The Campaign Spot

A Race to Watch Up in New Hampshire

Manchester, N.H., mayor Frank Guinta announced he’s running for the House of Representatives, taking on Democratic Rep. Carol Shea-Porter. His intentions seemed pretty clear once the National Republican Congressional Committee organized a conference call about his future plans – tough to believe they would assemble reporters to announce he wasn’t running.

I had mentioned earlier that in finding the right candidate to take on a sitting member of Congress, geography plays a factor. In 2008, Representative Shea-Porter won, 51.78 percent to Jeb Bradley’s 45.89 percent. More than 25,000 of her votes – roughly 14.5 percent – came from Manchester’s 12 wards, while Bradley won a little under 20,000, for 12.6 percent of his vote total.

(The presidential election turnout effect in New Hampshire was huge; 136,480 more voters showed up for the 2008 race than the 2006 matchup between the candidates.)

In 2007’s mayoral race, Frank Guinta won 10,381 votes to Tom Donovan’s 8,894, a slightly higher vote total and slightly wider margin than he won in 2005.

The margin in the 2006 House race was a little over 5,000 votes. With an established base of support in Manchester, Guinta can take a lot of votes out of a Shea-Porter stronghold – or at least that’s the NRCC’s hope. Beyond that, some of the early polling looks promising.