Prof. Wayne Lesperance Comments on “Draft Elizabeth Warren” Efforts in Boston Globe Article
February 20, 2015Posted in NEC Poll News
Political science professor Wayne Lesperance reflects on past presidential draft movements in New Hampshire’s First in the Nation Presidential Primary (#FITN) and current efforts to encourage Massachusetts Senator Elizabeth Warren to run for president. Read the full article in the Boston Globe.
According to the Globe article, “Wayne Lesperance, a professor of political science at New England College, said presidential drafts have sometimes been successful in drawing candidates into the New Hampshire primary. Dwight Eisenhower won the Republican nomination in the 1952 New Hampshire primary in an upset against Robert Taft. In 2003, Wesley Clark began his presidential bid after a “Draft Clark” campaign influenced his decision to jump in. Progressive voters in New Hampshire are still eager to see who may step forward as an alternative to former secretary of state Hillary Rodham Clinton, assuming she decides to run, Lesperance said.”
Henniker Chamber of Commerce presents NEC framed town maps
February 10, 2015Posted in News Press Release
Kate Bartlet, Henniker Chamber of Commerce member and owner of Henniker House B&B, presented Heidi Page, Communications Coordinator and Web Content Manger at New England College, two framed copies of the Chamber’s new Henniker Visitors Map & Guide. One will hang in the Admissions office so families coming to decide if New England College is for them will get a sense of the community. The other will hang at the Lee Clement Arena as hockey brings many visitors to the rink and they may just want to know where to go for dinner afterwards! Free copies are available at the town hall, the library, and at many of Henniker’s restaurants and shops.
New England College honored NH State Senator Lou D’Allesdandro for his outstanding contributions to education and public service at their 69th annual Founders Day celebration. D’Allesandro received an Honorary Doctor of Laws Degree and was the keynote speaker, officially kicking off the spring semester.
Founders Day recognizes and honors the vision and leadership of the College’s founding faculty, administration, and students. Created in 1946 to serve the educational needs of the country’s military men and women returning from World War II, New England College sought to expand the horizons of a new generation of students, many of whom were the first in their family to attend college. Today, the College enrolls almost 2,500 students with its residential, hybrid, and online programs.
The college offers a variety of undergraduate, masters, and doctorate programs.
Michele Perkins, President of New England College said, “When you consider the high level of professional excellence Senator D’Allesandro has achieved in his career, his life-long commitment to education, and his incredible record of public service, the connections to NEC’s mission of experiential learning and civic engagement are clear. We are thrilled to celebrate his achievements by awarding him this degree.”
In his keynote address, D’Allesandro, a first generation college graduate, spoke about the critical importance of education throughout his life. He told of his early childhood in East Boston and the emphasis his mother and father placed on getting an education. “My parents had a strong desire, and a strong recognition, of the value of education,” said D’Allesandro. “Education became a guiding motivation in my life, and my path to success. I can work effectively with people, build relationships, and solve problems, all because of my education.” D’Allesandro encouraged NEC students to pursue their education, treasure the experience, and use it to make other people’s lives better.
In addition to D’Allesandro’s remarks, newly promoted Provost Mark Watman recognized all fall semester Dean’s List students. President Perkins also highlighted the College’s recent $3 million gift from the Putnam family for the construction of the Rosamond Page Putnam Center for the Performing Arts, construction of a new academic building, the John Lyons Center, and other campus activities.
President Perkins noted that, “NEC remains dedicated to its original core mission, a creative entrepreneurial spirit, and an academic philosophy grounded in the liberal arts. We bring the best of our proud traditions together with innovative technology and effective learning practices to create life-long value and success for our students. I think our Founders would be impressed to know that the vision they had 69 years ago is alive and well today, and will continue to give us inspiration for years to come.
New England College will receive $3 million from Tom and Barbara Putnam, the Putnam family, and the Putnam Foundation to name the College’s future state-of-the-art theatre. The Rosamond Page Putnam Center for the Performing Arts will establish a permanent legacy, celebrating Mrs. Putnam’s lifelong commitment to the theatre and the arts.
Tom Putnam said, “My mother loved the theatre, and the Putnam family is honored to support the creation of the new performing arts center at New England College that will carry her name. We hope this new theatre will bring a higher level of cultural enrichment to the students and benefit everyone at the College, as well as all of the people of south west New Hampshire.”
