The New Hampshire Primary and the American Electoral Process

By Niall A. Palmer | Go to book overview
Save to active project

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.


Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
Loading One moment ...
Project items
Cite this page

Cited page

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
The New Hampshire Primary and the American Electoral Process


Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

While we understand printed pages are helpful to our users, this limitation is necessary to help protect our publishers' copyrighted material and prevent its unlawful distribution. We are sorry for any inconvenience.
Full screen
/ 198

matching results for page

Cited passage

Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.

Are you sure you want to delete this highlight?