One year in, is Rep. John Delaney’s early White House bid paying off in N.H.?

  • Congressman John Delaney of Maryland, a declared Democratic presidential candidate, speaks with party activists Saturday, July 14, 2018, at the Manchester City Democrats’ annual summer picnic. PAUL STEINHAUSER / For the Monitor

  • Democratic presidential candidate John Delaney speaks to a group of residents at the Peterborough Public Library. Monadnock Ledger-Transcript file

  • Democratic presidential candidate John Delaney speaks to a group of residents at the Peterborough Public Library. Monadnock Ledger-Transcript file

For the Monitor
Published: 7/15/2018 11:06:17 PM

Congressman John Delaney was back in New Hampshire this weekend.

It was the Maryland Democrat’s 10th trip to the first-in-the-nation presidential primary state since last July, when he became the first person to declare his candidacy for president.

One year later, the long shot for the White House with little name recognition outside his congressional district says things are on track.

“I think I’m the right person for the job. I’ve got the right vision, but not enough people knew who I was and by getting in early, I’m solving that problem by getting out there and meeting all these people and people understanding who I am and how I’ve lived my life and what I stand for,” Delaney said.

He explained that besides his 10 trips to New Hampshire, he’s also made 12 swings through Iowa, the state that kicks off the caucus and primary calendar. He said he’s done more than 200 events in both states combined.

“So we’re on track to meet our goal of 300 to 400 events in the two early states,” he said, which is his goal to reach by the end of the year.

“We’ve got staff on the ground in Iowa. We’ve got staff on the ground in New Hampshire,” Delaney said. “We’re organizing on the ground and building our organization out.”

Delaney argued that all these visits are paying off when it comes to building up his name recognition.

“We haven’t seen a measurement here in New Hampshire, but in Iowa we have fifth-highest name ID of anyone who’s thinking of running for president in 2020, and that’s well over 50 percent,” he said. “So we would expect the same thing here in New Hampshire, and that’s why we’re in early.”

Delaney said he believes his early start will give him an advantage when the 2020 White House campaign gets underway in earnest.

“When this race really starts, which will be after the midterms, and all these other candidates pile in, some of which have been campaigning out here already but haven’t been honest with people about their intentions ... we think we’ll be at a significant advantage with all the time we’ve spent here,” he said.

And he said some voters are thanking him for “being honest” by formally announcing his candidacy rather than dancing around his presidential ambitions.

Delaney recounted that one voter told him it was “incredibly refreshing that you are honest about your ambitions and you are being straightforward with us.”

The 55-year-old congressman was raised in northern New Jersey by working-class parents. He found success as a banking entrepreneur and is worth nearly $90 million, making him one of the wealthiest members of the U.S. House.

He said he’ll spend some of that money in New Hampshire in the coming months on TV commercials. He said he’s filing a new round of commercials next weekend.

“We think it’s time for a more general introduction message in New Hampshire, and you should expect that to go up soon,” he said.




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