Quick Takeaways from the Special Election in State Senate District 16

Unofficial results have Democrat Kevin Cavanaugh defeating Republican David Boutin by a very comfortable margin of 55% to 45% in the Special Election for State Senate District 16.

The result should serve as a wake-up call to the NH GOP because Boutin held the seat from 2010 to 2016 and Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton essentially battled to a draw in 2016, with Clinton eking out a 15,150 to 15,040 win.

The difference in performance between Trump and Boutin is even more striking because Trump had to contend with hordes of out-of-State college students from Southern New Hampshire University and Saint Anselm voting in his election, while Boutin had the benefit of many of these students being home for summer break.

So why did Boutin so underperform Trump? Continue reading

BREAKING NEWS: Democrats Win Special Election in State Senate District 16

Yes, I know the election is not until July 25th.  And, actually, I expect the candidate running as a Republican, former State Senator David Boutin, to come out on top.  But while the Democrats may lose this particular battle, they have won the war.  More specifically, the Republican Party in New Hampshire has moved so far to the left that the Concord Monitor has endorsed Boutin.

In other words, the political divide in New Hampshire is no longer about small government versus big government, which I believe is the essence of the conservative versus liberal divide.  It’s about who can run big government better. Continue reading

Enough With the Revisionist History of Obamacare Medicaid Expansion

Recently, Bryan Gould, writing in #DyingPaper, a.k.a. the Union Leader, argued that conservatives “owe Sen. Forrester their serious consideration in the governor’s race” because she “voted against reauthorizing expanded Medicaid.”

The problem with Gould’s argument is that the vote that really mattered was the vote to authorize expanded Medicaid two years ago.  Indeed, in Gould’s own words: Continue reading

New Hampshire GOP Establishment’s Smoke-and-Mirrors Case for Continuing Medicaid Expansion

New Hampshire’s participation in Obamacare Medicaid Expansion, which extends Medicaid to individuals making up to 133 percent of the federal poverty level, will sunset at the end of 2016 because the federal government will no longer fund 100 percent of the cost.

Republicans in the State Senate, who could have blocked expanded Medicaid, repeatedly pledged, that New Hampshire’s participation would end if federal funding dropped below 100 percent.   Continue reading

The New Hampshire Hospital Association’s Unconvincing Case for Continuing Medicare Expansion

The New Hampshire Hospital Association just released a report claiming that Obamacare Medicaid Expansion “is not only having a positive impact on individual patients and their families, but also on the overall health care system.Continue reading

Clear that Conservatives in NH House Got Snookered on the Budget

One of the rationales I have been given for conservatives supporting the budget passed by the Legislature, which increases spending six percent over the next two-year budget cycle, is that otherwise Speaker Shawn Jasper and his supporters would have had to go to the Democrats.  That, the rationale goes, would have meant that the House’s budget would have also continued Obamacare Medicaid Expansion past 2016, which the Senate would have eagerly supported.  In other words, higher spending was the price to be paid for preventing the continuation of Obamacare Medicaid Expansion.

This never made much sense to me because there was nothing preventing Jasper from bringing Medicaid up after the budget was passed.

And that, it appears, is exactly what is going to happen. Continue reading

On Mark Steyn, Donald Trump and the New Hampshire GOP

From Breitbart:

Columnist and author of “The Undocumented,” Mark Steyn said Donald Trump’s rise in the polls shows “the voter base of the Republican Party absolutely hates the Republican Party leadership and establishment” on Friday’s broadcast of the Fox News Channel’s “Your World with Neil Cavuto.”

If by base, you mean the majority of the Republican Party, then I think Trump’s poll numbers shows just the opposite.  That the majority of the Republican Party is OK with Republican Party leadership.  Even if you add the poll numbers for Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, Mike Huckabee and Ben Carson, who all to some extent can be characterized as anti-establishment, to Donald Trump’s number, you are still below 50 percent: Continue reading