From Portsmouth to Pittsburg, Mapping 40 Years of the N.H. Presidential Primary

Jan 12, 2016

New Hampshire political history resounds with the names of candidates who used the state's First in the Nation Presidential Primary to vault to national political fame. 

Jimmy Carter. Bill Clinton. John McCain.

But what did those primary elections look like in the moment, town by town across New Hampshire? Where did Bill Clinton stake out his biggest wins, to ensure a close second-place finish in the 1992 primary (and resurrect his presidential campaign in the process)? Just how big was Patrick Buchanan's legendary win in the 1996 GOP Primary? What towns have Republican candidates most consistently relied on to win?

The gallery of maps assembled illustrates that history, election by election, town by town. It comes from a new database NHPR developed, charting New Hampshire election results dating back to 1970.

In these maps, we only show results in which the race was competitive (i.e., we skipped years in which an incumbent president faced no serious opponent for the party nomination.) It's a great way to brush up on some First in the Nation history before this year's primary -- which, in case you've forgotten, is Feb. 9.

Scroll down to explore interactive maps of N.H. Primary results by town dating back to 1972. Toggle the tabs in the upper left of each map to see Republican and Democratic Primary results by town, and click on any town in any map to see detailed vote tallies.

For a better experience on mobile devices, turn your device sideways to view.

2012: Mitt Romney (R) - 39%, Barack Obama (D - incumbent) - 81%

2008: John McCain (R) - 37%, Hillary Clinton (D) - 39%

2004: George W. Bush (R - inc.) - 80%, John Kerry (D) - 38%

2000: John McCain (R) - 49%, Al Gore (D) - 50%

1996: Pat Buchanan (R) - 27%, Bill Clinton (D - inc.) - 84%

1992: George H.W. Bush (R - inc., challenged) - 53%, Paul Tsongas (D) - 33%

1988: George H.W. Bush (R) - 38%, Michael Dukakis (D) - 36%

1984: Ronald Reagan (R - inc.) - 86%, Gary Hart (D) - 37%

1980: Ronald Reagan (R) - 50%, Jimmy Carter (D - inc., challenged) - 49%

1976: Gerald Ford (R - inc., challenged) - 50%, Jimmy Carter (D) - 29&

Note: In 1976, The New Hampshire Secretary of State's Office Did Not Provide Town-Level Results

1972: Richard Nixon (R, inc.) - 68%, Edmund Muskie (D) - 46%