The New Hampshire Primary and the American Electoral Process


This study examines the peculiar role and history of the New Hampshire primary in American presidential politics, through the 1996 election season. The work reviews the primary's history, analyzes the media's treatment of New Hampshire results, and provides a study of the phenomenon of "momentum," and the role played by local media such as the infamous Manchester Union Leader. There is also an examination of the strained relationship between New Hampshire's state parties and their national equivalents and of the efforts of Congress to reform the entire electoral system, with the express purpose of reducing New Hampshire's supposed power in determining nomination outcomes. Finally, the analysis addresses questions of the Granite State's suitability as a benchmark for testing and judging candidates. Is this tiny New England state "the last haven" for genuine interpersonal campaigning or a relic from a bygone political era which now distorts and oversimplifies candidate choice? And does the New Hampshire primary's increasing unpopularity with journalists and candidates reflect deeper changes in the nation's psyche? This book will be of interest to scholars and students of the American political process and 20th-century American history.

Additional information

Publisher: Place of publication:
  • Westport, CT
Publication year:
  • 1997


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