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NH polls look to Vermont for endorsements - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

NH polls look to Vermont for endorsements

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WEST LEBANON, N.H. - The countdown to election day is continuing and candidates are pulling out all the stops to get votes.  In New Hampshire, that even means calling on Vermont politicians to hit the campaign trail.

It's not too often you get to see a well-known Vermont politician campaign in New Hampshire.  But on Monday at Geokon Incorporated in Lebanon, former Governor Jim Douglas was stumping on behalf of Republican gubernatorial candidate Walt Havenstein.

Douglas says he has a personal interest in who gets elected as the next governor in the Granite State. "My grand children are living in New Hampshire -- they are growing up here.  I want to make sure they have a bright future," Douglas said.

Douglas isn't the only Vermonter getting involved in New Hampshire politics this year.  Over the weekend, Senator Patrick Leahy made made a couple stops across the Connecticut River to support his colleague in the Senate -- Jeanne Shaheen.  But do out of staters make a difference to voters?

"Most of these outside endorsements are about generating free media," said Linda Fowler, a government professor at Dartmouth College. Fowler says there is no evidence that the events themselves will sway a voter one way or the other.  "I don't know that any of these endorsements change people's minds. I think it is more about increasing the salience of the race," she said.

But  Fowler says high profile endorsements can have an impact.  Shaheen's opponent in the senate race, Scott Brown, recently got a visit from Florida Senator Marco Rubio, a possible contender in the 2016 presidential race.  "I think the other celebrity endorsements do -- A Hillary, or Chris Christie. It energizes the base," Fowler said.

Douglas is joining Havenstien in border towns where his name recognition is hoped to have an impact, and Havenstein is happy to have his support.   "He was a very very popular Governor," Havenstein said.

Former President Bill Clinton will be traveling to the Granite State Thursday to support Governor Maggie Hassan in her re-election.  And Hillary is coming in a couple of weeks.   But, the experts say it's ultimately up to the candidates, not the people who endorse them, who will decide their own fate on election day. 


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