Can I get a little help from our New Hampshire readers? Is this Ovide Lamontagne guy, who is facing off against other Republicans to become New Hampshire’s next U.S. congressman, actually being taken seriously by serious people? He hasn’t been on my radar, but he sure as hell is now, appearing in the Republican debate where he was the only one to come out not just for a Federal Marriage Amendment, but for banning same-sex couples from adopting.
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Lamontagne, a Tea Party-type, is gaining in the polls against frontrunner Kelly Ayotte, relays WaPo, which notes his spike “has largely escaped the attention of the media. It shouldn’t.”
GOP sources say if anyone pulls an upset of Ayotte in a crowded primary field, it’s more likely to be Lamontagne, the party’s gubernatorial nominee in 1996, rather than the two free-spending businessmen in the contest.
The lack of focus on the New Hampshire race — and the difficulty in prognosticating its outcome — has largely come from a (maddening!) dearth of quality public polling, but conversations with GOP strategists in the Granite State suggest an upset isn’t out of the question.
“Right now, he’s the frontrunners’ biggest nightmare, because they really don’t know what to do,” said longtime New Hampshire GOP strategist Tom Rath who is neutral in the race. “You can’t attack him because he’s like a sacred cow, and you can’t get to his right.”
Added former state GOP Chairman Fergus Cullen: “I think Kelly’s going to win this thing, but I don’t think it’s impossible that Ovide … comes out the surprising winner.”
But Lamontagne’s hard-line stance on LGBT equality is put up against this interesting position (for a Republican) on spending: any federal tax cuts need to come with spending cuts. How novel! Hah. This man is full of riddles.