Live Free or Die: A Declaration of Independence in New Hampshire

Independents continue to make headlines in the Northeast. In New Hampshire's Eagle Tribune, James Kimble reports on the prospects of independent candidates for office in the Granite State. It seems politicians are beginning to follow the voters' lead and declare their independence from the two-party system:
A recent Gallup poll said roughly 50 percent of New Hampshire's voters identify themselves as independent. New Hampshire and Rhode Island are tied nationally for having the most independent voters, according to the poll.

After some bruising battles at the State House in recent months, some candidates are starting to consider moving away from their party to break away from its most extreme members.

Rep. Anthony DiFruscia, R-Windham, said he is planning to switch his party affiliation to Independent when he runs for re-election in 2010.

Since making his announcement a few weeks ago, DiFruscia said he has spoken to other several legislators, Republicans and Democrats, who are considering the move away from their party and running as Independents, but no one else has officially taken the leap.

Significantly, the bulk of the article's analysis is provided by Fergus Cullen, former head of the state Republican Party. The conclusion:

Only an independently wealthy candidate or a current elected official with a strong base could really wage a successful Independent campaign for higher office. Infrastructure and money continue to be two key ingredients to win . . . If a major third party candidate steps forward in 2010, Cullen said, he or she will have to weigh whether the benefits of being viewed as an Independent outweigh having the political infrastructure provided by Democrats or Republicans.

According to registration tallies, 38% of voters in New Hampshire are not affiliated with either the Republican or Democratic Party.

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