Excerpt from an article by Tully below. In addition to the independent candidates mentioned in the article, Joe Kennedy is running in Massachusetts, and the Moderate Party of Rhode Island fits the general theme of moderate independent alternatives in New England.
To the south of New Hampshire, Independent candidates are polling ahead of Democrats and Republicans in both Massachusetts and Rhode Island. Ex-Democrat Tim Cahill is running strongly in Massachusetts, with – surprise, surprise – a socially moderate and fiscally conservative approach. In Rhode Island, ex-Senator Lincoln Chaffee, who was targeted by the conservative wing of the GOP, is positioned as a pragmatic independent who is not as ‘mean’ as the shrill Republican base, but more fiscally responsible than the chaotic Democratic-lead statehouse. And of course in Connecticut, Independent Joe Lieberman felt ostracized by liberal Democrats, and has almost single-handedly prevented a new socialized health program from leaving the Senate.
One must ask: what traits do all of these Independent victories have in common?
First, Fiscal irresponsibility among Democrats.
Second, capture of the Republican Party by an extreme and shrill right wing.
Third, voter rejection of both (1) and (2) above, and falling party identification.
Fourth, Independent candidates who support fiscal responsibility; social tolerance and civil liberties; and who have strong pro-Education platforms.
Which brings us to New Hampshire, and the 2010 Gubernatorial election.
Governor John Lynch’s record of fee & tax increases, free-wheeling spending, and fiscal incompetence will go down in history as legendary. Not in recent history has this state seen such deceitful budgeting, nor so many tax and fee increases. Combined with the national Obama juggernaut of staggering deficits and spending, a growing number of Americans from “the middle” – where elections are won – are pushing back against the Democrats irresponsibility.
Unfortunately, the Republican Party will not necessarily benefit from this anger. The Bush years convinced an entire generation of Americans that Republicans, too, stand for big government and big spending. Worse, the histrionics of right-wing media idols like Glenn Beck have painted the GOP as a party of the lunatic fringe.