Veteran campaign operative Jim Demers says Republican hopefuls can gain a foothold in Iowa that could help them here in New Hampshire.

May 8, 2015 5:49 PM

Landrigan: Lesser-known candidates can break through, campaign operatives say

CONCORD - Two of the state’s top political operatives insist that lesser-known, potential candidates can break through in time for New Hampshire’s first-in-the-nation primary.

Jim Demers served as a co-chairman of Barack Obama’s two, successful campaigns for president in which he twice won New Hampshire’s four electoral votes.

Demers insisted likely candidates like Ohio Gov. John Kasich and ex-New York Gov. George Pataki should not be discouraged by being low in early polls.

"Jeb Bush has high name recognition but take a look at Iowa, he’s in seventh place right now," Demers said during a taping today of the NH1 Newsmakers program.

"There’s a real opportunity there for someone to make a move in Iowa and then capitalize on it here," Demers said.

The 30-minute talk show airs Sunday at 11:30 am on WBIN-TV and is rebroadcast at 10:30 pm.

David Carney is a longtime Republican strategist and former adviser to Texas Gov. Rick Perry who along with four other Republicans campaigned in the state this past week.

Carney dismissed the notion that only candidates with high name recognition and large campaign war chests can achieve success here.

"If there is one state where you can get a second chance where the voters won't care what the reporters say or what the national pundits say or where the big money goes, it's New Hampshire," Carney said.

On state issues, Carney said Senate budget writers have a challenging task responding to the demands of the public to increase spending in a proposed, two-year state budget.

"I’ve been following this process since 1982 and every two years since then we’ve had all kinds of folks come to the State House saying we need more money," Carney said. "The trouble is there is no additional money to spend.”

And Demers praised the Legislature for approving a ban on the sale of synthetic drugs.

"This is going to be a law that has to be tweaked in future years but this is a great start. It’s a serious problem as we have children dying from ingesting these," Demers added.


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