Obama 61-37 (+24)
Central/Lakes Region--Obama 54-33 (+21)
Connecticut Valley--Obama 63-28 (+35!)
Seacoast--Obama 57-28 (+28)
Mass Border--Romney 45-42 (+3)
Manchester Area--Obama 45-44 (+1)
I also was amused by these numbers:
Those Reading The Union Leader--Romney 48-41 (+7)
Those Listening to NHPR--Obama 75-17 (+58!)
No wonder Democrats were so quick to spring to Big Bird's defense.
North Country--Hassan 51-38 )+13)
Central/Lakes--Hassan 50-40 (+10)
Connecticut Valley--Hassan 47-31 (+16)
Mass Border--Ovide 45-32 (+13)
Seacoast--Hassan 44-34 (+10)
Manchester Area--Ovide 48-41 (+7)
Union Leader Readers--Ovide 52-35 (+17)
NHPR Listeners--Hassan 64-21 (+43!)
My guess is Republicans are doing better in the wake of the first debate, but thanks to Andy Smith and WMUR for this snapshot in time.
Those of us in New Hampshire--at least some of us--know that Mitt Romney was not the first one to broach defunding of Big Bird (a proxy for the subsidy to public television).
I am proud to say that I successfully led the effort to defund Channel 11 last year. During the debate, someone mentioned (I think it was Grant Bosse) exactly what Mitt Romney did during Wednesday's debate, that although he personally likes Big Bird, a subsidy for public television is not a proper use of taxpayer money.
Romney phrased it very well indeed, noting that he would eliminate all funding for programs not vital enough to force us to borrow money from China to fund them.
From the hysterical reaction from Barack Obama (a day late and a dollar short to be sure) and his fellow travelers on the loony left, you would have thought Romney was suggesting we stop defending the country or providing relief for the most vulnerable in our society.
Public television is hardly vulnerable. In New Hampshire until last year, UNH was taking two to four million dollars of state aid, money which was supposed to be going for higher education, and giving it to Channel 11.
My legislation to prevent that funding failed (solons didn't want to handcuff how UNH spent its grant), but the message was received and when UNH was cut $50 million, it stopped funding Channel 11 on its own.
Guess what? Channel 11 survived just as Public Broadcasting would survive if Big Bird's taxpayer seed went away.
From what I heard yesterday (yes, probably on Fox), Big Bird's Daddy, the Children's Television Workshop, has a $400 million profit...not that there's anything wrong with that. I'm all for free enterprise and companies making a profit, but not at the expense of taxpayers.
I'm not as much a fan of Big Bird of that funny and smart little monkey, but I'm sure Public Television would find a way to keep bringing us Curious George if tax money went away.
It's true, this is only a drop in a very large bucket of federal spending, but Mitt Romney has it exactly right. This funding is symbolic of what we can no longer afford to do...lest we want to keep borrowing from China and bankrupting our children's children.
I suppose it could be argued that there was a time when federal funds were needed for public television. When I was growing up back in the 50s in the Burlington, Vermont area, we received only one station clearly (WCAX-TV). If we were lucky and wiggled the rabbit ears just right (yes, rabbit ears were these wire thingies which sat atop televisions to pull in more distrant signals in the days before dish and cable), we could haul in two New York stations (WPTZ and WRGB...with a children's show sponsored by Freddie Freihopper..."Who wants to squibble/") and WMTW from atop Mt. Washington.
Television options were limited back then, but that is no longer the case when the average viewer can pull in thousands of stations including those which specialize in much of what public television does. There are several channels--way too many in fact, but that's the glory of competition-- devoted to just history or science or animals, not to mention food preparation or children. You name it, you can find it on cable or the dish, without taxpayer money funding it.
Private enterprise can handle this just fine. Mitt Romney was exactly right.
Now if we could only get him to come to New Hampshire and convinced Republicans it's time for counties to stop funding the cooperative extension.
But that's another story...for another day.
Democrats may be doing it as well, but there is now incontovertible evidence that the New Hampshire Republican Party is urging voters to commit fraud by voting early...by absentee ballot...without the requisite need to vote absentee.
The proof was in my mail box today, a slick piece explaining to Republican voters (one can only presume all of us) how easy it is to vote early.
As I pointed out here last week and Gary Rayno pointed out in his Sunday Union Leader column, this is not Ohio.
As usual, I don't ask you to take my word for what I say. Here's the exact wording from the GOP flyer, "This is the worst economic recovery America has ever had. Help Republicans repair, rebuild, recover. Apply to vote by mail today." In another location on the flyer, there's a sign with the words "Sorry We're Closed" and beside it, "Repairing the Democrats's damange to our eonomy won't be easy. Voting is. Request your vote-by-mail ballot today!" The mailer was "paid for by New Hampshire Republican State Committee. Not authorized by any candidate or candidate's committee. www.nhgop.org"
Only when you fill out the forms for an absentee ballot (assuming you read them before you sign) do you learn of the restrictions. No where in the bold print on the outside of the flyer does it warn voters that they can NOT simply vote absentee because it's "easy".
Voting by absentee is not at all easy...unless you want to commit fraud!
We are not an early voting state.
There are only four valid reasons for voting absentee, and they all involve an inability to get to the polls on Tuesday, November 6, election day, whether for illness or diability which prevents you from leaving your house; intention to be out of town away from the polling place that day; observing a religious rite; or working at a polling location.
If you vote absentee simply because you want to get it done early, you are breaking the law.
You are committing fraud.
It's truly a shame that at least one of the two major parties is urging its voters to commit fraud. The Republican flyer goes on and on about how bad the Democrats are (and it has every right to do that), but any organized group that urges voter fraud should be prosecuted, whether its my party or the other one.
For the record, since I started voting in 1972 (for McGovern--I was no fan of the Oval Office crook!), I have voted absentee only once, when I was living in Berlin, Germany in 1992. Thus, the Republican Party cannot contend that this flyer went out only to those with a history of voting absentee.
If Republicans (or Democrats for that matter) want people to vote early, they should encourage either a State Rep or a Senator elected in November to sponsor legislation to that effect. I don't think it's a good idea and apparently most people don't either since such legislation has never passed. However, rather than conspiring to break the law, the proper means of redress is to change the law.
Sorry to pick on Democrats, but I personally have no proof Democrats are doing the same type of thing. If they are, it's equally wrong!