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NEC Poll: Incumbents Have the Advantage

September 17, 2014

Posted in NEC Poll News Press Release

Election-related poll series will track State’s ballot leaders

In the immediate aftermath of New Hampshire’s 2014 primary elections, voters appear to be favoring incumbent candidates for now. According to the latest results of the New England College Poll, however, in most races Republican challengers are within striking distance. In a polling sample of 630 registered, likely voters, the incumbent candidate leads in each race with the largest margin in the Governor’s race, and most narrow margin in the First Congressional District.

“With less than eight weeks until election day there are no contests out of reach for the challengers,” said Dr. Wayne Lesperance, Professor of Political Science at New England College and Director of the Center for Civic Engagement which includes the New England College Polling Institute. “It is clear from our poll results that incumbents are enjoying an advantage over their challengers.”

United States Senate

In perhaps the most watched race of the cycle for US Senate, democrat Senator Jeanne Shaheen leads republican challenger Scott Brown 51% to 40.2%. 4.5% of respondents would prefer another candidate and 4.2% are unsure.

“This is the race that has captured national attention,” said Lesperance. “Senator Shaheen’s margin is significant but not insurmountable. With the general election less than a week old, Scott Brown has his work cut out for him.”

Congressional District-1

Of the two congressional races, the first Congressional District has the narrowest margin between democratic Representative Carol Shea-Porter (46%) and former Representative and republican Frank Guinta (41.6%). 6.5% said they preferred another candidate while 5.9% of respondents were not sure who they would support.

“There’s no question this is the tightest margin among the races in the Granite State,” said Lesperance. “And in such a close race, voters should expect to see the candidates in a pitched battle for every vote.”

Congressional District-2

The second Congressional District results show democratic Representative Anne McClane Kuster over republican challenger Marilinda Garcia 49.6% to 36.7%. Respondents preferring another candidate were at 6.1% with 7.6% not sure about who they will support.

According to Lesperance, “Representative Kuster’s lead among respondents at just under 13% represents quite a challenge to Garcia. But, in a district that leans democratic and features a relative newcomer in Garcia, this race is closer than some might expect.”

Governor’s Race

In the race for New Hampshire Governor, respondents preferred democratic Governor Maggie Hassan to republican challenger Walt Havenstein 51.3% to 36.2%. 3.9% indicated they would vote for another candidate and 8.6% said they were not sure.

“With one exception in recent memory, voters have rewarded the incumbent Governor with a second term. At this point in the race, Governor Hassan’s lead appears to indicate voters are not ready to replace her with Walt Havenstein,” explained Lesperance.

Presidential Job Performance

Finally, the New England College poll asked respondents to rate President Obama’s job performance. 48.4% indicated they either approved or somewhat approved while 48.3% indicated they disapproved or somewhat disapproved. Only 3.2% indicated they had no opinion.

According to Dr. Lesperance, “the results are a tie for all intents and purposes. President Obama, as the leader of the democratic party, will have no coattail effect in the Granite State and might have an undertow effect on democrats with his job performance approval at under 50%.”

This New England College Poll was conducted over two days, September 10 and 11, 2014. The sample of 630 respondents was pulled from a list of registered voters in New Hampshire and conducted using Interactive Voice Response technology, an automated polling system. The poll’s margin of error is +/- 3.98%

New England College will poll regularly between now and election day, November 4, 2014.

For more information, please contact us at or at 603.428.2295.

Poll Results


NH1 News


Guest Jeff Boyd To Kick Off 2014 President’s Speaker Series

September 11, 2014

Posted in Event News Press Release
Jeff Boyd Photo

Jeff Boyd, Chairman of Priceline Group, Inc.

Chairman & Former CEO of Priceline Group, Inc.

On Wednesday, September 24 at 6:00 pm, New England College students and faculty will host the Priceline Group, Inc. Chairman and former CEO Jeff Boyd for a community event. Kicking off the 2014 President’s Speaker Series at NEC, Jeff will discuss his various experiences in business.

