With the exception of one poll in July by WMUR/UNH, which showed incumbent Democratic Rep. Carol Shea-Porter with a five-point lead, the GOP challenger, former Manchester Mayor Frank Guinta, has led the race for New Hampshire’s 1st District U.S. House of Representatives seat throughout the 2010 election season. This information, compiled by the election tracking website, RealClearPolitics.com, puts New Hampshire’s 1st District in the “Republican leaning’ category.
Candidates for New Hampshire’s 1st Congressional District (two-year term)
(Encompasses Concord and the southeastern portion of the state. See a boundary map here.)
Candidate: Carol Shea-Porter
Political experience: Shea-Porter was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2006 representing New Hampshire’s 1st District. Her campaign website states that she is the first woman elected to national office from New Hampshire and she now serves on the House Armed Services Committee, Natural Resources Committee, and the Education and Labor Committee.
Professional Experience: Shea-Porter’s House website biography says that she worked as a teacher and social worker, teaching political science and American history.
Key issues: Shea-Porter, since her initial House campaign in 2006, has run on a platform of helping “the rest of us,” by which she means middle and lower class families. On her House website, Shea-Porter cites her support of the Affordable Care Act and her work to increase the minimum wage as examples of her actions toward this end.
Endorsements: What Shea-Porter’s campaign website lacks in issues positions, it makes up for in endorsement listing. Among the litany of organizations endorsing Carol Shea-Porter for the 2010 N.H. House election, are: The National Organization for Women, Planned Parenthood, The Sierra Club, The League of Conservation Voters, The National Education Association, the NH AFL-CIO, Service Employees International Union, the Veterans of Foreign Wars Political Action Committee, The New Hampshire Hospital Association, the Professional Firefighters of New Hampshire and many more. The Concord Monitor has also endorsed Shea-Porter.
Carol Shea-Porter’s 2010 House of Representatives election prospects: Shea-Porter is trailing in polls from both the American Research Group and WMUR/ UNH by 10 points. Although the American Research Group poll shows Shea-Porter with a five-point advantage among independent voters, both polls show that the Republican base is charged up and is much more likely to turn out to vote in November. The screening process used by the polls reflects this weighting as well. In order for Shea-Porter to win in November, something needs to change in such a way as to cause the Democrats and independents to become as motivated to vote this year as their Republican counterparts seem to be.
Candidate: Frank Guinta
Political Experience: Guinta is the former two-term mayor of Manchester, New Hampshire’s largest city. He served two terms in the New Hampshire state house and two terms as Alderman.
Professional Experience: None of Guinta’s online campaign materials lists any non-government professional background. He holds a master’s degree in intellectual property from the Franklin Pierce Law Center.
Key issues: On the Affordable Care Act, Guinta says on his campaign website: “Health care needs reform — not a government takeover.” He proposes to repeal the Affordable Care Act. He says he would work to eliminate funding for abortion, an act that he says violates the sanctity of human life. He opposes the “cap and trade” greenhouse-gas emissions plan as a burden on the economy and stands against the economic stimulus plan that he says “has yet to bring us jobs.” Guinta also says he will lower taxes at every opportunity.
Endorsements: Guinta has been endorsed by Tim Pawlenty’s Freedom First PAC. New Hampshire newspaper Foster’s Daily Democrat has endorsed Guinta, according to Guinta’s campaign news web page. Catholicvote.org has also issued an endorsement of Guinta for his strong anti-abortion stand.
Frank Guinta’s 2010 House of Representatives election prospects: With a 10-point poll lead heading into the home stretch, Guinta seems the odds-on favorite to win the 1st District seat in November. A wave of fervor among New Hampshire Republicans, says University of New Hampshire Survey Center Director Andrew Smith, “may see 100,000 voters turning out to the polls” in November. In a small state like New Hampshire, that’s a very big number.
Key Differences between Frank Guinta and Carol Shea-Porter
Frank Guinta and Carol Shea-Porter stand on opposite ends of the spectrum on the pro-choice issue, and on the Affordable Care Act. Shea-Porter would allow the Bush-era tax cuts for the wealthy to expire, while Guinta has vowed to fight to lower taxes for private citizens and business alike. In short, the difference between these two candidates breaks along typical party lines.
2008 results: Shea-Porter defeated Jeb Bradley 52 percent to 46 percent.
Demographics: New Hampshire’s 1.3 million people is more than double the number of residents of neighboring Vermont despite the two states being roughly the same size physically, according to U.S. Census data. Nevertheless, New Hampshire is known for wide stretches of wild forest, particularly in the northern half of the state.