Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Framing the House - New Hampshire

WE'VE MOVED! Democratic Convention Watch is now at http://www.DemocraticConventionWatch.com

There are only 2 Congressional Districts in New Hampshire. In the 1st, Democrat Carol Shea-Porter bested incumbent Jeb Bradley (R) in 2006. She was that year massively outspent, but this year is about tied in cash on hand. However, of the approximately half a million each has, Bradley self-funded $150,000 so far.

Shea-Porter recently got almost $11 million in funding for the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard included in the National Defense Authorization Act, and nothing makes you more helpful to your constituents than keeping good jobs in the region.

Jeb Bradley will need to run on a record which ended 2 years ago, and is anti-public health, anti-immigration, anti-senior, pro-gun, pro-military, and mixed on the environment. While this ranks by the CW as toss-up to lean D, I see Shea-Porter winning again, if for no other reason than Bradley’s strong stance on privatizing social security. Taking money from the elderly during a recession never plays well. And yes, I understand that privatization doesn’t directly affect people already on social security, but when we talk “privatization”, we all look at the elderly and assume that will be us at some point. He can lose on a lot of issues, but my guess is this one will gain traction, if it gets any play at all.

As an aside, the 2nd is apparently completely safe for the Democrats. First, Paul Hodes, the Democratic incumbent has ten TIMES the money of the Republican challenger Bob Clegg. Plus, it’s a Democratic district, and the jockeying for the Republican slot didn’t help that side. And finally, there is that little Department of Justice phone jamming case. The House is going after NH Republicans for jamming Democratic get out the vote efforts in 2002. Hodes has already testified. Whether or not the effort concludes this cycle, Clegg will likely learn that it's never good to be associated with a party working to undermine the election process.