Jeff Boyd is currently chairman of Priceline Group, Inc. the world leader in online accommodation reservations. Since 2000, Jeff has served Priceline as General Counsel, Chief Operating Officer and, for 11 years, Chief Executive Officer. Based in Norwalk, Connecticut, The Priceline Group is composed of six primary brands –,,, KAYAK, OpenTable, and, as well as several ancillary brands. The Priceline Group provides online travel and reservation services in over 200 countries and territories in Europe, North America, South America, the Asia-Pacific region, the Middle East and Africa. (Nasdaq: PCLN)
Prior to joining Priceline, Jeff held positions as Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Secretary of Oxford Health Plans, Inc. and Assistant General Counsel of Lord Abbett & Co., an investment advisory firm. He also practiced law with the Connecticut law firm of Robinson & Cole and with Sullivan & Cromwell in New York and Melbourne, Australia.

Jeff began his undergraduate work at New England College, and received his BA in Government from St. Lawrence University in 1978 and his JD from Cornell Law School in 1981. He has served as a member of the Board of Directors of, Inc., and the Board of Trustees of The Brunswick School located in Greenwich, Connecticut. In 2004 Jeff was elected a Term Trustee of St. Lawrence University and is currently serving as their Chair of the Board of Trustees.

“Jeff Boyd has personal ties to New England College and we look forward to welcoming him back to campus,” said NEC President Michele Perkins. “He has accomplished many amazing things in his life and we’re thrilled to have him share his story as our next President’s Speaker Series guest.”

The event will be held in the Simon Center Great Room, 98 Bridge Street in Henniker, New Hampshire, streamed live for off-campus viewing benefit, and recorded. Seating will be made available on a first come, first served basis. Media are welcome to this event.

New England College Red Carpet for Politics

September 1, 2014

Posted in News Press Release

Debates and political meetings in both Henniker & Concord

With a unique draw for politics and civic engagement, New England College continues to roll out the red carpet for elected officials, candidates, and key thought leaders in the region. In Concord, both Democrat and Republican parties are leveraging the convenient downtown NEC Concord location to host state party gatherings, Senate candidate meetings, House Caucus training, and party platform discussions. At New England College’s main campus in Henniker, gubernatorial, congressional and state senate engagement is happening on a regular basis, giving the small liberal arts college an extra hum of activity and excitement.

“I love having so much access to political candidates,” said Amanda Biundo, a junior at NEC double-majoring in political science and communications. “We get so many opportunities to ask questions and be in front of the movers and shakers. It’s an experience my friends at other colleges don’t have.”

On Wednesday, September 3 @ 3:00 pm, in the Lee Clement Ice Arena, Congressional Candidate Marilinda Garcia and Gubernatorial Candidate Andrew Hemingway will visit with New England College students to encourage engagement in the political process and answer common questions related to campaigning. Media are welcome to this event.

On Thursday, September 4 @ 6:00 pm, in the Simon Center Great Room, NEC will host the NH State Senate District 15 Democratic Primary Debate between Kass Ardinger and Dan Feltes. Media are welcome to this event.

“We’re thrilled to provide so many civic engagement opportunities to New England College students,” said Dr. Wayne Lesperance, Professor of Political Science at NEC and Director of the College’s Center for Civic Engagement. “Our campus is a perfect location for candidates and political leaders to meet young people and experience a true New England conversation. Everyone wins when they visit NEC.”

New England College Welcomes Students

Posted in News

Traditional Crossing of the Bridge, Convocation Ceremony, and Championship Party

Hundreds of New England College freshman will officially move in this coming Friday, August 29 and have plenty of activities to welcome them to their new home-away-from-home. Along with moving into residence halls, getting their college ID cards, and finding their way around campus, new students will participate in the college’s Fall Orientation and Convocation Ceremony. A tradition at NEC, new students begin their freshman year crossing the town’s covered bridge leading into the College’s 68th Convocation ceremony – the formal beginning of the Fall semester. These same students will cross the bridge again as graduating seniors on their way to Commencement. It is a New England College rite of passage.

“This is one of our favorite days,” said Mark Watman, Vice President for Academic Affairs. “Families are proud and excited for their students, and the New England College community embraces their newest members. Students have smiles from ear to ear.”

Fall Orientation include residence hall floor meetings, group sessions with peer leaders, trips to Lake Massasecum, coffeehouse games and entertainment, athletic competitions, story-sharing, violence prevention and alcohol awareness programs, and many activities meant to welcome, reassure and engage new students.

Sophomores, juniors and seniors arrive back to campus on Monday, September 1 in time for an all-campus bonfire party celebrating the New England College Men’s Rugby Championship. Henniker townspeople and businesses welcome students and families with window signs and friendly waves. It’s a quintessential New England College reunion for all.