To date, the Putnam’s leadership gift is among the largest gifts to the College’s “Bridge to the Future” campaign, which is in its quiet phase. The gift will support the construction of a two-story, 350-seat thrust stage theatre, which will be located on the campus’s south district. As a new, innovative performing arts venue for the region, the building’s design will accommodate a variety of programming such as dramatic productions, dance and musical performances, political forums and debates, professional lectures, and summer arts programs for K-12 students. As with many of the College’s facilities, the theatre will be shared with the community. Construction will dovetail with the building of New England College’s newest academic building, the John Lyons Center, which is scheduled to break ground this coming spring.
“We are thrilled to construct a world class theatre that honors Rosamond Page Putnam,” said New England College President, Michele Perkins. “Generations of engaged students, alumni, faculty, staff, and community members will benefit from such generosity and, as a strong and healthy college, we are poised to grow and leverage unique opportunities. New England College will forever be grateful to the Putnam family and the Putnam Foundation.”
For over 60 years the Putnam family has supported the College with scholarships and endowment funds. The family hopes that this gift will inspire others to get involved with New England College to strengthen its unique programs and provide the funds necessary to cross the bridge to a bright new future.
New England College’s Theatre Program:
- Has sent more students to the Actors Studio MFA Program than any other college or university in the country.
- Graduates have also studied at North Carolina School of the Arts, University of San Diego, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, University of Colorado, University of Georgia, California Institute of the Arts, Southern Illinois University, and Le Cordon Bleu in Paris.
- Over 75 students each year participate in theatre productions. New England College offers 10 theatrical performances in which students, faculty, staff, alumni, and friends participate on an annual basis.
- There are dozens of successful New England College theatre students in the arts and entertainment world, including Oscar award-winning actress Geena Davis, five-time Emmy award-winning cinematographer Jay Kulick, and Emmy award-winning producer Cris Graves.
- NEC trained technicians and stage managers have worked on Broadway and with such prestigious companies as The Alvin Ailey American Dance Company, Colorado Shakespeare Festival, and the Wilma Theatre in Philadelphia.
- New England College also is home to The Open Door Theatre, a small professional theatre company which just celebrated its 11th year of staging classic plays made relevant and accessible for 21st century audiences.
“New England College has a rich tradition of excellence in both the training of young theatre artists and in the creation of unique and provocative theatre. We are thrilled to be moving into a brand new home, and offering our students and patrons new and even more exceptional theatre experiences,” said Glenn Stuart, Professor of Theatre and Director of New England College’s Open Door Theatre company. Recent public productions performed at the College’s intimate 82-seat Mainstage Theatre have included William Shakespeare’s King Lear, Twelfth Night, and A Midsummer Night’s Dream; David Ives’ All in the Timing; and Tony Kushner’s Angels in America. Performances of creative movement and dance have also been offered to the public.
The Putnam Foundation is a private charitable foundation whose mission is to provide grants on a regional basis in New Hampshire and, in particular, the Monadnock Region, for projects in the areas of the arts, historic preservation, and cultural and environmental enrichment.
Paula Amato has been promoted to Senior Vice President at New England College, in Henniker, New Hampshire. Amato has served as Chief Financial Officer for the College since 2008 and was appointed by President Michele Perkins.
“Paula has significantly improved the financial health and management of the College,” said President Perkins. “Thanks to her superb oversight of our resources and thoroughly planned approach to short- and long-term strategic objectives, we have been able to move forward on a number of important initiatives, including residence hall renovations and new building projects, such as the John Lyons Center.”
Amato is a Certified Management Accountant (CMA) and will complete her doctoral program in Law and Policy in June 2015. In addition to her role as CFO, Amato is also responsible for the College’s investment portfolio, facilities, infrastructure, human resources, student financial services, and information technology.
Dr. Mark Watman, Ed.D. has been named Provost at New England College, in Henniker, New Hampshire. Watman has served as the College’s Vice President for Academic Affairs since 2012 and was appointed to the newly created position by President Michele Perkins.
