Monday, September 17, 2012 at 04:54PM
People have been emailing me with the question about losing incumbents in last week's primary, and I wanted to wait until I was sure to release the data.
It appears that 19 incumbent Republicans, for various reasons including attacks by the more conservative elements in their own party, and three Democratic incumbents were ousted, a number which I would deem in the normal range.
Two Democrats (Helen DeLoge of Concord and Chris Serlin of Portsmouth) lost because they had to face other incumbents due to redistricting. The third, Jenna Roberts of Durham lost when five incumbents were running for five seats and were joined by former Representative and Finance Chair Marjorie Smith.
Thus, Democrats were not eating their own.7
Of the six Republicans most targeted for extinction, three survived and three were defeated, a .500 percentage which is good if you're shooting three pointers but pretty pathetic if you're shooting free throws.
With as much money as right wing organizations were able to pour into their venomous attacks, including money from the Koch brothers group, free throws might be a more appropriate analogy yet Priscilla Lockwood, of Canterbury, Susan Emerson, of Rindge, and Tim Copeland, of Stratham all held on to win albeit by only eight votes in the case of Copeland, one of the anti-right to workers targeted by his own party.
Here's what I've done. I've looked up the HRA score for the 22 losers. This is the House Republican Alliance, the conservative organization which rates all Reps on nearly every important vote.
Look at these and you are sure to agree that it wasn't just those with low HRA scores (some dare call them RINOs) who were defeated, but just as many with high HRA scores. Thus, it would NOT be accurate to say the more moderate Republicans were the only ones eliminated.
But don't take my word for it. Here are the numbers for ousted Republicans.
Elaine Swinford, Barnstead (Criminal Justice Chair!)--86
Peter Boster, Alton (targeted)--56
Richard Dwinell, Cheshire 11 (three incumbents running for only two seats)--70
Bill Remick, Lancaster (targeted)--45
Russell Day, Goffstown--64
Laura Gandia, Litchfield (a true conservative but not for right to work; she lost by only eight votes, a real shocker, and she told me at the Unity Breakfast that she is devastated)--82
Barry Palmer, Nashua--79
Jonathan Maltz, Hudson--95 (much higher than His Vileness who survived!)
Randy Brownrigg, Hudson--82 (also higher than the surviving Vileness)
Jerry Bergevin, Manchester--86 (the only Manchester incumbent to lose--it was misreported on the Secretary of State's web site earlier; Jerry is a rabid social conservative but I found him to be a man of honor unlike some who won! He lost to current Rep Swank and former Rep Hirschmann)
Tony Soltani, Merrimack 21--75 (anti right to work and anti-O'Brien)
Joanne Ward, Stratham--78
David Welch, Rockingham 13--78 (a real stunner; former Criminal Justice Chair, word is that pro gun people targeted him since he had the audacity to oppose them once or twice after being with them for years on most issues!)
Marie Sapienza, Rockingham 34--93
Glenn Ritter, Rockingham 16--96!
Karen Hutchinson, Londonderry--80 (however, her attendance was very bad due to an illness)
Donna Mauro, Rockingham 7--90
Kirsten Schultz, Strafford 21--78
Julie Brown, Rochester--33 (heavily target, she had the lowest HRA score among Republicans and lost by more than a two to one margin to fellow incumbent Cliff Newton)
Susan Emerson was the most targeted. She showed me eight mailings "they" did against here, including one which pictures her as part of the Obama-Pelosi-Barney Frank! team! Fortunately for Susan, as Priscilla Lockwood noted in a media report, it's not as easy to knock someone out with vile tactics in a small town as in a big city where candidates are not as well known.
In at least one instance (Remick), I am moving the seat from likely Republican to likely Democrat since the strongest Republican was beaten in the primary. I'm calling this the "I Am Not A Witch" syndrome. Remick could have beaten Evlyn Merrick in the general, but now she will win (good; I like her a lot; but then I liked Remick as well).