Taking New Hampshire's Temperature, On A Frozen Lake

Fishing shelters perch on top of the recently frozen ice at Highland Lake in Andover, N.H.

Fishing shelters perch on top of the recently frozen ice at Highland Lake in Andover, N.H. John W. Poole/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption John W. Poole/NPR

Reporter Liz Halloran and I have been motoring around New Hampshire the past few days, chasing candidate events and taking the political temperature of the state.

On the way to a Santorum event Thursday we spotted a small lake dotted with ice fishing shelters — the first we'd seen all week. Apparently, the ice only became thick enough in the last two weeks or so.

Dan Shaw of the Andover police department sets a line with friend Matt Snow of Belmont, N.H. i i

Dan Shaw of the Andover police department sets a line with friend Matt Snow of Belmont, N.H. John W. Poole/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption John W. Poole/NPR
Dan Shaw of the Andover police department sets a line with friend Matt Snow of Belmont, N.H.

Dan Shaw of the Andover police department sets a line with friend Matt Snow of Belmont, N.H.

John W. Poole/NPR

I ventured out onto it — slipping and sliding but luckily not falling — to talk with a couple of the fishermen out there. They provided us with a great photographic subject, and also an unfiltered Granite State take on the current crop of Republican contenders.

Fisherman and Andover police officer Dan Shaw uses a live shiner as bait to catch trout in Highland Lake.

Fisherman and Andover police officer Dan Shaw uses a live shiner as bait to catch trout in Highland Lake. John W. Poole/NPR hide caption

itoggle caption John W. Poole/NPR

Fisherman and Andover police officer Dan Shaw used a live shiner as bait to catch trout. Thursday was his first trip onto the ice this season, which is now about six inches thick.

Shaw fished with his friend Matt Snow of Belmont, N.H. Both men proved to be fans of former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, who holds a wide lead in state polls in the week before the Jan. 10 primary.

"He's a family man. He's been married to the same woman for 40 years," Shaw said of Romney. Asked about accusations that Romney had changed his position on too many issues, Shaw said that was typical of all politicians. "Show me one that doesn't," he said.

Shaw was no fan of the other GOP contenders, but confessed to not knowing much about Rick Santorum, Jon Huntsman or Rick Perry.

His top priority, however, was clear: voting President Obama out of office. "He's socialist," Shaw said. "The bailout was a terrible idea."

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