the Granite State, no foolproof strategy for victory. Yet candidates who succeed are
usually those who pay close attention to local issues, spend time with voters and
develop strong local organizations. Such tactics pay dividends but are inevitably
affected by external factors such as economic indicators, the presence of
incumbents and the strength and financing of campaign machinery. Candidates
most likely to fail are those who appear to regard themselves as nominees-
in-waiting. Such candidates, lulled into a false sense of security by advisers, tend
to neglect the vital aspects of "retail campaigning" and thus open the way for
challengers to undermine their Granite State support. New Hampshire primaries
continue to confound pundits in the age of sophisticated media and computer
targeting precisely because its electorate, accustomed to high levels of exposure
and information-soaking, makes its decisions on a campaign-by-campaign basis
rather than conforming to predetermined trends generated by reporters and spin
doctors on the campaign trail. Candidates may learn from the mistakes of their
predecessors, but the primary's history demonstrates that they remain hostages to
circumstance in this earliest and most unpredictable of primaries, when voter
intentions are fluid, reporters fresh and inquisitive, candidate fields crowded and
issue agendas unstructured. New Hampshire results may not always be decisive to
the outcome of presidential races, but the campaign landscape can be irrevocably
altered by the outcome of the first-in-the-nation primary.
James Wright, The Progressive Yankees: Republican Reformers in New Hampshire,
1906-16 ( Hanover, NH: University Press of New England, 1987), pp. 94-95.
John Gfroerer, "Interview with Richard F. Upton," Historical New Hampshire, vol. 42,
no. 3 (Fall 1987): 201.
William M. Gardner, The New Hampshire Primary: Legislative Background. Courtesy
of William Gardner, State Department, Concord, NH, 1987.
Richard F. Upton, Address at the New Hampshire Historical Society on the Opening
of the Exhibition, "New Hampshire's Road to the White House: Franklin Pierce to the
Presidential Primary," Historical New Hampshire, vol. 42, no. 3 (Fall 1987): 200.
Charles Brereton, First Step to the White House: The New Hampshire Primary,
1952-1980 ( Hampton, NH: Wheelabrator Foundation, 1979), p. 2.
Charles Brereton, First in the Nation: New Hampshire and the Premier Presidential
Primary ( Portsmouth, NH: Peter E. Randall Publishers, 1987), p. 5.
William Manchester, The Glory and the Dream: A Narrative History of America,
1932-1972 ( New York: Bantam Books, 1975), pp. 608-9.
Herbert S. Parmet, Eisenhower and the American Crusades ( New York: Macmillan, 1972), p. 51.
Stephen E. Ambrose, Eisenhower: Soldier, General of the Army, President-Elect,
1890-1952 ( New York: Simon & Schuster, 1983), p. 522.
Parmet, Eisenhower and the American Crusades, p. 51.
Questia, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning. www.questia.com
Book title: The New Hampshire Primary and the American Electoral Process.
Contributors: Niall A. Palmer - Author.
Place of publication: Westport, CT.
Publication year: 1997.
Page number: 32.
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