United States Senate election in New Hampshire, 2008

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United States Senate election in New Hampshire, 2008
New Hampshire
2002 ←
November 4, 2008
→ 2014

  Jeanne Shaheen, official Senate portrait cropped.jpg John E. Sununu.jpg
Nominee Jeanne Shaheen John E. Sununu
Party Democratic Republican
Popular vote 358,438 314,403
Percentage 51.62% 45.28%

NH senate 2008.PNG

County results

U.S. Senator before election

John E. Sununu
Republican

Elected U.S. Senator

Jeanne Shaheen
Democratic

The United States Senate election in New Hampshire was held on November 4, 2008. Incumbent Republican U.S. Senator John E. Sununu ran for re-election to a second term, but was defeated by Democrat Jeanne Shaheen. Shaheen's win ended 30 years of Republican control of this senate seat.

Background[edit]

New Hampshire has always been considered an island of conservatism in the Northeast. Following the 2006 election, however, many statewide offices were taken over by Democrats: Representatives Carol Shea-Porter and Paul Hodes, Governor John Lynch, the majority of the New Hampshire Executive Council (a five-member Lt. Gov.-like board), and the majority of both legislative chambers (which had not occurred since 1911).[1] The popularity of the governor could be a factor in the election to Sununu's detriment, yet such speculation is premature.[2] Also, though the state voted for then-Gov. George W. Bush in 2000, Sen. John Kerry narrowly won the state over Bush in 2004.

Democratic primary[edit]

Candidates[edit]

Campaign[edit]

Shaheen, the Democratic choice, at a rally in the lead-up to the election.

Astronaut Jay Buckey MD, Portsmouth Mayor Steve Marchand, and Katrina Swett, (wife of former Congressman Richard Swett), had announced their candidacies but withdrew in favor of former Governor Jeanne Shaheen upon her entrance into the race.[3]

Shaheen had been the Democratic nominee for the race in 2002. Since 2005, Shaheen had served as director of the Institute of Politics at Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government before leaving on September 14, 2007. She had been aggressively courted to run by Senator Ted Kennedy (D-MA) on behalf of Senate Democrats, and by a "Draft Shaheen" campaign led by former New Hampshire Democratic Chairman Kathy Sullivan.

The filing deadline for the Democratic and Republican Parties was June 13, 2008. Shaheen filed, as did Raymond Stebbins.[4]

Results[edit]

2008 New Hampshire U.S. Senator Democratic primary election
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Democratic Jeanne Shaheen 43,968 88.5
Democratic Raymond Stebbins 5,281 10.6
write-ins 407 0.8
Turnout 49,656

Republican primary[edit]

Candidates[edit]

Results[edit]

2008 New Hampshire U.S. Senator Republican primary election
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Republican John Sununu 60,852 88.7
Republican Tom Alciere 7,084 10.3
write-ins 685 1.0
Turnout 68,621

General election[edit]

Candidates[edit]

Campaign[edit]

A November 2006 SurveyUSA poll of New Hampshire voters found Sununu had a 47% approval rating.[7] A February 1, 2007 poll conducted by the University of New Hampshire found that only 45% of New Hampshire voters held a favorable opinion of Sununu. In June 2007, a poll by 7NEWS and Suffolk University of likely voters reported that only 31 percent in the poll said Sununu deserved re-election, with 47 percent saying that someone else should get his seat.[8]

A July 2008 Granite State Poll had Sununu's favorability rating at 52%, his unfavorability rating at 33%, and neutral or undecided by 16%.[9] Shaheen is viewed favorable by 53% and unfavorable by 31% and netural or undecided by 15%.[10]

Senator John McCain, the Republican nominee for President, had mentioned Sununu as a possible running mate for the 2008 presidential election, as well as Lindsey Graham, Bob Riley, Steve Forbes and John Thune. Sununu had said he would remain neutral in the New Hampshire primary. However, McCain selected Alaska governor Sarah Palin instead.

