Political Analysis: Romney Must Win New Hampshire to be Viable

So far, Mitt Romney, who announced he is going to "explore" running for the Presidency, has been enjoying a pretty successful invisible primary, moving up the charts as a potential challenger for nearly every "in the know," insider and snagging coveted campaign staff.  One place he has yet to show any movement is in first in the nation, and for Mr Romney, all important primary state of New Hampshire.

It is imperative for Mr Romney to win in New Hampshire for two reasons: geography and history.  New Hampshire should be Mr Romney's home base, but so far it isn't.  According to the latest poll by ARG, Mr Romney is coming in a distant fourth with only 9% support.  

That ain't good.

Cross Posted at Mass Eyes and Ears

Especially when one considers that unlike in the rest of the nation, Mr Romney does not have the name identification problems in Massachusetts's northern neighbor, who isn't just a neighbor but a shared media market as the New York Sun points out.

The New Hampshire advantage is about more than mere geographic proximity. Southern New Hampshire is considered part of Greater Boston's television market. While New Hampshire boasts several homegrown television stations -- including the influential WMUR of Manchester -- Boston stations dominate the voter-rich southern tier. That translates to almost unlimited penetration into New Hampshire for Mr. Romney, who oversaw the aftermath of the closing of the Central Artery this summer.

Voters in the Granite State know who Mitt Romney is, they just aren't very impressed.

Plus, to be viable candidate it is especially important that Mr Romney shows some regional strength in New Hampshire considering that there is absolutely no way he could carry Massachusetts in a general election.

Then there is history, since the start of the New Hampshire primary in 1952, every candidate for President from Massachusetts who has won their party's nomination (and they have all been Democrats), John Kennedy, Michael Dukakis, and John Kerry, won the New Hampshire primary.  Aside from Ted Kennedy's surprisingly weak run in 1980, every serious Presidential aspirant from Massachusetts, including Mitt's mentor Paul Tsongas and Republican Henry Cabot Lodge has won the state.

If Willard Mitt Romney is going to be considered a serious candidate he needs to win in New Hampshire.

Tags: 2008, Mitt Romney, New Hamphire Primary (all tags)


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