Rep Steve Vaillancourt


This Week's Trivia--Getting "Hi" On "Red Eye"

This week's trivia is from the Fox News Show Red Eye (3-4 a.m., prime time for me) just by coincidence the same show which first presented the data last week that unattractive people might expect to receive seven to ten percent fewer votes if running against an attractive candidate of the same sex.  Thanks again Greg Gutfeld.

But that's ancient history.

Red Eye usually features two special guests on its five-member panel. Monday night, one of the guests was a former elected official and former candidate for President who was wearing a "Hi" t-shirt.  It seems that while he was never elected President, he is now President of "Hi" (also known as Cannabis Sativa Inc.) a company dedicated to marijuana products.  This guest (who's been on the show before) praised a new marijuana throat lozenge to high heaven.

He also predicted that it's not a question of whether marijuana will be legalized nationwide, but when.  "The whole country is going to legalize marijuana in ten years and then so goes the world."


Was that guest, former Presidential candidate, and "Hi" President?

Former Colorado Senator Gary Hart;

Former Vermont Governor Howard Dean;

Former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson;

Former Ohio Congressman Dennis Kucinich;

Former Texas Congressman Ron Paul;

Former Michigan Congressman Thaddeus McCotter



I tried to confuse you by throwing in Gary Hart from Colorado. That's not the answer.  It's Gary Johnson who claimed he was the only elected governor or senator who came out in favor of legalization. Long ago.  Some wondered whether he might have taken one of the lozenges prior to the taping of the show. One never knows on "Red Eye".



  1. Gary Johnson Named CEO of Cannabis Sativa, Inc.,-in...
    Jul 2, 2014 - Gary Johnson can add the title of $50 Million Man to his resume that includes former two-term ... High hopes indeed, but you never know.

"Spelling Bee"--Best Ad Of The Year So Far


New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, right, speaks to reporters next to Republican Scott Brown after endorsing him for U.S. Senate during a campaign event in Salem, New Hampshire, in September.

Say it ain't so, Scott!  My favorite politician, Scott Brown, with my least favorite, Chris Christie.

Truth in blogging--Scott Brown is my kind of Republican (no, not just because--am I allowed to say this?  I know I'm not supposed to tell the truth about somebody being as "ugly as sin"--am I allowed to mention someone is good looking?).  Truth be told, he's the only Republian (other than myself) that I feel really comfortable about voting for three weeks from today.

Every time I've almost convinced myself that it's all right to hold my nose and vote for Republican Walt Havenstein for Governor, he insists on once again bellying up (figuratively of course; the literal image would truly constitute "ugly as sin") to Chris Christie, about the most loathsome creature to attempt to crawl back into our good graces.  The man behind bridgegate, whether he's ever indicted or not, will never win me back, and the more I see him connected at the hip (another "ugly as sin" image) to Walt Havenstein, my more trouble I have voting for Uncle Walt.

As for Frank Guinta, I have two main problems with him, but that'll require an entire entry in itself (starting with a homorphobic 2010 Guinta flyer I just found on a desk in my dining room).

But I digress.  Not only I am very fond of Scott Brown, but I have nothing good to say about Jeanne Shaheen who has always put herself first and now has the audacity to claim she puts New Hampshire first (that'll also require a lengthy blog, taking us back to the days when, in her third term as governor, she pushed for a sales tax and when 95 percent of NH House Democrats voted for an income tax in her second term as Governor; I remember it well; you see, I was a Democrat back then and was one of only seven Dens to vote against the tax--two are dead now--what a great trivia question it would be to name the seven).

But there I go...digressing again.

Suffice it to say that nothing would please me more than to see Scott Brown defeat the Missouri native.

Having admitted all that, allow me to opine that a new attack ad against Shaheen, from a conservative pack (Karl Rove's American Crossroads as best I can tell), is the most effective ad I've seen all year.  


Apparently, it hit the air waves Tuesday night; I saw it twice in an hour and a dozen or so times in the 12 hours since then.  In fact, about 20 ads ran in the 12-12:30 p.m Channel 9 news block Wednesday; no less than five of the ads were either for Shaheen or against Brown, but the one that stood out in the clutter was this Crossroads ad entitled "Spelling Bee". 

A student, when asked to spell Shaheen, asks that the word be defined and is told "a Washington liberal out of touch with New Hampshire who voted with Baracl Obama 99 percent of the time".

Use the word in a sentence, the student asks.  "Jeanne Shaheen is the reason Obamacare passed" (or words to that effect).  I'll try to include a copy of the ad here.

