Mitt Romney's strongest three counties in the 2012 GOP New Hampshire primary were his three strongest in 2008: Rockingham (#1 in both cycles), Carroll (#3 in '08, #2 in '12), and Hillsborough (#2 in '08 and #3 in '12). Rockingham and Hillsborough (both bordering Massachusetts on the south), were the only two counties the former Massachusetts governor carried in 2008. The sole county Romney has failed to win in either presidential cycle is the northernmost county of Coos - won by John McCain in 2008 and Ron Paul by 2.1 points in 2012. Overall, Romney increased his vote percentage from 2008 in each of the Granite State's 10 counties, with the biggest increase coming in west central Grafton County, where he notched a 10.4 increase from 2008 (20.1 percent) to 2012 (30.5 percent). He also scored increases of 9.9 points in Strafford, 9.6 points in Rockingham and Carroll, 9.4 points in Coos, 8.0 points in Belknap, 6.0 points in Merrimack, 4.5 points in Cheshire, and 4.3 points in Sullivan.
A total of eight candidates will be on the ballot in New Jersey's gubernatorial election Tuesday. That is the lowest number since 1989, when voters got to choose from six candidates in the ballot access-friendly Garden State. There were 19 gubernatorial hopefuls in 1993, 10 in 1997, nine in 2001, 10 in 2005, and a dozen in 2009. Since 1901, an average of eight candidates have appeared on New Jersey's gubernatorial ballot. As a result, candidates have won with a plurality of the vote eight times during this 110+-year period: in 1907, 1913, 1919, 1934, 1981, 1993, 1997, and 2009. In addition to major party nominees Chris Christie and Barbara Buono, the other six candidates running for governor in 2013 are Kenneth Kaplan (Libertarian), Steven Welzer (Green), William Araujo (Peace and Freedom), Jeff Boss (NSA Did 911), Diane Sare (Glass-Steagall Now), and Hank Schroeder (independent).
What do Republican Susan Collins of Maine and Democrats Dianne Feinstein of California, Claire McCaskill of Missouri, Mazie Hirono of Hawaii, and Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota have in common? All five women ran failed gubernatorial general election campaigns prior to winning U.S. Senate seats. Feinstein lost her gubernatorial bid in 1990 with Collins losing in 1994, Heitkamp in 2000, Hirono in 2002, and McCaskill in 2004. Heitkamp had the longest gap - getting elected to the nation's upper legislative chamber a dozen years later in 2012 with Feinstein (1992), Collins (1996), and McCaskill (2006) each waiting just two years before claiming a Senate seat and Hirono (2002) waiting ten.
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