Ski Program Returns to NEC

July 25, 2014

Posted in News Press Release

New England College Looks Forward to Reinstating Ski Program

Recruitment for Full Time Coach Underway

New England College will reinstate NCAA varsity alpine skiing beginning with the ski season of 2015-16. In addition, NEC will hire a full-time coach in the fall of 2014. The ski coach will recruit throughout the upcoming academic year as New England College plans to field competitive squads in both men’s and women’s alpine racing.
“The alpine skiing program and the College’s proximity to Pats Peak allow for a unique opportunity for New England College to renew its commitment to skiing,” said President Michele Perkins.

1964_016-Frat-photocallourNew England College will have its home training course at the local Henniker mountain, Pats Peak. Pats Peak will provide the perfect atmosphere for training with some of the longest and steepest pitches in southern New Hampshire. The mountain is conveniently located just minutes from the College. The U.S. National Slalom Championships were held at Pats Peak in 1974. Today, Pats Peak features one of the highest capacity computer controlled snowmaking systems per acre in the Northeast.

The history of skiing at New England College is a long and storied one. In 1967 the first men’s ski team was started at New England College. The team raced as a member of the Eastern Intercollegiate Ski Association (EISA) Division II until 1972 when the team became Division I. In 1974 the men’s ski team became the first program in NEC history to qualify for an NCAA national tournament. The women’s team was also established in 1967 and began skiing at the Division I level in 1980. The men’s and women’s teams eventually combined for seven NCAA championship appearances. NEC currently has 13 alumni (two women and 11 men) who have been inducted into the Athletic Hall of Fame.
NEC will compete as the tenth member of the MacConnell Division of the Eastern Collegiate Ski Conference. The MacConnell Division schools are members of the United States Collegiate Ski and Snowboard Association and emphasize the team performance concept. Conference qualifiers participate in the USCSA regional events and may qualify for the U.S. Collegiate Skiing Championships.

1964_020-ski team-photocalloutAbout New England College
New England College emphasizes experiential learning as an essential component in the development of an enduring academic community. Building upon a strong liberal arts foundation, we challenge our students to reach their full potential through informed discourse and the pursuit of excellence in a framework of academic freedom. New England College is accredited by the New England Association of Schools and Colleges Inc. (NEASC) through its Commission on Institutions of Higher Education. The Teacher Education Program (and the majors in Elementary Education, Physical Education, Secondary Education, and Special Education) are approved by the New Hampshire Department of Education.

Senior Thesis Projects Presented at Annual NEC Event

May 5, 2014

Posted in News
from left to right: Elaine Armstrong, Adam Shute, James Newcomb, Liam Peck, Joseph Sevigny, and Samantha Dube.

from left to right: Elaine Armstrong, Adam Shute, James Newcomb, Liam Peck, Joseph Sevigny, and Samantha Dube.

On April 25, 2014, fourteen seniors from Biology, Health Science, and Environmental Studies/Sustainability presented their senior thesis projects at New England College’s annual Spotlight on Students event. Five of these students (Elaine Armstrong, Samantha Dube, Liam Peck, Joseph Sevigny, and Adam Shute) also presented their research the following day at the Eastern New England Biological Conference (ENEBC) in North Andover, MA.

NEC Students Present and Compete at State Psychology Conference

April 11, 2014

Posted in News
L-R Kristin Zoch and Deanne Westgate

L-R Kristin Zock and Deanne Westgate

On Saturday, April 5, five New England College students attended the New Hampshire Psychological Association (NHPA) conference at the University of New Hampshire with Psychology Professor Heather Chabot. Three of those students presented research at the conference and a team of four students competed in the “Psych Cup” – a psychology quiz bowl. Student Katherine Anthony gave a talk, “Shot Through the Heart: Sex Differences in Emotional Reactions to Infidelity” based on research that she conducted for her Research Methods class last fall at NEC. Based on data collected for their Health Psychology class this semester, Student Kristin Zock gave a poster presentation, “Understanding College Stressors: The Predictors and Correlates of Perceived Stress in a College Sample” and Deanne Westgate presented a poster, “Will I Be Obese? Beliefs, Supposed Causes, and Physiology Predict Perceived Likelihood of Future Obesity.” The NEC Psych Cup team of Students Katherine Anthony, Edward Brand, Kassidy Bumford, and Deanne Westgate finished second in the competition behind UNH.