In the often-cold and rural Northeastern state, the presidential campaign is gearing up for a brutal November. The Granite State is showing signs that the race for the White House is getting closer as we approach Election Day. In the RealClearPolitics average of the most recent polls for the state, Hillary Clinton is ahead off Donald Trump by 5% points.
But, the Clinton camp shouldn’t cheer just yet.
These polls actually signal a decrease in Clinton’s lead over Trump. In that same average of polls, between August 21st and August 30th, the former Secretary of State had a lead of 9.3% over Donald Trump. Plus, in each of the individual polls the differences between two major party candidates is within the margins of error.
However, there is a good sign statistically for Clinton. According to FiveThirtyEight, Hillary Clinton has a 70.1% of winning in New Hampshire over Donald Trump.
Regardless, in order to be successful in the “live free or die” state, the presidential candidates will have to be able to address the state’s concerns. Though in a poll conducted last year 21% of New Hampshire residents identified the economy and jobs as the most important issue in the election, a recent poll from the University of New Hampshire shows a general optimism about the economy. Most Granite Staters don’t expect a lot of change in their household economy for the worse.
Other important issues outlined by Granite Staters were education at 9% and healthcare 6% support. However, there is one issue that has recently risen to the top of the list and appears to be in everyone’s mind in the state: the opioid crisis.
About 25% of Granite Staters believe that the opioid crisis is a major issue, which is a fairly new issue since it did not appear in 2013 polls. The drug crisis has become such a major issue in the state that it is at the center of the NH governor’s race, the Senate race, and even the presidential campaign.
But, there is a reason why this epidemic is so high on the minds of voters. Since 2013, the deaths from opioid overdose have been consistently increasing in New Hampshire–ultimately reaching a record-high of 400 deaths. This issue will ultimately inform voters when they step on the polls in November so winning New Hampshire will require plans at the national level to address it.
Both candidates have address the drug epidemic in the state. On the one hand, Hillary Clinton has provided a detailed plan as to how she will combat the opioid crisis and what she will do to make sure that each partner in the fight is supported. On the other hand, Donald Trump has mentioned in a video that he will eradicate the drug abuse crisis by building a wall and stopping the drug flow from Mexico.
These presidential campaigns appear to be working very hard to earn the Granite State support. The state is gearing up to receive a few big names this month. For example, Molly Ringwald will be in the state on Wednesday campaigning for Clinton and, this Thursday, Tim Kaine will be in Exeter. Former Democratic presidential candidate, Sen. Bernie Sanders was also in the state this month, he spent his Labor Day campaigning for Democrats.
There are no public scheduled visits to the state from the Trump campaign.
A surprising visit comes from Green Party nominee, Dr. Jill Stein, who will be holding a campaign rally in New Hampshire today.
There are, however, other important races to watch for in the state. For one, the Senate race between incumbent Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R) and Gov. Maggie Hassan (D) is one to keep an eye on. Senator Ayotte has the difficult task of moving away from the Republican presidential nominee, yet trying to not alienate his supporters in the state, while conducting her campaign against Governor Hassan.
Though there are other important races that could determine which party holds power of the state government, the outcome of the Senate race can have national implications by impacting which party holds the majority.
Therefore, this libertarian Northeastern state is one to keep an eye on for all the races going on–it is highly likely that their outcome will have a nationwide effect.