NH Sample Ballots

Partially because I just like looking at ballots, but also because I think it is instructive to see exactly what voters will see when assessing an election, here are sample ballots for the New Hampshire primary (courtesy the Secretary of State’s office).

It is always interesting to see how many additional candidates appear on these ballots.

NH 2020 Acworth_REP_Presidential

Trump is unopposed for all practical purposes, and yet 16 other candidates are on the GOP ballot! My favorite? The aspirationally named “President R. Boddie.” Fake it til you make it, I guess.

NH 2020 Dixville_DEM_Presidential

The most noteworthy thing here is that with 33 slots, Mike Bloomberg isn’t on the list. We will, therefore, have another data point to test the “name recognition trumps early success” hypothesis last tried by Rudy Giuliani.

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2020, US Politics
Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is Professor of Political Science and Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Troy University. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter

Comments

  1. Kylopod says:

    We will, therefore, have another data point to test the “name recognition trumps early success” hypothesis last tried by Rudy Giuliani.

    He’s got something more than name recognition this time: money. Loads of it. He also has momentum on his side. A lot of people are taking a serious looking at him (judging from the endorsements and positive buzz as of late). He’s attempting something wildly unconventional, available uniquely to someone in his position, focusing his attention on going after Trump rather than going after his Democratic rivals, a strategy you normally see only from someone who’s already a front-runner (such as Biden, up to now). He hasn’t participated in a single debate yet but is somehow rising.

    That’s a far cry from Rudy’s 2008 strategy, which came more out of desperation than anything else. He’d been the national front-runner for some time but was slipping as it got closer to the first contests, where he knew he wasn’t gaining any traction. His decision to skip the early states was the desperate Hail Mary of a dying campaign, not a fatal misstep by a healthy one.

    I am not personally a Bloomberg fan. He is near the bottom of my list of candidates I would vote for in a Democratic primary. I get the feeling he’s the latest shiny object for centrists who are disappointed by Biden and who think Buttigieg and Klobuchar won’t be viable for the long haul. He’s managed to avoid the level of scrutiny of the other candidates so far. And I’ve got to hand it to him: his ads against Trump have been great. I’m skeptical of the buzz, but I think what’s he’s doing is a really interesting experiment, and I wouldn’t count him out just yet, especially if Biden continues to underperform.

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  2. Daryl D says:

    New Hampshire has been literally crawling with Democrat candidates. They’re everywhere, seems like. Less-so w/ Republicans.

    But last night, one of those Republican candidates showed up at the local bowling alley with birthday cake and about 20 enthusiastic supporters. They handed out cake and t-shirts and buttons, and he bowled and ran around in his stocking feet.

    It was Matt Matern. Still don’t know a thing about him, but he made a very down to earth impression. Ha. Not bad for a guy from California in New Hampshire in February, with black ice forming on all the roads outside.

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  3. @Kylopod:

    And I’ve got to hand it to him: his ads against Trump have been great. I’m skeptical of the buzz, but I think what’s he’s doing is a really interesting experiment, and I wouldn’t count him out just yet, especially if Biden continues to underperform.

    I agree with all of that, and that his money is something Rudy did not have.

    I still think he is appealing to a lot of ex-Reps more than he is to actual Democrats.

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  4. Jen says:

    Roque De La Fuente is a fantastic name. Where is Vermin Supreme?

    I’m off to vote.

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  5. CSK says:

    @Kylopod: @Steven L. Taylor:

    Bloomberg won in Dixville Notch early this morning: He received 3 votes out of the 5 cast there. They were write-in votes.

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  6. @CSK: I just heard.

    It would be utterly fascinating if this becomes Bernie v. Bloomberg (the independent v. the former GOP mayor in a battle to be The Democrat).

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  7. Kylopod says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    I still think he is appealing to a lot of ex-Reps more than he is to actual Democrats.

    That’s one hypothesis, but he has managed to land endorsements from a range of Democratic office-holders and even John Mellencamp (which really threw me—isn’t he a hardcore lefty?).

    I think a lot of his support is coming from the “electability” crowd—the feeling that the #1 priority is to beat Trump (which I agree with), that the most effective strategy toward that goal is to nominate someone capable of peeling off Republican votes (which I’m deeply skeptical of), and that Bloomberg is doing an awesome job of laying into Trump. Very little of it seems to be about policy, and the Dems who are taking a liking to him seem to be engaged in a concerted effort to make us forget about his Republican past (which makes him completely unreliable once he gets into office—what sort of SCOTUS nominees would he pick, for one?) or toxic things like stop-and-frisk.

    As I’ve said many times, there’s always a “grass is greener” dynamic in presidential races. People look good until the moment they’re in the spotlight. I’ve long felt Bloomberg is kind of a worst of both worlds—holds no appeal to the left but would be remarkably easy for Republicans to paint as a nanny-stater (e.g. the soda ban).

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  8. Matt says:

    @Kylopod:

    Very little of it seems to be about policy

    Yeah because Bloomberg’s policies have been awful over the years….

