Tag Archives: Rockingham County

Scenes From the Bus Tour: New Hampshire

Sarah Wheaton in the New York Times takes a look at the bus tour kick-off in New Hampshire:

Mitt Romney kicked off a five-day bus tour, an ambitious barnstormer through small-town America that was billed as an effort to introduce Mr. Romney to a new set of voters. And the first two events, including an ice cream social on the village green here, kept him solidly in his comfort zone. The scenery and theatrics of the first day of the bus trip set the tone the campaign hopes to convey over the coming days. After a live bluegrass show, with bales of hay in the background, Senator Kelly Ayotte introduced Mr. Romney as his campaign bus pulled up alongside the crowd on the Scamman Farm in Stratham. The music then switched from a Coplandesque anthem to Mr. Romney’s rock theme, “Born Free,” as he and his wife, Ann, traversed a catwalk to the stage, encircled by the audience. In some ways, the first day’s events seemed more of a warm-up than a representative example of the tour’s stated goals. At the tour’s outset, Mr. Romney’s strategist said it would take the candidate to places that are “not necessarily traditional campaign stops.” That could, of course, rule out the entire state of New Hampshire, given its prominent role in the primary process.

Reaching out for undecideds:

The campaign also said the crowds would not necessarily be packed with supporters. But people who turned out invariably had Romney stickers and said they had received tickets from the campaign or from other Republican connections. And some of them drove up from Massachusetts. That said, the two New Hampshire stops are in two of the three counties Mr. Obama won by the smallest margins in 2008: Rockingham County (Stratham), which Mr. Obama took by one percentage point, and Hillsborough County (Milford), which he won by three. Doug Rutt was in the crowd because Nancy Hubert Real Estate, where he is an agent, is across the street from the Milford Oval. Even after Mr. Romney’s speech, he remained undecided. “I’ve been pretty disappointed in all the candidates,” said Mr. Rutt, 64, who lives in nearby Brookline. “Nobody seems to have a good idea.” A registered independent, Mr. Rutt voted for Republicans until 2008, when he chose Mr. Obama. He called the economy’s improvement “anemic.” However, he does not want to see Mr. Romney return to George W. Bush’s economic policies by loosening banking regulations.

Romney Bus Tours Battleground Counties

Even though we pointed out that the bus tour travels through all states won by Obama (complete schedule here), ABC drilled down a little further and identified that many of the stops were in all-important Battleground Counties — one of our favorite topics:

In New Hampshire:

Romney visits the towns of Stratham and Milford. Stratham is located in Rockingham County, in the southeastern most portion of the state. Barack Obama narrowly carried Rockingham in 2008, defeating Sen.  John McCain by about 1 percentage point. Milford is located in Hillsborough County, another blue county in 2008.  Obama carried this one by a margin of about 3 percentage points.

In Pennsylvania:

Weatherly and Quakertown are located in Carbon County and Bucks County, respectively, two counties that went blue the last time around. Obama won Carbon County by roughly 2 percentage points and carried Bucks County by about 9.

In Ohio there are no pure Battleground Counties on the tour. Brunswick in is red Medina County (McCain: 53, Obama: 45) but the town is right on the border of Cuyahoga County that Obama carried 69-30 thanks to strong city support in Cleveland.  Newark is in red Licking County (McCain 57-41), but its neighboring county is Franklin County that Obama carried 60-39. Troy is in lightly populated Miami County that McCain carried decisively (63-35 ) but its adjoining county is the far more populous Montgomery County that Obama won 53-46.

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