“Dr. Watman understands New England College’s culture, history, and most important, its opportunities,” said President Perkins. “He has led our academic and student areas with energy, creativity, and compassion. Mark’s new role, combined with his reputation as a respected leader at the College, will greatly enhance the effectiveness of our strategic initiatives and our day-to-day operations.”
Watman, born and raised in Henniker, is a home-grown academic leader with a long history at the College. He earned his Bachelor’s degree at New England College taught at the College for many years, and has held a variety of positions at the College. In addition, he is a member of New England College’s first doctoral class, graduating in May of 2014 with a Doctorate in Higher Education Administration.
As Provost, Watman will have increased authority and visibility on campus, providing leadership and decision-making when the president is off campus. He will continue to lead Academic and Student Affairs and aid the President in operationalizing key strategic initiatives. Watman will also boost the College’s efforts to integrate evolving educational technology into the College’s residential and online programs.
“It’s my privilege to serve New England College in this new position,” said Watman. “Under the leadership of the Board of Trustees and President Michele Perkins, and with the collaboration of faculty, staff, students, and alumni, New England College continues to offer innovative academic programming in the liberal arts and professional areas. I look forward to expanding our emphasis on close, personalized education offered in a variety of formats,” continued Watman, “As Provost, I am excited to work with everyone in the New England College community to ensure that the College prospers well into the future.”
Watman received his B.A. in English from New England College, earned his M.F.A. at Bennington College, and, in 2014, earned his Ed.D at New England College.
NEC Poll for NHJournal.com: Ayotte with Small Lead Over Hassan in Possible 2016 Senate MatchupPosted in NEC Poll News Press Release
In a potential 2016 US Senate matchup, a recent New England College poll, conducted for the New Hampshire Journal, shows Senator Kelly Ayotte with a small lead over Governor Maggie Hassan. Please visit NH Journal for the full article.
NEC Poll: Granite Staters Optimistic about Economy & Personal Finances but Hold the Line on Holiday Shopping
November 24, 2014Posted in NEC Poll News Press Release
While Granite Staters appear to be optimistic about the nation’s economy and their personal finances, that optimism does not extend to plans for holiday shopping. According to the New England College Poll, 47.8% of Granite Staters said they agreed that the US economy will be stronger in the coming year. 34.3% disagreed and 17.9% were unsure or had no opinion. Respondents also indicated they are hopeful about their own personal finances. 42.6% of Granite Staters said they agreed that their personal finances will be stronger in the coming year. 32.5% disagreed and 24.9% were unsure or had no opinion.
Dr. Wayne Lesperance, Professor of Political Science at New England College and Director of the New England College Polling Institute said, “Optimism about the economy and personal finances does not appear to translate into big increases in holiday spending. When asked about their shopping plans this holiday season, 52.4% of respondents said they’d be spending less and 27.5% said they’d be spending about the same. Only 20.1% said they would be spending more.”
“Interestingly, in New Hampshire, holiday shoppers don’t want shopping on Thanksgiving,” added Lesperance. “We asked Granite Staters if they thought stores should be open on Thanksgiving Day and they replied overwhelmingly, no.” 76.1% of respondents said that stores should be closed on Thanksgiving, while only 8.2% said that they should be open.
39.4% of respondents said they planned on doing some of their holiday shopping at locally-owned stores. 73.5% of Granite Staters said they plan on purchasing online this holiday season.
There’s good news for Granite State children. There’s still time to do your wish list. According to Lesperance, “Over half of our respondents (53.6%) say they haven’t started their holiday shopping. Another 24.3% are about a quarter finished, and 11% are halfway done. So it’s not too late to turn in your holiday wish list!”
This New England College Poll was conducted on November 20 and 21, 2014 using Interactive Voice Response technology, an automated polling system. A total of 563 responses were obtained. The margin of error for the poll is +/- 4.13%.
For additional information, including previous NEC Polling Institute polls, please visit:
NEC Poll: Shaheen and Brown Deadlocked. Guinta Builds Momentum.
November 2, 2014Posted in NEC Poll News Press Release
Hillary Clinton, Jeb Bush, and Chris Christie Early Presidential Primary Favorites
In its final poll before Election Day, Tuesday, November 4, the New England College Polling Institute finds that the race for US Senate between incumbent Democrat Senator Jeanne Shaheen and Republican challenger Scott Brown is a virtual tie. 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, said “This poll follows the final set of televised debates and comes just a few days before Election Day. It is the fourth week in a row that the Senate race is a statistical tie, and the third week in row that Scott Brown enjoys a very modest lead. The Senate race will come right down to the wire.”
