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.