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On the ground in Southern New Hampshire

One of our long-time readers, who lives in Massachusetts, has been campaigning for Mitt Romney and Republican congressional candidates in Southern New Hampshire. His efforts include door-to-door visits of voters.

The first report he sent me was not upbeat. He found little enthusiasm, whether measured by yard signs or reaction to his door-to-door campaigning, for either side.

But that was before the first presidential debate. At the beginning of this week, but before the second debate, he sent a much more encouraging report, excerpts of which I would like to share:

I was door to door again in Nashua. Things are going well, good response from people door to door. In the office Saturday they had an event for the 1 millionth contact this cycle. NH Sen Kelly Ayotte, RNC Chair Reince Priebus and Mitt’s oldest Tagg Romney were there. Kelly and Reince gave short speeches to rally the crowd.

That event was at 2pm. When I arrived at the office at 10:30 there was the largest group calling and getting materials to go door to door. The enthusiasm is very high and the numbers of volunteers is growing day by day. There are many people who are volunteers for the office who are doing it for their first time. When Reince and Kelly gave their short pep talk later the crowd was roaring. People are very excited.

A few weeks ago. . .the media blitz of bad polling ha[d] enthusiasm down. They were working for the cause but they thought the odds were long. That is gone, people feel the wind at their backs and they have received a big shot of energy.

[This is] still a battleground state which will be tight, but things are going in the right direction. . . .There were two polls in NH last week. ARG had Romney up 50-46 with a margin of error of 4% and Rasmussen had it [48-48]. It’s hard to tell since there are so many tv stations (cable and local) but it seems like there is an increase in the ad buys. . . .

I can tell you, people in the state know about the election. NH is smaller than Iowa, the population is 1.3 million and the 2008 vote count was 700,000. So people are being contacted often by many different groups. I met one guy last week who said he has received at least 2 calls per day for the last month.

There are still undecideds though, but not not many. I would say there are probably 8% who are truly undecided in my contacts but there are soft leaners. The soft people are much more Obama people in my contacts. Romney people are solid in my contacts.

There have been two reported New Hampshire polls since our reader’s correspondence. Suffolk shows the race deadlocked at 47-47. And a new Rasmussen poll has Obama insignificantly ahead by 50-49.

New Hampshire has only 4 electoral votes. Yet, Team Obama reportedly includes it in the campaign’s four-state firewall (the other states, as I understand it, are Ohio, Nevada, and Iowa), as Florida and Virginia continue to trend towards Romney.

Whatever is true in the other three states, the New Hampshire portion of the firewall looks like if can be breached.

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