What is the Face of Next Year’s Politics

The Boston Globe is examining the role of the economy in next year’s election using New Hampshire as a case study. It has lost 20,000 jobs during this recession and jobloss recovery but it is starting to add jobs again at a reasonably rapid rate. The economy has diversified over the past decade since the last major recession and it has diversified by going into high tech and away from manufacturing. However the state’s largest employer used to be Digital Computers, now part of Compaq, but now it is Wal-Mart with that honor.

New Hampshire will need to make a decision as to whether to measure the economy by the derivative of the growth path and give their support to Bush in 2004 or to ask themselves the question “Are you better off now than four years ago.” This will be the primary theme of the economic issue debate over the course of the next year as the Bush administration will try and trumpet every small piece of good news while burying all of the bad news. However there are certain demographic concerns that should be making New Hampshire a little more blue.

The high tech revolution has finally reached the Granite State and that means a whole lot more college educated workers and “Creative Class” individuals are working in the state. This has already made parts of Southern New Hampshire competitive for the Democrats as that part of the state is fundamentally populated by Massachusetts Techies who are looking for some place cheaper to live.

These will be the two battle lines next year; how well are we doing, do we look at rates of change or absolutes, and do the techies/creatives have enough mass to decide the vote.

Crossposted at Fester’s Place