Finally when the student spells Shaheen "O-B-A-M-A", the spelling mentors, in perfect unison, intone, "Close enough."

It's a great ad, and I assume you trust me enough to know that I say that not simply because I like Scott Brown a great deal (I do) and dislike Jeanne Shaheen a great deal (I do).

Ah, but I see I'm not the first to notice this ad. 

My Second Favorite Ad--By the way, my second favorite ad is one running in Massachusetts against Martha Coakley, the Democrat barely ahead in the race for governor.  When asked what the current gas tax is (she favors an increase), she opines that it's ten cents a gallon when in fact it's 24 cents.  She looks really bad.  The ad has been running for months now, perhaps a reason Charlie Baker has narrowed Coakley's one-time big lead.

Ads can from time to time hit the sweet spot and mean a difference in a race.

Here's a Boston Globe story on "Spelling Bee".


GOP-aligned group uses spelling bee ad to attack Jeanne Shaheen

The well-funded third-party political group is launching a cheeky TV attack ad tying incumbent Democratic US Senator Jeanne Shaheen to President Obama, whose popularity has sunk to near toxic levels in the Granite State. The ad echoes one of the main campaign themes of Shaheen’s Republican opponent, Scott Brown.

In the 30-second spot — which is set to begin airing Tuesday across the state backed by a whopping $3 million over a week — a girl on stage at a spelling bee struggles to decipher how to spell Shaheen’s name.

She asks the three judges to give the the definition.

“Shaheen: A Washington liberal, out of touch with New Hampshire,” says an older, white-haired woman, who looks the part of a schoolmarm. “Voted for the Obama agenda 99 percent.”

The girl, still seeking help, asks for it in a sentence.

“Jeanne Shaheen was the deciding vote for ObamaCare,” one of the other judges replies, referring to the Affordable Care Act, the controversial health care overhaul that passed the US Senate by a single vote.

Finally, the girl comes up with the answer on how to spell the senator’s name: “O-b-a-m-a.”

The judges look at each other, pause, and conclude, in unison, the answer is “close enough.”

The spot echoes a similar TV ad Crossroads aired against Arkansas US Senator Mark Pryor, a vulnerable incumbent in another state where the president is unpopular, earlier this year.

Shaheen spokesman Harrell Kirstein responded to the new ad in a statement. He said Brown’s “corporate special interest allies” are attempting to purchase him a New Hampshire US senate seat.

“They want Scott Brown back in Washington working for Wall Street and Big Oil,” Kirstein said. “But people here know Jeanne Shaheen and they trust her to always put New Hampshire first and make a difference for New Hampshire.”

Super PACs such as American Crossroads can raise unlimited sums from people, labor unions and corporations.

Shaheen and Brown will face off on Nov. 4 in a contest that will be among those that determine whether Republicans win control of the Senate.


NEC Has Brown Ahead; RCP Moves NH Back To Toss-Up

UPDATE--10:30 p.m.--Sure enough, as indicated below, 538 just decreased Shaheen's odds to 81 percent and increased odds of Republican control of the Senate to 60.2 percent overall nationwide.  Nate Silver writes a great deal about New Hampshire in his new post.

Note that as predicted here yesterday (would I ever steer you wrong?), the ARG poll has been dropped from those included in Real Clear Politics averages, and Scott Brown has moved to within 3.5 points of Missouri native Jeanne Shaheen, thus moving the race into the RCP toss-up column. 

That move is facilitated by a new New England College poll--just out--which has Brown actually taking a one point lead 48-47 (1.1 points to be precise).  Whoa!  I almost buried the lead.  That's how fast things are moving.  Maggie Hassan's lead is down to 5.2 points over Walt Havenstein (her lead in the RCP average is down to 8.2 points); Frank Guinta has moved 2.8 points ahead of Carol Shea Porter; and in the beauty contest, Marilinda Garcia has closed to within 2.6 points of Annie Kuster.  It seems that, at last, NEC pollsters are beginning to weight their survey properly (380R, 306D, 325I), based on likely voter turnout.  Here are the numbers.





Maggie Hassan



Walt Havenstein



Another Candidate



Not Sure






Q2. Senate - If the election were held today how would you vote for United States Senator from New Hampshire?




Scott Brown



Jeanne Shaheen



Another Candidate



Not Sure






Q3. CD1 - If the election were held today how would you vote for Representative from the First Congressional District?

Rep - CD1



Frank Guinta



Carol Shea-Porter



Another Candidate



Not Sure






Q3. CD2 - If the election were held today how would you vote for Representative from the Second Congressional District?