Predictions[edit]

Political analyst Chuck Todd said that Sununu was one of the most endangered incumbents, due largely to his continuing support of the President's Iraq policy.[11] Nonpartisan newsletter Larry Sabato's Crystal Ball, following Jeanne Shaheen's entrance into the race, listed the race as "Leans Democratic."[12] CQ Politics also rated the seat as "Leans Democratic".

Polling[edit]

Source Date Sununu (R) Shaheen (D) Blevens (L) Undecided
Survey USA October 30, 2008 40% 53% 6% 2%
Rasmussen Reports October 30, 2008 44% 52% –– ––
Rasmussen Reports October 23, 2008 46% 52% –– ––
Rasmussen Reports October 1, 2008 45% 50% 1% 3%
Rasmussen Reports September 23, 2008 52% 45% 1% 2%
Granite State Poll September 14, 2008 44% 48% –– 7%
American Research Group September 13, 2008 40% 52% –– 8%
Public Opinion Strategies September 3, 2008 44% 46% 3% 5%
American Research Group August 18, 2008, 2008 41% 52% –– 7%
Rasmussen Reports August 19, 2008 43% 52% –– ––
Rasmussen Reports July 23, 2008 45% 51% –– ––
American Research Group July 19, 2008 36% 58% –– ––
Granite State Poll July 20, 2008 42% 46% –– 10%
Rasmussen Reports June 20, 2008 39% 53% –– ––
American Research Group June 18, 2008 40% 54% –– 6%
Rasmussen Reports May 23, 2008 43% 50% –– ––
Rasmussen Reports March 21, 2008 41% 49% –– ––
American Research Group March 20, 2008 33% 47% –– 20%
Rasmussen Reports February 13, 2008 41% 49% –– ––
Granite State Poll February 11, 2008 37% 54% –– 7%
American Research Group December 20, 2007 52% 41% –– 7%
SurveyUSA November 5, 2007 42% 53% –– 5%
WMUR-CNN September 2007 38% 54% –– 7%
American Research Group September 18, 2007 41% 46% –– 13%
Rasmussen Reports September 16, 2007 43% 48% –– 9%
WMUR-CNN July 2007 38% 54% –– 7%
Research 2000 July 2007 34% 56% –– 10%
American Research Group June 2007 29% 57% –– 14%
American Research Group March 29, 2007 34% 44% –– 22%

Results[edit]

Results by city.
2008 New Hampshire U.S. Senator general election
Party Candidate Votes % ±%
Democratic Jeanne Shaheen 358,438 51.6 +5.2
Republican John Sununu 314,403 45.3 -5.5
Libertarian Ken Blevens 21,516 3.1 +0.9
Majority 44,035
Turnout 694,357
Democratic gain from Republican Swing

References[edit]

  1. ^ Storm of change sweeps through N.H. Legislature
  2. ^ "Can Sununu Hold on in New Hampshire?". Real Clear Politics. July 30, 2007. Retrieved 2007-07-30. [dead link]
  3. ^ Swett Drops Out Of NH Senate Race WCSH 6 September 21, 2007. Retrieved September 22, 2007
  4. ^ Democratic Party Cumulative Filings New Hampshire Secretary of State. Retrieved June 15, 2008.
  5. ^ Republican Party Cumulative Filings New Hampshire Secretary of State. Retrieved June 15, 2008.
  6. ^ Republican Party Cumulative Filings New Hampshire Secretary of State. Retrieved June 15, 2008.
  7. ^ Results of SurveyUSA News Poll #11151, conducted November 2006
  8. ^ Ralph Z. Hallow, "N.H. poll puts Gore over Clinton", Washington Times, June 27, 2007
  9. ^ [1]
  10. ^ [2]
  11. ^ Entry 2008 Race Tracker, New Hampshire, accessed June 30, 2007[dead link]
  12. ^ Larry J. Sabato's Crystal Ball, New Hampshire Senate Race, 2008

External links[edit]