Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton at Saint Anselm College on Oct. 24, 2016

Nov 6, 2016 9:42 AM

NH1 News Reports: Clinton pushes towards finish with Manchester rally

NH1 News Political Director

CONCORD – With polls indicating that New Hampshire’s four very crucial electoral votes are up for grabs, Hillary Clinton returns to the Granite State Sunday night.

The Democratic presidential nominee will headline a rally in the Armory at the Radisson Hotel in downtown Manchester. James Taylor will perform at the event, and Khizr Khan will introduce Clinton. He’s the father of Army Captain Humayun Khan, who was killed in the war in Iraq 12 years ago. The elder Khan grabbed national attention this summer, when he criticized GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump while speaking from the podium at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia.

The trip will be just Clinton’s third to New Hampshire since that convention, but it’s her second in recent weeks. She headlined a rally at Saint Anselm College on Oct. 24. That visit, when she was introduced by Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, was thought to be her last in the Granite State before Election Day.

But the race tightened up quickly. Clinton held a single digit lead, but the most recent NH1 News Poll of Polls, which averaged the four public opinion surveys conducted entirely after the FBI announced they were resuming their investigation into her use of a private email server and address as secretary of state, put Trump at 44% and Clinton at 42% among likely voters.

WATCH/READ: The latest NH1 News Poll of Polls

Trump also announced two stops in New Hampshire in the campaign’s closing days. He headlined a rally of nearly 1,000 supporters Friday at Atkinson Country Club. And Monday night he returns for an Election Eve rally at the arena in downtown Manchester, the same spot here he held an event on Primary eve in early February. Monday’s stop will be his ninth in the state since the Republican convention and his eleventh since clinching the GOP nomination in May.

The 1992 and 2000 factors

But Clinton’s return may not be all about the current climate. It’s also about history, starting with her husband.

In his first White House victory, then Arkansas Gov. Bill Clinton made a crucial campaign appearance in the Granite State in the closing days before the election.

"In the fall of 1992, Bill Clinton asked his New Hampshire campaign leaders during a telephone call if he could win New Hampshire and they responded 'if you come here, we'll carry the state.' He returned and then took NH by a very slim margin a few weeks later. No Democrat had won here since LBJ's landslide in '64,” Terry Shumaker, who served as a Clinton co-chairman in the Granite State in the 1992 campaign, told NH1 News.

But it was a different story in 2000, when Vice President Al Gore lost the state by just over 7,000 votes to then Texas Gov. George W. Bush.

“In 2000, despite the urging of his supporters here, VP Al Gore did not campaign in the Granite State after one visit in the summer. Nor did he ask NH favorite President Clinton to stump here for him either. Gore lost NH by about 7,000 votes. If just 3,600 Bush voters had cast their ballots for Gore instead, he would have been elected and the Florida re-count wouldn't have mattered. Many believe that the failure to come back to NH cost Gore the White House,” explained Shumaker, a longtime friend and adviser to both Bill and Hillary Clinton.

“That lesson is certainly is not lost on Hillary Clinton, who is making her fourth visit here (since clinching the Democratic nomination),” added Shumaker, a top Granite State adviser to both Clinton’s 2008 bid and her current campaign.

But wait, there’s more. The Clinton campaign is dispatching President Barack Obama to New Hampshire on Monday, as part of her closing days show of force.

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