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The voter trail: Key New Hampshire towns and how they voted

  • Tom Schofield stands in the door of the Main Street barber shop he owns in Suncook. GEOFF FORESTER


Monitor staff
Sunday, November 13, 2016

When it comes to voting, New Hampshire has an identity crisis.
Tuesday’s election was no exception.
Hillary Clinton won here by less than 1,500 votes. The two female Democrats running at the top of the ticket – Maggie Hassan for Senate and Annie Kuster for the House of Representatives – beat their Republican rivals. The margin in the Senate was even closer than the presidential race with Hassan beating Republican Kelly Ayotte by about 1,200 votes.

The race for governor wasn’t as close, with voters selecting Republican Chris Sununu over Democratic challenger Colin Van Ostern by about 20,000 votes. Republican majorities in both chambers of the State House were also won.

Some communities went overwhelmingly for Trump or Clinton, others were divided, just like the state as a whole.

As University of New Hampshire political science professor Danta Scala puts it, “the map got scrambled a bit.”

“Trump and Republicans over-performed in small towns, rural New Hampshire,” he said. “Democrats, on the other hand, did better than I expected in wealthier suburban areas.”

Take, for example, Bedford, Windham and Rye – traditionally conservative towns where the divide between Republicans and Democrats was narrower than usual. Or Barnstead, Loudon and Belmont – rural central New Hampshire towns that have traditionally leaned Republican, but resoundingly voted for Trump on Election Day.

The Monitor visited three New Hampshire towns to show the state’s electoral diversity. In “purple” Pembroke, voters split the ticket, and races were decided by just a few votes. Liberal Hanover, with young voters from Dartmouth College, selected Clinton by the largest margin in the state, 85 percent. In the northernmost point in the state, Pittsburg voters went gaga for Trump, with three out of four choosing to Make America Great Again.