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Dan Tuohy's Granite Status: 'Summer of Trump' stretches on across New Hampshire

By DAN TUOHY
August 19. 2015 9:26PM




(Scroll to the bottom for the Granite Status interactive primary map.)

“THE SUMMER of Trump” is morphing into long, sultry days on the road to the New Hampshire primary.

Donald Trump still leads in GOP polls. He continues to draw huge crowds. He had 1,500 RSVPs for his event Wednesday night at Pinkerton Academy in Derry, and his campaign before the Trump-copter had touched down was ready for a sizable overflow capacity in the school’s cafe.

Bernie Sanders team is also preparing for big crowds when the Democratic presidential hopeful returns Sunday.

Labor Day, when pundits say voters really just start to pay attention, is three weeks away. For the top-tier candidates, the push to pull in, retain and entertain audience is well underway.

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Does Marco Rubio have a “slow-play strategy?” One or two stories in the past week suggested the Republican presidential hopeful was pacing himself and readying for a potential fall frenzy of campaign activity. We can report the U.S. senator from Florida returns next week, and his campaign continues to expand in the Granite State.

Rubio just won the endorsement of Alec Koromilas, a former state lawmaker and former Dover GOP chairman who worked on presidential campaigns of Ronald Reagan, Bob Dole and George W. Bush.

Rubio has also hired Elissa Voccola as New Hampshire deputy state director. Voccola is a previous executive director of the Republican State Committee, and held a similar post in Connecticut before that. She will join state director Karl Beckstein. Rubio now has four paid staffers in New Hampshire. “Elissa is a great political talent and we’re very pleased to have her join Marco’s growing team here in New Hampshire,” said Jim Merrill, senior strategist for Rubio in New Hampshire and the Northeast.

At this point, Rubio’s schedule for Aug. 26 includes town hall meetings in Littleton at noon and in Londonderry at 6 p.m.
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Video of “Black Lives Matter” protesters questioning Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton last week after a campaign event in Keene shows a confrontational exchange.

Clinton encouraged the protesters to come together as a movement and propose ideas or solutions.

“I can only tell you that I feel very committed to and responsible for doing whatever I can. I’ve spent most of my adult life focused on kids through the Children’s Defense Fund and other efforts to try to give kids, particularly poor kids, particularly black kids and Hispanic kids, the same chance to live up to their own God-given potential as any other kid. That’s where I have been focused, and I think that there has to be a reckoning, I agree with that but I also think there has to be some positive vision and plan that you can move people toward. Once you say — ‘you know, this country has still not recovered from its original sin’ — which is true. Once you say that, then the next question, by people who are on the sidelines, which is the vast majority of Americans, the next question is, so what do you want me to do about it? What am I supposed to do about it? That’s what I’m trying to put together in a way that I can explain it and I can sell it, because in politics, if you can’t explain it and you can’t sell it, it stays on the shelf.”

Video of the exchange posted on the site democracynow.org:



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Debate push continues for Martin O’Malley. The former Maryland governor continues to call for more presidential debates with his fellow Democratic hopefuls. Lis Smith, O’Malley deputy campaign manager, is asking people to submit questions, which will be sent to the Democratic National Committee to promote the need for more than six debates. There will only be four debates before the New Hampshire primary, and only one in the state, which will be Dec. 19, the Saturday before Christmas.

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Endorsement Corner: As Granite Status first reported, Doug and Stella Scamman are now state campaign chairmen for Ohio Gov. John Kasich. The husband-wife political team, both former state representatives, endorsed Kasich for the Republican nomination for President on Wednesday. In a statement, they pointed to his work as former chairman of the U.S. House Budget Committee and steps taken to plug Ohio’s state budget deficit. “His leadership, his experience with crafting the federal budget, his goal of promoting policy rather than partisanship, telling his story rather than criticizing others, and working to bring all people together rather than divide the nation is what makes John Kasich stand out. Governor Kasich’s positive approach is what we need in Washington,” the Scammans said.

N.J. Gov. Chris Christie won backing from two prominent businessmen. Real estate developer Dick Anagnost and Bill Greiner, a former Bedford town councilor who is founder of Primary Bank, have endorsed Christie.

Christie also won support from seven more state representatives this week:  

David Danielson of Bedford, Susan Emerson of Rindge, Bill Ohm of Nashua, Donald DeBrun of Nashua, Jack Balcom of Merrimack, Betsy McKinney of Londonderry, and James Devine of Sandown.

