Friday, June 25, 2004

NH update

Kerry is taking NH voters seriously, according to this WaPo article.
In 2000 Gore did not have a significant New Hampshire organization until September. "He got going too late and didn't put any resources here," said Bill Shaheen, a senior Kerry aide and husband of former governor Jeanne Shaheen, Kerry's national campaign chairman. "We're not going to make that mistake this time."

Kerry's New Hampshire operation, which includes three paid staff members, led the Saturday training session for out-of-staters, followed by a day-long barrage of door-to-door campaigning designed to hit 4,000 to 6,000 homes in four cities and towns.

State Director Nick Clemons, who assumed his job in March, said among the first priorities was contacting activists and officials who had made Dean's New Hampshire organization so strong. Dean's state political director was brought on board, and his state director is now working for the DNC.

The Saturday canvassing effort in Derry, a city of 34,000 in the southern part of the state, targeted independent voters, who make up about 37.7 percent of the electorate here. Volunteers were advised to minimize partisan rhetoric when appealing to voters still on the fence and to focus on issues that resonate broadly, such as the environment and Iraq, where several Granite State units are serving.

Those from Massachusetts were told to simply say they were with the Kerry campaign, if asked where they were from. In a state with many transplanted former residents of the Bay State, Kerry's residency cuts two ways. Because voters know him well, he will be less susceptible here to attack ads designed to define him, Smith said. But, he added, many New Hampshire residents equate Massachusetts with high taxes and liberalism.

The volunteers -- more than half of whom said they had never worked on a campaign -- included longtime Kerry fans, as well as those who had supported others in the Democratic primary.

"We realize we can do a lot more good up here than we can in our state, where we know Kerry's going to win," said Paul Stein, a 58-year-old lawyer from Westport, Mass., sitting under a painted mural in the cafeteria that read "hungry as a bear."

"That's how we feel about this election," he said pointing to the slogan, "hungry."
Good. It's smart to bring in lots of help from the closeby state of Massachusetts. Even better are the poll numbers from UNH, according ot this article. Kerry polls at 49% with Dubya at 45%. However, the Dubya team is making sure they are keeping NH.
On March 25, the Bush campaign hosted what some in the local news media said was a state record of 140 house parties in a single night. Hosts played videotaped messages from the president and talked issues with about 2,000 attendees.

Last weekend, the Bush team, which includes five paid staff members in the state and more than 7,000 registered volunteers, conducted a dress rehearsal of its preelection get-out-the-vote drive, to be rolled out in the days leading up to the Nov. 2 election. Through a combination of phone calls and knocking on doors, 400 volunteers reached 33,000 voters over seven days, according to the campaign's New England regional chairman Jim Tobin.

"The president is taking nothing for granted here, and our people are already stepping up to the plate," Tobin said in an interview at the campaign's state headquarters in downtown Manchester, the state's largest city. Part of the message to voters, he added, will be that the economy is improving, as evidenced by the 2,700 jobs the state gained last month.

"We anticipate it is going to be very close and are running an organized, grass-roots campaign," Tobin said. "The Kerry folks are relying on this vast network of 527s."
Note the gratuitous nasty remark at the end. Undoubtedly a Repub talking point. My guess is that the Dubya campaign will spend more $ than the Kerry campaign in NH.