Somewhere in the recesses of my mind are previous statistics and predictions about Free State Project early mover campaigns for NH State House. I’d hate to lose track of such things, so I better start writing them down. I’ll do that here, maybe not for the first time, but for the first time I can find.
To review, the Free State Project started in 2001, and designated New Hampshire as its destination in 2003. The Free State Project doesn’t take positions on political candidates, so I’m not in any way suggesting that the Free State Project endorses the people involved here. Rather, I’m trying to observe whether the FSP’s migration strategy will work and whether there’s any consistency in the trends.
To be eligible to run for NH House, you must have lived in New Hampshire for 2 years. Given the 2003 selection of New Hampshire as the destination for FSP participants, none were eligible to run in 2004.
I moved shortly before the election in 2004 and was in the ~60’s of early movers. Consequently, around 60 or 70 early-moving FSP participants were eligible to run in 2006. Of those, 7 ran, 1 won.
By the 2006 election, there were about 200 or so early movers present. If the ratio remained constant, the 2008 election should have had about 20 running and 2-3 winning. About 25 ran, and 4 won.
As of the 2008 election, as I recall there were about 350 or so early movers present (it may have been a touch less, I don’t recall). At that time, I think I predicted that over 30 would run and ~7 would win. The results aren’t final yet, but I believe about 25 ran, maybe a few more. This appeared to be a departure from previous years for the lower (fewer than 10% running for NH house). Add to that the fact that some of those have been around for 3 cycles and the shift (away from running for NH house) appears more pronounced. However, it appears the success rate has climbed significantly. The latest count I’ve seen indicates roughly 10 early-movers won (might have actually been more). This means FSP participants who moved to NH to pursue a society in which the maximum role of government is the protection of life, liberty, and property, now hold ~2 1/2% of the New Hampshire house.
As of today, there are over 600 early-movers. The rate of people moving has increased over the last couple years, but more of them have shifted further away from political action that despite the clear evidence that working towards electing FSP participants is clearly effective. All that said, I’d speculate that in 2012, if the trends hold up, we should see 35-40 or so FSP participants running for NH house and somewhere in the high-teens to low twenties winning. That would put FSP participants at around 5% of the NH house.
Here are the actual stats and my predictions over the last 3 election cycles, a prediction for 2012, and some possibilities for the future beyond that:
Note: two years ago, I predicted it would take 10,000 to hold a majority. That appears to be pessimistic so I’m revising that to "under 9000".
If a majority of the NH House of Representatives agrees that government should do no more than protect life, liberty, and property, that would make New Hampshire look very different from the rest of the states, and different than it does today.
It continues to appear that this strategy is realistic, and that there is sufficient interest on the part of the citizens of New Hampshire to support it. I hope those trends continue.