If the results from the iconic Federal Cigar Store in Portsmouth, NH hold any credence, the “all girl” hierarchy in New Hampshire’s political leadership could change.
Ever since the election of 2012, The state has had a female Governor, Maggie Hassan, two female Senators, Jeanne Shaheen and Kelly Ayotte, and two Congressional members who are women; Carol Shea Porter and Annie Kuster. This election year, besides the two congressional seats up for grabs, is Shaheen’s Senate seat. While some polls have Kuster leading in the second district, the man defeated by Shea Porter, may be on the comeback trail. That’s according to the store’s matchbook poll, which encourages patrons to toss them into paper bags indicating their elective favorite. Co-owner Rick Gadway calls the poll, which has a 30 year history, 80 per cent accurate.
If so, one of the nation’s closest watched Senate races could see former U.S. Senator Scott Brown, a republican, unseat Shaheen. The matchbook poll showed Brown defeating Shaheen 53 to 47 per cent, 637 to 564. Also vulnerable, at least according to the informal poll, former Republican Congressman Frank Guinta could defeat Shea-Porter, by a 60 to 40 per cent margin. 574 to 388. Governor Hassan would be safe from defeat by her Republican opponent Walt Havenstein, by a 10 per cent margin, 55 to 45 per cent, or 442-362 votes. The poll didn’t cover the second district. The voting took place at all the store’s locations, Portsmouth, Dover, Epping and Plaistow. Rick Gadway unveiled the results of the matchbook poll at his Portsmouth location.
I spoke to Rick Gadway about the patrons’ interest in the election, in a podcast you can hear by clicking on the listen arrow below or download link depending on your device.
Federal Cigar is New Hampshire’s oldest continuously operated cigar shop, and has held the matchbook poll since 1984. This year, some 1200 people placed their matchbook in the “ballot box,” paper bags with the candidates names on them. Their website is www.federalcigar.com