The Democratic Party was virtually annihilated in New Hampshire in the November 2, 2010 election. Although Democratic Governor John Lynch was re-elected to an unprecedented fourth-term, the GOP beginning in January will have veto-proof majorities in both houses of the New Hampshire state legislature, which is known as the General Court.
In the New Hampshire House of Representatives, the Republicans won a minimum of 297 seats in the 400-seat chamber. (The New Hampshire House is the fourth-largest legislative body in the English speaking world.) In the much smaller state Senate, Republicans won 19 of the 24 states.
In the outgoing General Court, Democrats controlled 225 seats in the House and 14 of the seats in the Senate.
Republican candidates also won in the Granite State’s two Congressional districts. Manchester mayor Frank Guinta beat incumbent U.S. Rep. Carol Shea-Porter in the First District while former six-term Republican Congressman Charlie Bass won back his seat in the Second District, beating Democrat Anne Kuster.
The incumbent Congressman in the Second District, the Democrat Paul Hodes, was badly beaten by former attorney general Kelly Ayotte in the race for U.S. Senator Judd Gregg’s seat, keeping it red.
Gay Marriage Repeal
The Democrats have controlled both the New Hampshire House of Representatives and the state Senate since the 2006 elections. Under the Democrats, New Hampshire became the first state to legalize gay marriage via the legislative route. Leading New Hampshire Republicans say that one of their first acts will be to repeal gay marriage in the Granite State.
Tea Party activist Jack Kimball — who failed in a bid for the Republican gubernatorial nomination — declared at a Tea Party rally held in the plaza of the New Hampshire State House on the Monday before the election, that he would also push for a law allowing the bearing of firearms in the legislature.
Concord, New Hampshire was the last stop of the Tea Party Express tour. None of the major Republican candidates attended the rally, although Kelly Ayotte’s husband did give a brief speech to the Tea Partiers. Ayotte had been endorsed by former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin, the uncrowned “Queen” of the Tea Party movement, though she nearly lost the Republican primary to Tea Paty favorite Ovide Lamontagne, who was on hand at the rally and got a rousing ovation for his remarks.
Although it had been rumored that Palin would be in Concord at the Tea Party Express rally as a kind of unofficial kick-off of her likely bid for the 2012 Republican Presidential nomination, she did not show up. In light of the huge victories racked up by the Republicans, this was a major mistake as she could have taken some credit for the unprecedented victory of the GOP.
Boston Globe, “Republicans win large majorities in NH Legislature”
New Hampshire Union Leader, “Huge swing gives GOP a NH Senate majority”; “GOP gains turn the State House bright red”