Rep - CD2



Annie Kuster



Marilinda Garcia



Another Candidate



Not Sure






In the other big pollng news today, for the first time in weeks, Republican Thom Tillis is ahead of North Carolina Senator Kay Hagen, 46-45 in a Survey USA Poll (her overall lead is down to 1.5 points in the RCP average).   I consider this personal vindication since the seven states I've been predicting for Republican gains all year are Montana, West Virginia, South Dakota, Louisiana, Alaska, Arkansas, and NORTH CAROLINA.  (I never saw pick-ups in Iowa or Colorado, but they appear more and more likely).

538 still gives Shaheen an 86 percent chance to win (there's usually some lag time; another prediction is that Nate Silver will lower that number by tomorrow), but Pollster has it down to 62 percent.

In another major development, while 538 continues to give Republicans a 59 percent chance of capturing the Senate, Pollster has up that number to 66 percent, a considerable hike for that left wing blog (HuffPost subsidiary).

Also note that as predicted here earlier (it's time to brag), Pat Roberts has pulled even with Greg Orman in Kansas; in fact, he leads in three of the last four polls. 

New Hampshire Senate - Brown vs. Shaheen


Jeanne Shaheen

Jeanne Shaheen (D)*

Bio | Campaign Site

Scott Brown

Scott Brown (R)

Bio | Campaign Site

New Hampshire Snapshot

RCP Average: Shaheen +3.5
 RCP Ranking: Toss-Up
2014 Key Races: Governor | NH-1 | NH-2

----------PAST KEY RACES----------

2012: President | Governor | NH-1 | NH-2
2010: Governor | Senate | NH-1 | NH-2
2008: President | Senate | NH-1
2006: Governor | NH-2
2004: President | Senate | NH-1 | NH-2

Polling Data

PollDateSampleMoEShaheen (D)Brown (R)Spread
RCP Average 9/20 - 10/9 -- -- 47.5 44.0 Shaheen +3.5
New England College 10/9 - 10/9 1081 LV 3.0 47 48 Brown +1
High Point/SurveyUSA 10/4 - 10/8 824 LV 3.5 48 46 Shaheen +2
WMUR/UNH 9/29 - 10/5 532 LV 4.2 47 41 Shaheen +6
CBS News/NYT/YouGov 9/20 - 10/1 1260 LV 3.0 48 41 Shaheen +7

All New Hampshire Senate - Brown vs. Shaheen Polling Data 

Polling Data--North Carolina Senate

PollDateSampleMoEHagan (D)Tillis (R)Spread
RCP Average 9/20 - 10/12 -- -- 45.1 43.6 Hagan +1.5
SurveyUSA 10/9 - 10/12 554 LV 4.2 45 46 Tillis +1
High Point* 9/30 - 10/9 584 LV 4.1 40 40 Tie
USA Today/Suffolk* 10/4 - 10/7 500 LV 4.4 47 45 Hagan +2
Rasmussen Reports 10/6 - 10/7 970 LV 3.0 48 46 Hagan +2
NBC News/Marist* 9/27 - 10/1 665 LV 3.8 44 40 Hagan +4
CBS News/NYT/YouGov* 9/20 - 10/1 2002 LV 3.0 46 45 Hagan +1
CNN/Opinion Research* 9/22 - 9/25 595 LV 4.0 46 43 Hagan +3

All North Carolina Senate - Tillis vs. Hagan Polling Data

Polling Data--Kansas Senate

PollDateSampleMoERoberts (R)Orman (I)Spread
RCP Average 10/2 - 10/12 -- -- 45.2 45.2 Tie
Remington Research Group (R)* 10/9 - 10/12 1091 LV 3.0 48 46 Roberts +2
PPP (D) 10/9 - 10/12 1081 LV 3.0 43 46 Orman +3
FOX News* 10/4 - 10/7 702 LV 3.5 44 39 Roberts +5
CNN/Opinion Research 10/2 - 10/6 687 LV 3.5 49 48 Roberts +1
SurveyUSA* 10/2 - 10/5 549 LV 4.3 42 47 Orman +5

All Kansas Senate - Roberts vs. Orman Polling Data


"Baking The Cake" On Derry TV

Steve Vaillancourt visits the Legislators' Lounge

Published on Oct 8, 2014

Jim and Brian talk to Manchester Representative Steve Vaillancourt. Watch as they talk about the NH House, and Steve's predictions on the upcoming election in November, even the speakers race is talked about.


