October 28, 2011. Concord, NH. While each of the 50 states has their own election laws and ballot access cut-off dates, the most important of all deadlines is today. This is the day the all important state of New Hampshire stops accepting applications to be listed on their primary election ballot. It is possible to run for President without being on the New Hampshire primary ballot. However, it is unlikely that voters will see any new surprise candidates for President after today.
As of this morning, New Hampshire election officials confirmed receipt of applications and filing fees from 24 Republican Presidential hopefuls. Surprisingly, they also will be listing at least 12 Democratic challengers to President Barack Obama.
To be included on the New Hampshire primary election ballot, candidates need only submit an application of intent and a $1,000 filing fee. Since independents don’t have a primary election, candidates who wish to run for President of the United States in New Hampshire as an independent have a seperate set of ballot access requirements. To be included on the New Hampshire November general election ballot, independent and third party candidates must submit a $250 application fee plus 3,000 valid petition signatures.
While perusing the list of Presidential candidates who have filed to be listed on the New Hampshire primary ballot, a few names stand out.
Texas Congressman Ron Paul has the distinction of being the first candidate to apply on the Republican side. President Obama was the first of the 12 on the Democratic side. Also filing on the same day as Rep. Paul were Fred Karger, the well-known GOP activist from California. Karger is the first openly gay candidate to run for President. Andy Martin of Illinois also filed on the first day with Paul and Karger. They were joined by former Ambassador to China Jon Huntsman.
Buddy Roemer continued to fuel speculation when he filed to be included on the New Hampshire GOP Presidential ballot. Minnesota Congresswoman Michele Bachmann submitted her application and fee two days before the cut-off. Former Speaker Newt Gingrich filed the day before.
One name glaringly missing from the list on this final day to file is Texas Governor Rick Perry. Also missing is former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson. Johnson has had a difficult time in New Hampshire, as well as many other early voting states. The former Governor, while polling ahead of a number of invited candidates, was not invited to take part in the nationally televised New Hampshire debate. Read the Whiteout Press article, ‘CNN NH GOP Presidential Debate Snubs Candidates’ for details.
In response, the former Governor accused the Republican National Committee of allowing the national news media to affect the outcome of the Party’s nominating process. Read this column from two days ago titled, ‘Presidential Candidate Says Electoral Process Hijacked’ detailing Governor Johnson’s outrage and official statement.
Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, a favorite son of the neighboring state of New Hampshire, has held a fairly secure lead in the first primary state on the calendar. However, the state’s two official Straw Polls, held a full eight months apart from each other, suggest Mr. Romney’s dominance may be waning.
In January, ABC/WMUR and the NH GOP held the state’s first Straw Poll. Former Governor Romney won handily with 35 percent. Texas Congressman Ron Paul finished second with 10 percent, followed by Tim Pawlenty, Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann.
In the more recent New Hampshire Straw Poll, held only two months ago and sponsored by the New Hampshire Young Republicans, the outcome was a reverse from January. In the August Straw Poll, Rep. Ron Paul won overwhelmingly with 45 percent of the vote. Mitt Romney finished a distant second with 10 percent. Texas Governor Rick Perry and Michigan Congressman Thaddeus McCotter followed with 8 percent each.
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