Republican Presidential Hopefuls Headed for Hard Times in the Granite State

Bookmark and Share Campaigning in New Hampshires first in the nation primary is always tough. New Hampshire voters expect to meet a candidate in person at least two or three times before they make a decision on who to nominate for President. But for some, that process is usually made a little easier by favoritism from state Party leaders. Organizational support, even unofficial organizational support, is often half the battle in tight races. For this reason, candidates and potential candidates spend a lot of time schmoozing G.O.P. leaders and members of the New Hampshire Party apparatus.

Long before the 2008 Republican presidential primary, people like Mitt Romney were trying to cozy up to the most influential Republicans leaders in the state. And in Romneys case, he has been continuing to forge such relationships ever since the 2008 presidential election was over.

The problem is that the midterm elections of 2010 changed the entire political landscape of New Hampshire. The state saw a total turn around from the bottom up. It switched both state legislative houses with the Senate going from 14 Democrats and 10 Republicans, to 19 Republicans and 5 Democrats and in the State House of Representatives the G.O.P. picked up 124 states and gained their largest majority ever.

This means that thereis a large new slew of Republican players in the state whom are virtually unknown to the 2012 presidential contenders and little time to start forging those close, valuable political relationships with them.

Even more dramatic then themassive influx of Republican legislators though is thecoming of newleadershipin the state Republican organization, an organization that for decades was powered by the Sununu and Gregg families. But now John Sununu is stepping down as state Chairman and Senator Judd Gregg just retired from politics. So now, with new players taking over, potential G.O.P. presidential candidates have to start forging those organizational relationships allover again.

The man probably most negatively affected by the changing landscape in New Hampshire is the former governor of New Hampshires neighbor—-Massachusetts. Mitt Romney now has to start from scratch in his own New England backyard. But before he or anyone can really get to work on that, the Party leadership must be put in place and that is currently a struggle.

It seems that the Republican establishment is being challenged by the anti-establishment TEA Party movement. They are supporting a TEA Party organizer named Jack Kimball while Sununu and the establishment is supporting the Chairman of the Cheshire County Republican Committee. Currently both the establishment and the anti-establishment have each one a recent battle. The TEA Party lost their primary challenge to incoming U.S. Senator Kelly Ayotte and the establishment lost their choice for Speaker of the State House of Representatives to a TEA Party backed conservative. So the race for State Party Chairman could determine the balance of power in New Hampshire.

Now the question becomes, are any of the possible presidential contenders willing to put their money on one side over the other in the hopes of the winner being indebted to them? If any of them do, they better make sure they pick the winning team because if they don’t, they could kiss that acceptance speech at the 2012 Republican National Convention goodbye.

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One Response

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