WHILE THE primaries are a fading image in the rear-view mirror and the chosen candidates are fully immersed in their general election stumping, there are still some interesting lessons to be learned from the results of those primary contests.

Turnout for this year’s primary saw 304,671 ballots cast, including absentee ballots and in-person votes. This was a record-breaking level of participation, exceeding what was a record turnout in the primaries just two years ago.

Last April, the Secretary of State and the Attorney General issued a voting guidance that allowed concerns regarding COVID-19 as a legitimate reason to request an absentee ballot. As a result, we saw a significant increase, with 90,322 Granite Staters voting absentee. Three-quarters of those ballots were cast by Democrats.

All of which opens an interesting window as we look ahead toward Election Day in November. National polls show that Democratic voters consistently express more concern about in-person voting than Republicans, stating apprehension about the coronavirus as a primary concern.

Elderly voters are also highly influenced by fear of the contagious disease in their choice to vote absentee. Unease about the disease is also impacting the ability of towns to recruit enough poll workers, who are generally older, a challenge that is being confronted across the country. Without enough poll workers, lines to vote are longer and, in some cases, there are fewer polling stations open.

These two data points – increased voter participation and COVID concern – are inextricably intertwined. Alarm about COVID-19 — spikes that seem to travel from one state to another, and the continued dishonesty from the president about its severity – fuels a nationwide intensity when it comes to voting this year.

All of which leads us to the biggest political story of the past seven days – the release of taped interviews between President Trump and investigative reporter, Bob Woodward. Woodward interviewed Trump 18 times for his book, “Rage,” and the tapes are damning.

Trump is heard repeatedly discussing the danger of the coronavirus, calling it deadlier than the flu, acknowledging that it was extremely contagious, and admitting that he “likes to play it down.” Throughout the same time, he was telling the American people that the virus was contained and that it would disappear “like a miracle.”

Anxiety about the pandemic remains the most influential issue among voters as we move ever nearer election day. Early voting will start soon in some states. College campuses are reporting thousands of infections among students, and businesses are creating contingency plans for the possibility of winter COVID resurgence.

It’s a toxic brew for Republicans. Tied to the President’s coattails whether they like it or not, they will be forced to spend the general election answering to the President’s lies and the inexcusable loss of life that came as a result. There is no room in the Republican party anymore for a candidate who speaks up against a dangerous and divisive president. And the level of voter intensity is hitting new peaks.

In New Hampshire, the only Republican who may be able to rise above the Trump anchor is Gov. Chris Sununu. His 130,515 votes included a lot of Democratic write-ins and he continues to poll extraordinarily high among Independents and Democrats.

Between the president’s lies caught on tape, the continued spread of the disease, and the acute anxiety among voters about the continued dangers of COVID, it doesn’t bode well for the rest of the ticket.

Former state Republican Party chair Jennifer Horn is a founding member of The Lincoln Project.

Saturday, September 19, 2020

IN THE summer of 2010, I started seeing flags everywhere. It was like when you buy a new car and then start seeing the same vehicle on every street you drive. The official name is the “Baader-Meinhof Phenomenon,” also known as “frequency illusion.” No matter the name, during that summer, fla…

Friday, September 18, 2020
Thursday, September 17, 2020

IN RESPONSE to the well-written article by Jim Adams, former district manager of the Postal Service, although his opinion piece was accurate, it also omitted some significant changes in recent postal operations that go beyond a mere continuation of former policies. Most of the changes instit…

Wednesday, September 16, 2020

WHILE THE primaries are a fading image in the rear-view mirror and the chosen candidates are fully immersed in their general election stumping, there are still some interesting lessons to be learned from the results of those primary contests.

Tuesday, September 15, 2020
Monday, September 14, 2020

I’VE BEEN an activist since I was eight years old. As a kid of Polish descent growing up in Minnesota, other kids would tease me for my funny-sounding name (it’s pronounced My-ka). I could sit there and take it, or I could stand up for myself. I chose the latter and I’ve been doing so ever since.

IN CELEBRATION of the start of hunting season, Andy Schafermeyer devoted his September 6 “Adventures Afield” column to advertising different ways to hunt black bears. Bear hunting season in New Hampshire began Sept. 1.

Sunday, September 13, 2020

AFTER A TOUGH primary, we can only win when we stand united. In New Hampshire with a short general election — seven weeks at most — and an evenly divided electorate, in order for Republicans to win, all candidates and their supporters must come together as soon as possible to support the tic…

THE 2020 legislative session has been unlike anything we’ve faced before as a Legislature. Our work, and the way we fulfill our constitutionally appointed duties, has changed and adapted in response to the coronavirus. Throughout everything, I am proud of the work and dedication of the New H…

Thursday, September 10, 2020

ANTI-ASIAN racism, from the assaults in towns, to the fear of East Asians, to President Donald Trump’s name calling, continues to pervade the country. COVID-19 is being used as the fuel to justify these thoughts and actions. If xenophobia of East Asians continues to spread, the effects could…

WHILE I AM hesitant to borrow the title from Thomas Paine’s famous Revolutionary War pamphlet, I believe this is just what we need now — an injection of some much-needed common sense into the 2020 election debate before it’s too late and Donald Trump somehow gets re-elected.

Tuesday, September 08, 2020

WHILE SOME readers of this piece may know me as a state representative, others know that I’m also still a college student. As myself and my classmates begin this school year, please keep in mind that it begins with a grave risk to our health and that of college staff and surrounding communities.

Sunday, September 06, 2020

EACH YEAR on Labor Day, we celebrate and honor the people who do the work in our communities and those in our history who have contributed to the struggle of labor. But this year there are no picnics, parades, or celebrations, as working families hold their breath hoping for the best. Job lo…