So much has happened, I almost forgot to mention it, but last week, I traveled to Derry to keep a long promised commitment to appear on the Legislators' Lounge community access TV show there.

Hosts were two Derry Reps, Jim Webb and Brian Chirichiello.

They've sent along a link to the show (above); in fact, you should be able to get to all their shows with it.   Now the entire world can see just how beautiful I really am as opposed to that god-awful picture on Huffington Post (for the humor impaired--apparnetly many--I feel compelled to point out that was just a joke).

We talked about a wide range of subjects from my basic political philosophy (libertarian--always fun to talk about) to gambling and marijuana to the speed limit (of course) to the race for Speaker to my latest predictions to No Show Reps.

When they asked me if I had anything else I wanted to mention at the end of the show, I grasped upon my "baking the cake" analogy. People think issues are decided during the session next winter and spring, but in fact, the cake is being baked now. Almost every issue is being decided right now, depending on the candidates who get elected now.

If Democrats retain their majority in the New Hampshire House, we can expect more tax and spending programs (like a tax on paint cans), including a nine percent property tax hike in Hillsborough County like we got the last two years, and more government intrusion into our lives.

If Republicans take the House, we can expect less onerous government, but then comes the caveat that if Republicans receive too large a majority, then we can expect more silliness like personhood and resolutions to withdraw from the U.N. and to oppose Sharia law.

What's a fiscal conservative, social libertarian to do? Hope for some middle ground, but rest assured...the cake is being baked now...not next spring.


Re: Political Beauty, Washington Examiner To The Rescue 

I knew someone would find it and send it along.  Here's the original story, (which I had heard about on Red Eye on Fox News), which reports that more attractive people can have up to a ten percentage point advantage in certain elections.  As I originally reported, the seven percent number also appears in the story.  Also note that, as I reported, it only works "when candidates are of the same sex" apprently I was hearing just fine at 3:10 a.m. last Tuesday night.  Thanks to Greg Gutfeld.

Guess what?  It won't come as a surprise that it wasn't a media outlet which locacted this story and sent it along to me.  The media is spending too much time making up its own story to cover the real story, that a legitimate paper has reported that less attractive candidates can suffer as much as ten points.

So much for the Union Leader reporter (Buckland as I recall) who virtually accused me of making the survey up.  He said he couldn't find it; he must have been trying might hard NOT to find it. 

Here's the entire story (with links), from the Washington Examier, based on data from American Politics Research, totally unedited here.  Note the language "extremely unattractive".


Pretty candidates enjoy 10% 'beauty premium' from voters

By Paul Bedard | October 6, 2014 | 3:38 pm
Topics:Washington SecretsHouse of Representatives2014 ElectionsCampaignsElections
Paul Bedard,Washington Secrets,House of Representatives,2014 Elections,Campaigns,Elections
Photo - AP Photo AP Photo

House candidates with that Ralph Lauren look gain a “beauty premium” of up to 10 percent in races against more pedestrian-looking challengers, the latest sign the nation’s knowledge or concern for politics is just skin deep, according to a new elections study.

The scholarly report in the prestigious journal American Politics Research and provided to Secrets concluded that “an extremely attractive candidate running against an extremely unattractive candidate can expect to obtain an electoral ‘beauty premium’ of more than 7 percent of the vote.”

“This number alone would be enough to decide most marginal races,” the study said, later adding that the premium could reach 10 percent.

The study from the University of Ottawa of the 2008 House races sneered that American voters are lazy and fickle. The authors said American voters don’t do much research before jumping into the polling booth to make their choice other than sizing up candidates based on their looks.

They also found that voter focus on beauty as a deciding factor for picking candidates has a big limitation. It only works when the candidates are of the same sex.

When the candidates are opposing sexes, voters still base their decision on looks, but instead of beauty they look for indications of competence. But the results are the same, with the candidate perceived as looking more competent getting an edge.

“Voters tend to be easily influenced by good-looking candidates,” said the study. Beauty, it said, is an “easy way out strategy for uninformed voters” sizing up same-sex candidates. When the sexes are different, the study concluded, “the easiest move is to infer, based on physical appearance, which candidate seems to be more competent.”

It doesn’t always work, though. Asked about the Virginia House race in Washington’s suburbs pitting Del. Barbara Comstock and Democrat John Foust, one of the authors picked Foust as more competent. Voters gave Comstock a 12-point lead in a recent poll.

Paul Bedard, the Washington Examiner's "Washington Secrets" columnist, can be contacted at