With sights on N.H., Kasich separates himself from the pack

 

KEENE – As the presidential candidates canvassed across Iowa this weekend, trying to raise last-minute support before the state’s primary caucuses Monday, there was one candidate who didn’t bother to make the trip. John Kasich was 1,200 miles away in Keene, N.H., holding his 83rd and 84th town hall meetings in the Granite State.

It’s part of a strategy—focusing his nomination hopes on New Hampshire—that Kasich, the Republican governor of Ohio, said he’s had since the beginning of his campaign.

“From the beginning, it (New Hampshire) is more manageable,” Kasich said after one meeting at the Cheshire County Historical Society. “You want to be in a position where you can meet people in person. Iowa is hard because everything is so spread out.”

And it seems to be paying off. While Kasich lags behind in national polls of the crowded Republican field, he has surged in recent weeks in New Hampshire, where he hopes his moderate appeal can attract independent voters like John McCain did in 2000.

A Suffolk University poll published Saturday has him at second place with 12 percent, above fellow establishment candidates like Jeb Bush (11.2%), Marco Rubio (9.6%) and Chris Christie (5.6%).

“I’ve always seen New Hampshire as a great launching pad,” said John Weaver, a prominent GOP strategist who has been advising Gov. Kasich. Weaver explained that Kasich’s message– a responsible government that refuses to leave people behind– opens him up to voters that others in the GOP can’t reach. “In terms of his own lane, he’s a conservative with a broad appeal.”

The next two weeks will determine whether Kasich’s progress in New Hampshire can materialize into votes on primary day, and whether that surge in support can withstand a low placing in the Iowa caucuses to propel him into South Carolina and Nevada with momentum.

Weaver questioned how influential the Iowa caucuses were to New Hampshire voters, and he said he believes they have the organization in place to overcome any such decay in support.

“I’ve never met a voter who said, ‘Oh, I was going to vote for you but then you lost in Iowa,’” Weaver said. “He’ll (Kasich) have done 100 town hall meetings by the primary, and he has 7 of the 8 New Hampshire newspaper endorsements, plus the New York Times and Boston Globe.”

The New York Times unrolled their primary endorsements Saturday morning, just before Kasich addressed the crowd gathered in the Cheshire County Historical Society.

Many of the undecided voters who attended the rally agreed that Iowa would have little impact on whether they support the Ohio governor or not.

“Probably not, I look at the caucuses as very small and a different sort of thing,” said Perry Faulkner, a 47-year-old Democrat who lives north of Keene and works for a medical device company. “I’m really into foreign policy, particularly the Middle East, so I’m interested to hear what he has to say about that. You haven’t heard a lot about that on the Republican side, beyond the stuff that Cruz says.”

Martha Ladam, a 70-year-old retired secretary from Keene, said she was a registered Democrat but was considering registering as an independent so she can vote in the Republican primary.

“I’m not thrilled with the Democrats, I seem to get more conservative with age,” Ladam said. “He just seems sane, like someone you would leave with your kids with.”

She also said Iowa wouldn’t impact her decision, calling the caucuses a “different thing,” but added that Kasich’s recent surge in New Hampshire definitely matters to her.

At the end of his question-and-answer session in Keene, Kasich said he wanted to bring people together and asked for the crowd for their support.

“If I get snuffed out here, I’m going home,” he told the crowd. “If I do well, the country will hear what I have to say.”

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Madrid’s Chinese community insulates itself from economic turmoil

Madrid’s Chinese community insulates itself from economic turmoil

NU Journalism Abroad · Spain 2015

Story by Dylan McGuinness and Adam Tismaneanu

MADRID–It’s 4:30 p.m. on a Saturday and Elena Wang is sitting alone in the front room of her empty Sichuan restaurant, just before closing between the lunch and dinner rushes. She’s waiting on her 10-year-old son to come back from his school lesson. He walks in, greets his mother and heads to the kitchen to speak with his father who works as the chef.

Elena Wang's restaurant and Xin Chan's convenience store are located just off Plaza de Españ–a. Malasa–ña, in central Madrid, is one of the dominant neighborhoods of Chinese immigrants in Spain. Photo by Joe Thomas Elena Wang’s restaurant and Xin Chan’s convenience store are located just off Plaza de Españ–a. Malasa–ña, in central Madrid, is one of the dominant neighborhoods of Chinese immigrants in Spain.
Photo by Joe Thomas

Theirs is a quintessential family business. There are no employees outside of Wang and her kin. Before she opened this Chinese food restaurant four months ago, just off of Plaza de España, they had another one, and one before that too, all in the…

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Package: Catholic church tries to adapt to a younger generation

Package: Catholic church tries to adapt to a younger generation

NU Journalism Abroad · Spain 2015

MADRID–Attendance at Catholic churches in Spain is rapidly declining, especially among young parishioners. Since the Spanish Constitution separated church and state in 1978, the number of Spanish citizens who identify as Catholic has continued to drop. Churches are now looking for new ways to appeal to those born after this separation. Catholic nuns have also felt the negative effects. Both communities are using technology in an attempt to appeal to a younger generation.

DSC_0175 Story by Dylan McGuinness and Adam Tismaneanu // MADRID–The church is struggling to attract members–especially young ones. As a result, one congregation is using technology to appeal to the disinterested. Click here to read more.

Story by Chloe Bayhack // MADRID-- Story by Chloe Bayhack // MADRID–As the number of nuns in Spain has dwindled since the end of the Franco dictatorship, convents have taken an alternative route in order to recruit: the internet. Click here to read more.

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What Boston can learn from Barcelona’s post-Olympic transformation

What Boston can learn from Barcelona’s post-Olympic transformation

NU Journalism Abroad · Spain 2015

Story by Dylan McGuinness

BARCELONA–It’s still spring in Barcelona but the hum of early summer is already apparent throughout the city. Tour buses line every block and corner of Plaça Catalunya, the city’s center square, readying to depart to various destinations. An eclectic mass of people packs La Rambla, the avenue that connects the city’s square to its Mediterranean coast. Beachgoers saturate the coastline as well, taking in the maritime views and casually passing by the old Olympic Village.

The main Olympic stadium, Lluis Companys, located on Montjuic, Barcelona. It was renovated in 1989 for the games and overlooks Barcelona's seaport.  Photo by Joe Thomas The main Olympic stadium, located on Montjuïc mountain, in Barcelona. It was renovated in 1989 for the games and overlooks Barcelona’s seaport.
Photo by Joe Thomas

But before that village existed, the coastline was packed not with beachgoers, cruise ships and retail shops, but warehouses and industrial wastelands. La Rambla was hardly the major commercial avenue it functions as today. There was no Olympic Port, no beach and there weren’t…

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