In an announcement Thursday, Danielson had this to say of his support for Christie:

"We need a president who is willing to speak the truth about our nation's problems and provide a clear, honest vision for the future. At this pivotal time for our nation, Governor Christie has the leadership needed to inspire confidence in the American people again and that is exactly why we need him as our President."

Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush has picked up the endorsement of former Republican National Committeeman Sean Mahoney. Mahoney, a Portsmouth businessman, ran for Congress in 2010.
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One of the most-read political posts of the week:

Trump posts immigration reform plans, calls for ending "birthright citizenship:
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Former U.S. Rep. Ron Paul is urging people to sign a pledge of support for his son, Republican presidential hopeful Rand Paul, and give $20.16 to his cause.

An excerpt of one email pitch from Ron Paul, who was second in the 2012 Republican presidential primary in New Hampshire, reads: “Remember, truth is treason in the empire of lies. And nowhere is that more true than when it comes to Washington, D.C., and their media mouthpieces. Even where Rand and I do have minor differences of opinion, I would take Rand’s position over any of his opponents’ in both parties every time.”

How it played in the national press: Ron Paul stepped up to the plate to try to convince his old supporters to give his son another look.

Paul is winning over his share of them. His campaign today is releasing another 25 endorsements, which brings his state leadership team to more than 200. The most recent list includes a couple of past Ron Paul supporters, as well as business people, veterans, and Republican and liberty activists. Paul senior adviser Mike Biundo said the supporters are part of a “robust, volunteer-driven ground game.”

The newest additions to Paul's state support: Rep. Harold French of Franklin, Dr. Michael Doherty of Dublin, Dr. Mark Wellens of Acworth, Colebrook firefighter Dean Woodard-Neary, Navy veteran and former Sharon selectman Patrick Gailbraith, Army veteran Vincenzo Biellow of Bow, Air Force veteran Alex Foryan of Landaff, Dwayne Wheeler of Claremont, John Olexa of Amherst, Rebecca Kattamis of Lebanon, Nick Kattamis of Lebanon, Maryjane Quimby of Merrimack, Joel Van Patten of Suncook, Derek Fimbel of Mont Vernon, Elizabeth McFadden of Auburn, homeschool advocate Arianna Jones of Antrim, Erin Young of Nashua, Sean Sullivan of Stratham, Wendi Hoehn of Laconia, David Hoehn of Laconia, Kyle Picco of Portsmouth, Nancy Sylvester of Claremont, Chris Sylvester of Claremont, Ronald Perry of Claremont, and Donovan Hoy of Wilton.

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U.S. Sen. Kelly Ayotte, R-NH, is weighing in on the immigration reform debate. Ayotte, who is up for re-election in 2016, has a campaign-sponsored Facebook post this week on illegal immigration. It goes: “I believe sanctuary cities are unacceptable. Do you agree? Take the poll!”

One submits their email address along with a yes, no or no-opinion answer.

The Friends of Kelly Ayotte organization was also out with a fundraising email, asking Republicans to donate to “push back against Harry Reid’s false attack ads.” A PAC for Reid, the Senate Democratic Leader, has an ad campaign targeting Ayotte.

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Space invaders: Presidential hopefuls are starting to line up office space for the push to New Hampshire primary day. Democrat Hillary Clinton opened an office this week in Lebanon — her seventh in the Granite State. Democrats Martin O’Malley and Bernie Sanders have established one core office. Sanders just lined up a new headquarters, at 835 Hanover St., Manchester, and will keep his Concord office. Sanders is in the process of seeking office space in Berlin, Keene, Nashua, Lebanon and Portsmouth, according to the campaign.

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Space invaders: Presidential hopefuls are starting to line up office space for the push to New Hampshire primary day. Democrat Hillary Clinton opened an office this week in Lebanon — her seventh in the Granite State. Democrats Martin O’Malley and Bernie Sanders have established one core office. Sanders just lined up a new headquarters, at 835 Hanover St., Manchester, and will keep his Concord office. Sanders is in the process of seeking office space in Berlin, Keene, Nashua, Lebanon and Portsmouth, according to the campaign.

Find a campaign office in New Hampshire via this Granite Status map below:



Dan Tuohy covers politics and government for the Union Leader and Sunday News. Email news and information to dtuohy@unionleader.com. Follow on Twitter: @tuohy.


New Hampshire Politics Granite Status Martin O'Malley


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