The New Hampshire
Primary has a proud history that goes back to 1916.
People were not voting directly for the candidates in
1916 instead they voted for delegates for the National
Convention. In 1949 Richard Upton decided to make the
primary more meaningful by passing legislation allowing
the people to vote directly for the candidates instead
of for delegates. In 1952, 43% of New Hampshire voters
cast their votes in the states first true primary. In
1977 delegate names were removed from the ballot and
a law that eliminated any possible future encroachment
on the state's primary being the first was enacted.
It has been the the first primary in the nation since
that law in 1977. This represents the first time when
the people have a direct voice in their parties presidential
candidate, unlike the caucuses.
New Hampshire is considered
an independent state that votes both
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and Republican and therefore has been considered a good
gauge of the nations feelings. A more liberal west coast
, southern conservatives and minorities would probably
beg to differ. The state's population is 96% white.
Nevertheless, the voters of New Hampshire seem to be
aware of this and vote for a candidate's nationwide-electability
in addition to their own personal choice. In 1992 the
neighbor senator of Massachusetts, Paul Tsongas defeated
southerner Bill Clinton 33.2% to 24.8%, but Clinton's
strong showing surprised most and gave him the momentum
to win and the nickname"The Comeback Kid".
The New Hampshire Primary gives a candidate
with little money, low name recognition or candidates
from smaller states legitimate shots at winning. It
is a small state who demands personal contact and is
apposed to typical negative political ads. History says
do well in Iowa or New Hampshire or go home.