- Posted November 3, 2012 by
Manchester, New Hampshire
This iReport is part of an assignment:
Election 2012: Your stories
Will the Free State Project Determine the Next POTUS?
In 2000’s presidential race, New Hampshire’s contingency tipped the numbers, and both candidates this year are giving special attention to the state in their final campaign push. “We proved back in 2000 that our four electoral votes can actually decide the race," said Rich Killion, a Republican strategist in New Hampshire who worked on Romney's 2008 campaign.
But in 2000, the Free State Project didn’t exist yet. Today there are 1,105 activists who have moved to New Hampshire from all corners of the world to concentrate their power and achieve the common goal of drastically downsizing the government, both locally and nationally, and over 13,000 more who have pledged to move. Dave Corbin, a political science professor at the University of New Hampshire, recognizes the reach of these activists, contending “Any time you have a campaign and you have an activist, you know you have 20 or 30 times the number of votes as activists.”
President Obama knows how crucial New Hampshire’s voters could be this November, recently warning crowds at a Manchester rally, “These four electoral votes right here could make the difference. We don’t know how this thing is going to play out.” With New Hampshire’s split between Obama and Romney currently a “dead heat,” and a sizeable 7% polling as undecided, it all comes down to these Free Staters and the 30,000+ voters they can influence.
According to their website, the Free State Project is a movement to recruit 20,000 liberty-lovers to New Hampshire, where they will exert the fullest practical effort toward the creation of a society in which the maximum role of government is the protection of life, liberty, and property. These activists commonly align themselves as fiscally conservative and socially liberal. Everyone’s trying to guess whether the Free Staters will turn out on Tuesday for one of the major candidates or even “throw away their votes” for a third-party ticket.
Carla Gericke, President of the Free State Project, says “The largest concentration of liberty-minded voters in the United States are voting in New Hampshire on Tuesday.” So the question remains, could the next four years of American leadership be decided by a group of activists who want their government to be as small as possible?