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New Hampshire: Battle for the Statehouse

Incumbent: Democratic Gov. John Lynch

Republican: Former House candidate John Stephen

2008 Presidential Result: Obama 54%; McCain 45%

55+ Population (2009 estimate): 26.3%

Overview: This one was supposed to be relatively easy for John Lynch, but that's before things went south for the Democrats nationwide. Sen. Scott Brown, from nearby Massachusetts, the darling of the GOP in New England, has been fundraising for John Stephen, whose treasury lagged far behind Lynch's. Stephen is hoping for an upset and he's also getting help from Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, head of the Republican Governors Association, and a possible GOP candidate for president in 2012, in which New Hampshire will again play its first-in-the-nation primary role.

50+ Facts: Check the latest economic statistics and details on the state budget deficit.

Fun Fact: Lynch is trying for an unprecedented fourth term; though in New Hampshire, gubernatorial terms are only two years. That hasn't happened since Colonial times.

'Wild Card' Issue: Apparent malfeasance at the State Liquor Commission. The head of the commission is accused of improperly interfering with a liquor enforcement investigation of the Railroad Tavern in Keene, caving into pressure from a state representative. The case took headlines away from the campaign and was a distraction for Lynch.

Introduction: Governors' Races Hold High Stakes for the Future

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