Former Representative Frank Guinta continues to build his lead over Representative Carol Shea-Porter in the First Congressional District. Incumbent Governor Maggie Hassan and Second Congressional District Democrat Representative Anne McLane Kuster maintain what appear to be solid leads.
This week the New England College Poll also asked voters to look ahead and share their candidate preference for New Hampshire’s First in the Nation Presidential Primary. Response options were randomized. On the Democratic side, Hillary Clinton far outpaces her rivals. On the Republican side, Jeb Bush placed first followed by Chris Christie.
United States Senate
Scott Brown continues to hold a very small lead over Senator Jeanne Shaheen, 48.7% to 48.2%. According to Lesperance, “A half percent margin is exceedingly narrow. This race is a complete toss-up.” 1.4% of respondents would prefer another candidate and 1.7% are unsure. “Looking inside the numbers,” continued Lesperance, “It is interesting to note that Senator Shaheen’s lead among women is 6.8% while Scott Brown leads among men by 8.9%. Independents appear relatively evenly split, leaning towards Scott Brown by a modest 2.6%.”
“With a race this close, all eyes turn to the little things,” noted Lesperance. “Do voters who need transportation have a way to get to the polls? Will the lines be long? Will same day registrants have any trouble casting their vote? Judging by the number of calls being made this weekend to prospective voters, both campaigns are grasping for every single vote. There is of course one factor campaigns cannot control,” added Lesperance, “the weather.”
For the second week in a row, the New England College Poll shows Republican Frank Guinta expanding his lead over incumbent First Congressional District Democrat Representative Carol Shea-Porter 52.2% to 42.9%. “This week’s poll results show continued momentum for Guinta’s campaign,” said Lesperance. “Of particular interest is that Guinta and Shea-Porter nearly evenly split female voters.” According to the poll, 2.3% said they preferred another candidate while 2.6% of respondents were not sure who they would support.
Second Congressional District Democrat Representative Anne McLane Kuster remains ahead of Republican challenger Marilinda Garcia. In this week’s poll, Kuster leads Garcia 52.8% to 41.7%. According to Lesperance, “This week’s poll results are encouraging for Representaive Kuster as she has sustained a solid lead. Kuster has a significant lead among independents 53.4% to 39.6%, and among women 57.5% to 36.2%.” Respondents preferring another candidate were at 3.2% with 2.3% not sure.
Once again, Democrat Governor Maggie Hassan has a significant lead over Republican challenger Walt Havenstein 51% to 43.7%. “This margin over Havenstein is a return to similar results from weeks’ past,” observed Lesperance. It may indicate that last week’s poll results for Governor, which showed Havenstein gaining, were an outlier.” 2.4% indicated they would vote for another candidate and 2.9% said they were not sure.
NH Voter Opinion: Presidential Primary Candidate Preference
This week’s New England College Poll asked voters to share their initial candidate preference for New Hampshire’s First in the Nation Presidential Primary. On the Democratic side, Hillary Clinton easily beats the second place choice, Elizabeth Warren, 53.1% to 16.8%. Rounding out the top five other Democrats were Bernie Sanders (7%), Joe Biden (5.8%), and Martin O’Malley (2.3%). 10% of respondents indicated they would prefer ‘someone else’.
On the Republican side of the Presidential primary question, Jeb Bush placed first with 17.3% followed by Chris Christie (14.7%), Ted Cruz (10.4%), Mike Huckabee (9.9%) and Rand Paul (7.9%). 22% of respondents selected the ‘someone else’ option. The New England College Poll did not include Mitt Romney as an option.
This New England College Poll was conducted on October 31, and November 1, 2014 using Interactive Voice Response technology, an automated polling system. A total of 1,526 responses were obtained: 778 from registered likely NH voters in Congressional District 1 and 748 from registered likely NH voters in Congressional District 2. The margin of error for questions about the Gubernatorial and Senate races is +/- 2.51%. The margin of error for questions about the CD1 race is +/- 3.51%, and for CD2, +/- 3.58%. The margin of error for the question about the Republican Presidential Primary is +/- 3.66%, and for the question about the Democratic Presidential Primary is +/- 4.06%.
