Tuesday, February 09, 2016

Living In New Hampshire During An Election

You may have heard that there is an election in New Hampshire today. Even if for some reason you don't ever follow the news, I'm sure that you've seen this outstanding video from Saturday's Republican debate which I may have watched a dozen times.

I've always wondered what it's like to live in New Hampshire during the nation's first Presidential primary. Does every candidate personally call you or knock on your door? My friend Ellen, also the author of the terrific Bookspired blog, moved to New Hampshire a few years ago, so I asked her about life in the Granite State.

My perception is that New Hampshire, in terms of population, is rather small. With so many candidates spending so much time in New Hampshire over the past year, I feel like the odds of seeing or meeting a candidate are pretty high. So since you're a parent of young kids, what candidate has kissed or tried to kiss them?

You know, I thought we'd run into a candidate or two in recent weeks or months, but so far we haven't. They're around, of course ... Many of the major events happen at St. Anselm College, which is right in our town. Carly Fiorina did a town hall meeting at our kids' future school this Saturday. I'm glad no candidates have tried to kiss my babies!

(This may be the last picture you'll see of Fiorina as a Presidential candidate.)

Being serious (momentarily), what's it like being in New Hampshire days before an election where the whole country is watching (or at least will watch after the Super Bowl)?

It is kind of exciting that all eyes will be on New Hampshire. We've had a lot of knocks at our door from canvassers. I'd say tomorrow we'll get more. The weirdest one happened yesterday. My attending nurse for my second daughter's birth knocked on my door to ask for my vote for Hillary. Really tugging at heartstrings.

Just going to the grocery store or running errands, can you avoid the election or do people simply go about their business?

People seem to go about their business. I thought I might have an exciting sighting at Market Basket, but nothing yet. So far, no one has approached me while I've been in public. They just come right to my house. The political signs are everywhere, though, similar to the situation in Northern Virginia.

I decided to look up famous people from New Hampshire. I figure (my perception again) that they are all traveling the state with the candidates they support. So who did Mandy Moore, born in Nashua (though she moved to Florida at two months) endorse? What about current Pittsburgh Penguin Ben Lovejoy? Basically, have you had any celebrity sightings either from people endorsing the candidates or even media members?

I didn't even think of the possibility of meeting real celebrities! That would be truly exciting. Mostly I've been thinking up choice words for Donald Trump, if he should cross my path.

What do you expect when you go to the polls on Tuesday? Big crowds? Offers for a free California Tortilla taco if you wear your "I Voted" sticker?

Hmm well they are pretty organized here in my town, and it's not that big, so I expect an efficient voting experience. I would love the bribe of free tacos, but it'd have to be Chipotle ... No California Tortilla in these parts!
(Sean's note: Chipotle offered free burritos Monday, but that had nothing to do with any elections.)

What do you expect New Hampshire to look like on Thursday?

I expect there will be no candidates left in the Granite state ... they'll be heading to Nevada and South Carolina, I guess? Or maybe making their rounds in the other states in preparation for Super Tuesday? It'll be interesting to see how long the signs hang around. Jeb seems to have the most signs in our area ... maybe because of the proximity to the family residence in Kennebunkport. I think NH will be back to business as usual pretty quickly.

Thanks again to Ellen for answering my questions. Tuesday should be fun in New Hampshire. Please make sure to check out Ellen's blog, Bookspired.

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