United States House of Representatives elections in New Hampshire, 2008

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The 2008 congressional elections in New Hampshire were held on November 4, 2008 to determine who would represent the state of New Hampshire in the United States House of Representatives during the 111th Congress from January 3, 2009 until January 3, 2011. Both seats were held by Democratic incumbents before the election, which coincided with the 2008 presidential election, as well as the state's senatorial and gubernatorial elections.

The primary election was held on September 9, 2008. Republicans selected Former Representative Jeb Bradley and newspaper columnist and radio show host Jennifer Horn to challenge incumbent Representatives Carol Shea-Porter and Paul Hodes. Although CQ Politics had forecast the First Congressional District to be at risk for a change of party control, both incumbents were re-elected.

Match-up summary[edit]

District Incumbent 2010 Status Democratic Republican Libertarian
1 Carol Shea-Porter Re-election Carol Shea-Porter Jeb Bradley Robert Kingsbury
2 Paul Hodes Re-election Paul Hodes Jennifer Horn Chester L. Lapointe, II

Overview[edit]

United States House of Representatives elections in New Hampshire, 2008[1]
Party Votes Percentage Seats +/–
Democratic 364,767 54.08% 2 -
Republican 294,560 43.67% 0 -
Libertarian 15,221 2.26% 0 -
Totals 674,548 100.00% 2 -

District 1[edit]

Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter (D)
Former Congressman Jeb Bradley (R)

This district covers the southeastern and eastern portions of New Hampshire, consisting of three general areas: Greater Manchester, the Seacoast and the Lakes Region. It includes all of Carroll and Strafford counties, almost all of Rockingham county, a small portion of Hillsborough County, and one town in Merrimack County.

Democratic incumbent Carol Shea-Porter defeated Republican nominee Jeb Bradley and Libertarian Robert Kingsbury. CQ Politics forecasted the race as 'No Clear Favorite'; The Rothenberg Political Report ranked the race as 'Pure Toss-Up'; and The Cook Political Report listed the race as a 'Democratic Toss-Up'.

Shea-Porter squeaked into Congress by a 51% to 49% margin against incumbent Republican Bradley in one of the greatest upsets of the 2006 election cycle. In January 2007, Bradley announced his intent to seek a rematch in 2008. He faced and defeated Former Assistant Attorney General and Department of Health and Human Services commissioner John Stephen in a close Republican primary. Shea-Porter did not face a primary challenge. George W. Bush narrowly won this district with 51% to 49% for John Kerry in 2004 (CPVI=R+0).

Republican Primary[edit]

2008 New Hampshire 1st Congressional District Republican primary election
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican Jeb Bradley 18,559 51.04%
Republican John Stephen 16,766 46.11%
Republican Geoff Michael 534 1.47%
Republican Dave Jarvis 414 1.14%
Independent Other 89* 0.24%
Turnout 36,362 100%
  • This includes 46 votes for incumbent Democratic Congresswoman Carol Shea-Porter.

General Election[edit]

2008 New Hampshire 1st Congressional District General Election
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican Jeb Bradley 156,338 45.84% -2.76%
Democratic Carol Shea-Porter (Incumbent) 176,435 51.73% +0.4%
Libertarian Robert Kingsbury 8,100 2.37% +2.37%
Turnout 341,071 100.00%
Democratic hold Swing

Opinion Polling[edit]

Source Date Democrat: Carol Shea-Porter Republican: Jeb Bradley Undecided
Concord Monitor/Research 2000 September 22–24, 2008 44% 43%
WMUR Granite State Poll September 14–21, 2008 42% 45% 12%
Granite State Poll July 11–20, 2008 40% 46% 14%
Granite State Poll April 25–30, 2008 39% 45% 13%

The University of New Hampshire's Granite State Poll conducted in July found that incumbent Representative Carol Shea-Porter had a +3% net favorability rating in the district (35% favorable, 32% unfavorable, 9% neutral, and 24% did not know enough about her) while Former Representative Jeb Bradley had a net favorability rating of +21% (48% favorable, 27% unfavorable, 8% neutral, and 17% did not know enough about him). The majority of Republicans supported Bradley, Democrats supported Shea-Porter, and Independents were leaning toward Bradley (40% to 26%). Shea-Porter led among women (46% to 36%) and Bradley led among men (56% to 34%).

In September, the fall Granite State Poll found that Shea-Porter's net favorability had increased to +13% (44% favorable, 31% unfavorable, 5% neutral, and 20% did not know enough about her), while Bradley's favorability has fallen to +7% (36% favorable, 29% unfavorable, 14% neutral, and 21% did not know enough about him). The majority of Republicans supported Bradley, Democrats supported Shea-Porter, and Independents were leaning toward Bradley (44% to 38%). Shea-Porter continued to lead among women (50% to 39%) and Bradley maintained his lead among men (52% to 32%).

Current Candidate Websites

Former Candidate Websites

District 2[edit]

Congressman Paul Hodes (D)

This district consists of the western and northern portions of the state, including all of Cheshire, Coos, Grafton, and Sullivan counties as well as almost all of Merrimack and Hillsborough counties plus three towns in Rockingham county and two towns in Belknap county.

Democratic incumbent Paul Hodes defeated Republican nominee Jennifer Horn and Libertarian Chester L. Lapointe, II. CQ Politics forecasted the race as 'Democrat Favored'.

In 2006, Democrat Hodes upended Republican incumbent Charlie Bass with a 53% to 45% victory. In 2008 Jennifer Horn, a radio talk show host,[2] won the Republican primary against former Congressional Aide Grant Bosse, State Senator Bob Clegg, businessman Jim Steiner and Alfred L'Eplattenier.[3] John Kerry narrowly won the district with 52% of the vote in 2004 (CPVI=D+3).

Republican Primary[edit]

2008 New Hampshire 2nd Congressional District Republican primary election
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican Jennifer Horn 12,667 40.29%
Republican Bob Clegg 10,731 34.13%
Republican Jim Steiner 4,561 14.51%
Republican Grant Bosse 2,944 9.36%
Republican Alfred L'Eplattenier 540 1.72%
Turnout 31,443 100%
  • 97% of precincts reporting (9/10/08).

General Election[edit]

2008 New Hampshire 2nd Congressional District General Election
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican Jennifer Horn 138,222 41.4% -3.6%
Democratic Paul Hodes (Incumbent) 188,332 56.4% +3.4%
Libertarian Chester L. Lapointe, II 7,121 2.1% +0.1%
Turnout 333,675 100.00%
Democratic hold Swing
Current candidates
Paul Hodes (D) - Incumbent (campaign website)
Jennifer Horn (R) (campaign website)
Chester L. Lapointe, II (L) (campaign website)
Former candidates
Grant Bosse (R) (campaign website)
Robert Clegg, Jr. (R) (campaign website)
Jim Steiner (R) (campaign website)
Alfred L'Eplattenier (R) (campaign website)


References[edit]

External links[edit]

Race rankings


Preceded by
2006 elections
United States House elections in New Hampshire
2008
Succeeded by
2010 elections