    Bloomberg is benefiting by being unknown outside of his name and ability to buy commercials that are full of meaningless platitudes. Once he stops avoiding debates and is forced to give real answers he’s going to have problems. Bloomberg is basically coasting like Biden did at the start of the primary season.

    As I’ve said many times, there’s always a “grass is greener” dynamic in presidential races. People look good until the moment they’re in the spotlight. I’ve long felt Bloomberg is kind of a worst of both worlds—holds no appeal to the left but would be remarkably easy for Republicans to paint as a nanny-stater (e.g. the soda ban).

    Yeah I agree. I would have a hard time motivating myself to get up and stand in line to vote for him. It’s not a good sign when the only thing even remotely possibly motivating you to vote for a candidate is because his opponent is so awful…

    Personally I think this election is going to be about motivating the base to show up and vote.

    EDIT : Yes I’ve stated in the past I would refuse to vote for Bloomberg but Christ on a cracker Trump is starting to do a good job at changing my mind lately…

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  9. Neil Hudelson says:

    @CSK:

    Comment deleted. Numbers were erroneous.

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  10. Michael Reynolds says:

    I don’t think ‘I won’t vote for a billionaire’ is any more rational than, ‘I won’t vote for a woman.’ Bloomberg is not Sheldon Adelson or Steve Wynn or the Kochs or Peter Thiel or whoever you think of when you think, ‘billionaire.’ He’s a specific guy.

    We have some billionaires on our side. Bezos keeps the WaPo alive. Buffet doesn’t seem like much of an asshole, and neither do Bill Gates or Tim Cook. We have some rich allies, we have tools, let’s use them.

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  11. Michael Reynolds says:

    @Neil Hudelson:
    An error in comments? Unheard of!

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  12. CSK says:

    @Jen:
    And Roque is listed on the Republican as well as Democratic ballots.
    I looked him up. He’s sort of a Harold Stassen figure.

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  13. @Kylopod:

    I think a lot of his support is coming from the “electability” crowd—the feeling that the #1 priority is to beat Trump (which I agree with), that the most effective strategy toward that goal is to nominate someone capable of peeling off Republican votes (which I’m deeply skeptical of), and that Bloomberg is doing an awesome job of laying into Trump.

    Yep.

    He has had some cool commercials that I have seen on Twitter (mostly shared by NeverTrump Republicans).

    Right now Bloomberg is the Rorschach candidate who can appeal to a lot of impulses at the moment. I have serious doubts about his staying power, but the frontloaded Super Duper Tuesday might present an opportunity for name recognition + money.

    I remain highly skeptical, however.

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  14. Kathy says:

    Here’s a fun hypothetical:

    If the Utah GOP primary takes place this year, and it has a write-in option, it would be worthwhile to try to convince people to vote for Romney as a write-in candidate.

    Why?

    Because if he wins Utah, Trump will be incensed and possibly spend the rest of the campaign season complaining and ranting about it. More so if Romney is kicked off the party or he leaves of his own choice.

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  15. gVOR08 says:

    @CSK: USA Today says Bloomberg’s write in votes beat Mayo Pete and Bernie 2-1-1. And on the R side Bloomberg beat Trump 1-0. Too bad Dixville Notch is even more meaningless than NH and IA generally.

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  16. CSK says:

    @gVOR08:
    That’s odd; every other source says that Bloomberg got three write-in votes and Sanders and Buttigieg got one vote apiece, for a total of five votes.

    The funny thing about Dixville Notch is that people used to say that the results there reflected the primary results and, later, the general election results.

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  17. gVOR08 says:

    @CSK: According to USA today, yes, it was a total of five votes, but one of the Bloomberg write-ins was the only vote in the R primary plus 4 votes in the D primary. (So much for the secret ballot on the R side.)

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  18. Jen says:

    Dixville Notch hasn’t been the same since the voter fraud allegations of 2016…

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  19. CSK says:

    @gVOR08: Well, it’s interesting that the lone Republican voter voted for a Democrat, especially given that the name had to be written in on the ballot. Maybe whoever it was thinks Bloomberg is still a Republican.

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  20. Kylopod says:

    @Steven L. Taylor: My gut sense is that a Biden recovery is around the corner. The media is always overhyping candidate collapses. It’s part of the reason for the original “comeback kid” narrative in 1992, and at this point I’m almost half-expecting that to happen if Biden finishes “no worse” than 4th place in NH. And even if he does as abysmally as expected, you can’t beat something with nothing, and somebody’s going to need to pick up the pieces of Biden’s African American support in SC. Could Bernie or Pete do it? Perhaps, but I have my doubts.

    On the other hand, it does seem that Bernie is the likeliest beneficiary of a Biden collapse in SC. And if that happens, all hell breaks loose. The Dem establishment is not going to let Bernie sail to victory without a fight. That’s where Bloomberg comes in.

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  21. CSK says:

    @Kylopod:
    I read somewhere–possibly Politico.com–today that Warren is going to focus on So. Carolina as well. Apparently she too has no expectations for NH.

    ReplyReply

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