Skip to comments.Changing N.H. demographics may help Scott Brown
Posted on 04/13/2014 2:13:20 PM PDT by Din Maker
Democrats have called Scott Brown a carpetbagger and suggested the former Massachusetts senator is going to stick out in New Hampshire like a flamingo in the White Mountains. But the unusual demographics of this state might blunt that attack and help Brown resurrect his political fortunes on fresh territory.
Contrary to the popular stereotype of the New Hampshire voter as a flinty, 10th-generation farmer who traces his roots to a soldier in the Continental Army, about two-thirds of New Hampshire adults were born in another state and a quarter of them were born in Massachusetts.
Even in an era of mobility, New Hampshire stands out for its abundance of transplants: Only six states have a smaller proportion of native-born residents, according to Kenneth M. Johnson, the senior demographer at the Carsey Institute at the University of New Hampshire.
This influx of residents is one reason Republicans feel hopeful about Browns ability to shake off the interloper label.
Over the last five decades, New Hampshire, once a bastion of old-line Yankee Republicans, has turned more Democratic. But the politically potent southern part of the state has become more conservative as it has filled with residents fleeing Massachusetts in search of less expensive housing, lower taxes, and a more libertarian ethos.
These Massplants, as some call them, could be an important base of support for Brown. A UNH poll released Thursday showed Browns potential Democratic opponent, Senator Jeanne Shaheen, leading Brown among all voters by 45 percent to 39 percent. But among voters who moved from Massachusetts, Brown was the clear winner, topping Shaheen 50 percent to 37 percent.
Most of these former Massachusetts residents live in Hillsborough and Rockingham counties, along the Massachusetts line, which together provide half the vote in any given election, according to Dante J. Scala, a political scientist at UNH.
Those two counties are also among the most conservative in the state. For example, the share of the states Republican presidential primary vote coming out of Hillsborough and Rockingham counties rose from 44 percent in 1976 to 56 percent in 2012, Scala said.
Shaheen lost Rockingham county in her two previous Senate races, in 2002 and 2008, and won Hillsborough county once, in 2008.
Derry, a small town about 40 miles from Boston, is typical of the region. Many people here relocated from Masachusetts, and still work in the Boston area and watch Boston television stations. But they are proud to live in a state with no income or sales tax and a more conservative mind-set.
In Derry, Id say half the people are from Massachusetts, said Judy St. Laurent, a Lowell native who moved to town 45 years ago after her husband got a job in Nashua. As long as Brown pays taxes in New Hampshire, she sees no problem with him running for office in the state.
If he smartened up and got out of Massachusetts, all the better, she said, as she had her hair styled at Ginettes Beauty Shop.
Jen Lague, 43, a Derry resident who runs an accounting and wealth-management firm with her husband, was also unconcerned with Browns Massachusetts roots. She moved to New Hampshire two decades ago, after living in New York, New Jersey, North Carolina you name it.
If he smartened up and got out of Massachusetts, all the better, said Judy St. Laurent.
He has every right to do it. Its Live Free or Die, she said over a cappuccino at The Coffee Factory. If he can bring a Trader Joes, Chipotle, and a Target to Derry, Ill vote for him.
Democrats say attacking Browns transplant status will be a potent way to question his motives. They say his decision to sell his longtime home in Wrentham and move to his summer home in Rye last year indicates that he was merely looking for a new launching pad for political office.
Hes really a political tourist, said Kathleen N. Sullivan, a former chairwoman of the New Hampshire Democratic Party, who disclosed that her husband grew up in Leominster. Its not like he knows New Hampshire, and is saying, Boy, I can hardly wait to retire here. Its that hes basically looking for a place to run, and thats the difference. Its why hes here.
The state Democratic Party has repeatedly tweaked Brown for relocating so recently to the state.
A party-produced video shows footage of him from past campaigns boasting that he was a Massachusetts Republican who had grown up in the state and planned to remain there.
The party has also pointedly referred to Brown as former Massachusetts politician Scott Brown, and has said, hell find himself in a tough Republican primary against Republicans who are actually from New Hampshire.
Brown will face three other Republicans former US Senator Bob Smith, former state Senator Jim Rubens, and activist Karen Testerman in a September primary, before he could challenge Shaheen in the November general election.
Hilary Palmer, a waitress at MaryAnns Diner in Derry, said Browns recent move to New Hampshire did make her wonder how committed he is to the state.
Who knows? she said. He might have a house in Connecticut next.
Its too early to tell if other voters will share her concerns. But such attacks could resonate, particularly with New Hampshire natives and voters in the northern part of the state, which has not seen an infusion of transplants and will also be crucial in the race.
I campaigned in NH during the elections of 2006, so I grew to kind of like NE candor, and people. NH was once a reliably conservative state, but if in 2014 the best they can do is Scott Brown so be it, at least a he’s a vote against Harry Reid controlling the Senate. Plus it’s a little hypocritical for the NH Democratic party to call Scott Brown a “carpet bagger” when their favorite Democrat Hillary Clinton did just that to New York. Just sayin...
he can’t lose,isn’t new hampshire 99.99 white?
Took the words out of my mouth.
It’s okay with Democrats for Hillary Clinton to go to a state she doesn’t live in, and run for office, but not ok for a Republican to do so .
Yeah, that's what they're called.
yah,just like when someone from Africa decides he can just go to any country to run for political office,
But who is Scott Brown going to help?
The first guy that I remember being a carpetbagger was ALSO from Massachusetts. He was a Democrat just like Hillary. His name was Bobby Kennedy who ran, and won, in New York.
NH is a suburb of Boston. The ‘Rat will win.
he cant lose,isnt new hampshire 99.99 white?
What’s that got to do with anything? Am I missing something here?
But who is Scott Brown going to help?
Hopefully he will help Ted Cruz and Mike Lee defund ObamaCare AFTER he helps replace Harry Reid as SML.
Why would I care? I have no dog in that fight. Two leftists on the ballot, I would not vote if there was no other choice on the ballot
I’m not crazy about either of them myself, but, please see My Post #11.
Any respect that I had for the average New Hampshire voter vanished when the voted for McCain in 2008, Romney in 2012 and Obama in both Novembers. Massachusetts Lite. Scott Brown is well-suited for them.
Scott brown will lose the primary. ..nh conservative s are on the war path...
Scott browns a known gun grabber...carpet bagger rino..gop e candidate
Look up his ties to global digital solutions inc...gun bracelet for you
Plus he was born in Maine. ..kittery to be exact...
Mass plants? That’s rich.
They are called Massholes.
New Hampshire has enough conservatives to beat him in a primary? Who?
Testerman and Bob Smith....after Jack Kimball was tossed out by the GOPe- the NH Republican’t party had two profound things happen as a result: A significant number of people like me and everyone I know left the party... became independants not R, The other thing that happened is more Tea party types took over local chairs.. The GoPe in Nh is essentially a husk with the Sununu types rah rahing to the media and nothing else... The party is non-functional in many ways.. I went to a NH Repebulican event in Dover...4 people... TEA party/912 meeting 80+....