N.H. Voters Earn High Marks for Tough Questions at CNN Town Hall

Feb 4, 2016

The audience listens during Wednesday night's CNN Town Hall Forum in Derry.
Credit Kate Brindley for NHPR

  Pundits are already picking over who came out on top in last night’s Democratic primary town hall with Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton in Derry — but, judging by the initial reactions on social media, the night’s real winners might actually be the voters of New Hampshire.

Sure, all of this praise probably comes as no surprise to New Hampshire’s politically active citizens, many of whom are used to seeing their neighbors pose thoughtful — and occasionally tough — questions to presidential hopefuls.

Still, while these events are in many cases chronicled by the political press, it’s rare for the rest of the nation to witness a Granite State town hall in full, in real time — as was the case Wednesday night.

(And, given the strong reviews, it’s probably safe to assume that New Hampshire’s first-in-the-nation primary defenders will cite this forum in any future arguments over the state’s place in the nominating calendar.)

The town hall, hosted by CNN, kicked off one final stretch of forums ahead of the New Hampshire primary. The Democratic candidates (after much back-and-forth) are set to debate at the University of New Hampshire tonight. The Republicans will do the same at Saint Anselm College on Saturday.

For coverage on these events and other updates from all corners of the campaign trail, make sure to stick with NHPR's primary coverage and our State of Democracy app now through Feb. 9.