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.
Iowa Republicans had a banner day on November 4th, picking up both a U.S. Senate seat and one U.S. House seat, but Mariannette Miller-Meeks' defeat in her third attempt to oust Democrat Dave Loebsack in the 2nd CD means the GOP will not have a monopoly on the state's congressional delegation in the 114th Congress. The loss by Miller-Meeks (following up her defeats in 2008 and 2010) means major party nominees who lost their first two Iowa U.S. House races are now 0 for 10 the third time around in Iowa history. Miller-Meeks joins Democrat William Leffingwell (1858, 1868, 1870), Democrat Anthony Van Wagenen (1894, 1912 (special), 1912), Democrat James Murtagh (1906, 1914, 1916), Democrat Clair Williams (1944, 1946, 1952), Democrat Steven Carter (1948, 1950, 1956), Republican Don Mahon (1966, 1968, 1970), Republican Tom Riley (1968, 1974, 1976), Democrat Eric Tabor (1986, 1988, 1990), and Democrat Bill Gluba (1982, 1988, 2004) on the Hawkeye State's Three Strikes list.
Larry Pressler may have fallen short in his long-shot, underfunded, and understaffed bid to return to the nation's upper legislative chamber, but he did end up notching the best showing for a non-major party South Dakota U.S. Senate candidate in more than 90 years. Pressler won 17.1 percent of the vote which is the best showing for an independent or third party U.S. Senate candidate in the state since 1920 when non-partisan candidate Tom Ayres won 24.1 percent in a race won by Republican Peter Norbeck. Overall, Pressler's 17.1 percent is good for the second best mark for a non-major party candidate across the 35 U.S. Senate contests in South Dakota history. Independent and third party candidates have appeared on the South Dakota U.S. Senate ballot just 25 times over the last century and only three have reached double digits: Pressler in 2014 and Ayres in 1920 and 1924 (12.1 percent). Pressler's defeat means he won't become the oldest candidate elected to the chamber in South Dakota history nor notch the record for the longest gap in service in the direct election era.
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