This is the eighth and final in a series of weekly polls conducted by New England College through Election Day, November 4, 2014. For additional information, including previous polls, please visit:
NEC Poll: Guinta Builds Lead in CD-1. Race for Governor Tightens.
October 27, 2014Posted in NEC Poll News Press Release
Voters Also Say Debates have Little Impact on Their Decisions
As political campaigns enter their final week before elections next Tuesday, former Representative Frank Guinta has opened a small lead over Representative Carol Shea-Porter in the First Congressional District. The Governor’s race has also tightened up and the US Senate race remains a toss-up, according to the seventh weekly general election poll from New England College.
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, said “In addition to jam packed campaign schedules, this past week voters had the opportunity to see all of the candidates in televised debates. Still, there has been only modest movement in the numbers.”
This week the New England College Poll asked voters about the impact of debates. “Most respondents said the debates had little, or no, impact on their candidate preference,” noted Lesperance. “The polling results bear this out.”
United States Senate
For the third week in a row the Senate race between incumbent Democrat Senator Jeanne Shaheen and Republican challenger Scott Brown is a virtual tie. Brown continues to enjoy a small lead, 48.3% to 46.8%. According to Lesperance, “A 1.5% margin is incredibly narrow and makes this race a statistical dead heat. Brown’s recent success comes from narrowing the lead Shaheen had with women to just under 5%.” 2.5% of respondents would prefer another candidate and 2.4% are unsure.
Republican Frank Guinta leads incumbent First Congressional District Democrat Representative Carol Shea-Porter 49% to 42.9%. “This week’s poll results provide good news for Guinta’s campaign,” said Lesperance. “While the change from a week ago is relatively small, his lead has expanded beyond the poll’s margin of error.” According to the poll, 4.1% said they preferred another candidate while 4% of respondents were not sure who they would support.
Second Congressional District Democrat Representative Anne McLane Kuster remains ahead of Republican challenger Marilinda Garcia. In this week’s poll, Kuster leads Garcia 49.2% to 42%. According to Lesperance, “The CD-2 poll results have been remarkably consistent over the past few weeks. With about one week until Election Day, Garcia must find a game changer moment if she hopes to top Kuster.” Respondents preferring another candidate were at 3.6% with 5.2% not sure.
For the first time this general election cycle, the Governor’s race has tightened considerably. Democrat Governor Maggie Hassan leads Republican challenger Walt Havenstein 47.2% to 46.9%. “Hassan has maintained a consistent lead, but over the past week the race has become a toss-up,” observed Lesperance. 2.2% indicated they would vote for another candidate and 3.7% said they were not sure.
NH Voter Opinion: The Impact of Debates
This week’s New England College Poll asked voters about the impact of debates on their candidate preference. 50% of respondents said the debates had no impact on their choice of candidate. Only 9.3% indicated that debates strongly impacted their candidate preference. 31.4% said that debates somewhat impacted their preference.
According to Lesperance, “These results appear to confirm conventional wisdom that debates change the minds of a relatively small number of voters. However, in races that are very tight, just a few voters can make a big difference in the final outcome.” Lesperance added, “A deeper look into the numbers reveals, unsurprisingly, that independents are more likely to be influenced by debates than registered Democrats and Republicans.”
This New England College Poll was conducted on October 24, 2014 using Interactive Voice Response technology, an automated polling system. A total of 1,132 responses were obtained: 556 from registered likely NH voters in Congressional District 1 and 576 from registered likely NH voters in Congressional District 2. The margin of error for questions about the Gubernatorial and Senate races, and candidate debates is +/- 2.91%. The margin of error for questions about the CD1 race is +/- 4.16%, and for CD2, +/- 4.08%.
This is the seventh in a series of weekly polls to be conducted by New England College through Election Day, November 4, 2014. For additional information, including previous polls, please visit www.nec.edu/about/centers-other-locations/the-nec-polling-institute/.
There is always something interesting going on at New England College. Whether it’s media alerts and press releases, interviews or special on-campus excitement, we aim to keep you informed and engaged.
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