As Marco Rubio heads to New Hampshire today for the first time this year, he’ll find a state at odds with his extreme agenda.
While New Hampshire is a solid purple state, in recent years it’s trended bluer – electing a Democratic governor, two Democratic congresswomen, and reelecting President Obama in 2012. Marco Rubio represents the rigid, tea party agenda that New Hampshire Republicans have embraced and New Hampshire voters have rejected.
Marco Rubio opposes raising the minimum wage. Despite support from 76 percent of New Hampshire voters to raise the minimum wage, Rubio is parroting the New Hampshire GOP in opposition to this issue. Raising the federal minimum wage to $10.10 an hour – which Rubio opposes – would benefit more than 100,000 people in New Hampshire. What’s worse, Marco Rubio even opposed a measure to raise the minimum wage to $9 an hour, saying “I don’t think a minimum wage law works… Minimum wage laws have never worked in terms of having the middle class attain more prosperity.” Just yesterday, New Hampshire Senate Republicans blocked a plan to raise New Hampshire’s minimum wage to $9, and Senate candidate Scott Brown earned a rebuke from the Nashua Telegraph for “an attempt to evade the question” of whether he supports raising the minimum wage, saying his response “fell well short of being honest.”
Marco Rubio opposes expanding Medicaid. Rubio has been criticized for making misleading statements about Medicaid expansion, even in his home state of Florida. Meanwhile, in New Hampshire, the legislature passed and Governor Hassan signed a bipartisan plan to expand Medicaid coverage in the state, helping 50,000 Granite Staters gain access to health care. As Rubio campaigns across New Hampshire today, how will he defend his opposition to injecting hundreds of millions of dollars into the state’s economy and expanding health care coverage to tens of thousands of Granite Staters and about a million Floridians? If it were up to Rubio, this expansion would end.
On issue after issue, Marco Rubio stands against policies important to women and families. As he visits a state where the top offices are all held by women, Marco Rubio has some explaining to do. Rubio voted against the Violence Against Women Act – in 2012 and in 2013. He opposes equal pay legislation, saying it was “wasting time.” Rubio has declared that he would oppose a woman’s right to make her own health care decisions “even if 100 percent of my constituents were for it.” These extreme views on issues important to women’s health and economic security are way out of step with New Hampshire, where after the 2012 election, 72 percent of voters said women should be allowed to make their own health care choices under the law.
With this extreme record, it’s no surprise that Marco Rubio has slipped from first to tenth in New Hampshire’s Granite State poll of the 2016 Republican primary over the past year. Now, Rubio is desperately trying to claw back by visiting New Hampshire and endorsing candidates like Scott Brown to help him stop progress in the Senate.
But sooner or later, Marco Rubio will realize that it’s his agenda – and nothing else – that’s turning off New Hampshire voters.