Daily Note

The three Democrats who remain in the running for the party's presidential nomination will gather to debate Saturday night in Des Moines.

It'll be the second debate in the party's nominating schedule so far. Six debates are scheduled altogether, including one in Manchester in late December.

Here's a quick guide to some of the best commentary on the event we've found so far.

Casey McDermott, NHPR

Donald Trump has been at the front of the Republican presidential pack in New Hampshire since late July — at the moment, outpacing all other candidates in polling averages double digits.

For some, it's a chance to show off an army of supporters and pay homage to a long-running New Hampshire political tradition. For others, it's a chance to formalize their run for the presidency — however far-fetched their candidacy may be.

The list of official candidates for the New Hampshire Presidential Primary will grow by two names today, as two candidates from opposite ends of the name-recognition scale – Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Jim Gilmore – are scheduled to pass through the State House today.

The campaign to decide New Hampshire’s next governor got a bit more crowded yesterday. Democrat Mark Connolly of New Castle officially jumped in the race, making him the second Democrat, and third candidate overall, to join the field. 

NHPR's State of Democracy app is sponsored in part by: The NH Primary Student Convention, January 4th-6th, 2016.

A group of top New Hampshire Democrats continues to push back against the national party’s primary debate plans, calling for at least one additional debate in the Granite State ahead of the presidential primary.

  NHPR's State of Democracy app is sponsored in part by: The NH Primary Student Convention, January 4th-6th, 2016.

For most presidential candidates, the New Hampshire primary filing period is little more than a formality.

You show up at the State House. You bring $1,000 to cover the filing fee and as many supporters as you can round up. You sign a form affirming that you’re a registered member of your chosen political party, and you’re essentially good to go.

For Bernie Sanders, that last part has made things slightly more complicated.

NHPR's State of Democracy app is sponsored in part by: The NH Primary Student Convention, January 4th-6th, 2016.

While the New Hampshire Primary has been humming along at top speed for months, it’s easy to overlook that two basic details have yet to be wrapped up: the actual date of the Primary election, and the official candidate names to appear on the ballot. At least one of those should start looking a bit firmer this week.

  NHPR's State of Democracy app is sponsored in part by: The NH Primary Student Convention, January 4th-6th, 2016.

So, what did we learn from Wednesday night’s Republican presidential debate?

Last week we examined the campaign money landscape in the New Hampshire Primary, both how candidates are raising money in the state, and how they're spending it.

But what do those dollars mean against the national campaign fundraising picture?

If you’d like to understand what a decline in civics education means for the future of the country’s political system, David Souter suggests a sports analogy.

NHPR's State of Democracy app is sponsored in part by: The NH Primary Student Convention, January 4th-6th, 2016.

NHPR is making it easier than ever to stay up to date on everything political in the Granite State, including the First in the Nation Primary, with the launch of our new State of Democracy iPhone app.

The State of Democracy app is sponsored in part by The NH Primary Student Convention on January 4th-6th.

Maybe you’re looking for somewhere to sound off on the fate of the Manchester teachers’ contract, or the expansion of rail service from Boston, or marijuana legalization — or even the future of the midnight voting tradition in Dixville Notch. Well, you’re in luck: There’s an app for that.

NHPR's State of Democracy app is sponsored in part by: The NH Primary Student Convention, January 4th-6th, 2016.

New Hampshire voters might not have seen much of Lincoln Chafee before he bowed out of the presidential race Friday. If you happen to be involved with your local Democratic town committee, however, you might be on a first-name basis with the former candidate.

The Senate on Thursday passed a bill co-sponsored by Sen. Kelly Ayotte that’s meant to address one particularly troubling side effect of the nation’s opioid crisis: growing drug dependence among infants.

Following a recent wave of mergers in the insurance industry, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton is raising “serious concerns” about the potentially harmful impact of these deals on consumers. She nodded specifically to the projected effects of the proposed Anthem-Cigna merger on New Hampshire’s insurance market.

There’s been a particularly competitive, expensive campaign season brewing in recent months that could have implications for the future of North American policies on trade, energy, the environment, immigration and more.

We are, of course, referring to the race playing out among our neighbors to the north. Canadian federal elections were held Monday — and, as reported by the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, voters provided the country's Liberal Party with enough seats to upend the Conservatives. 

Last week we told you about Dante Scala and Andy Smith, the UNH political scientists who occupy a rarefied niche in academia that makes them precious commodities every four years.

That’s in large part due to their impressive resumes.

The pair have both authored books on the New Hampshire primary, and they've developed networks of sources to keep them informed on the state's political landscape.

It's one of the more, shall we say, parochial questions presidential candidates have faced on the campaign trail this year: What do you think of the proposed gas pipeline that may be routed through New Hampshire?

This weekend in Hopkinton, several hundred conservatives took part in something new for this state: a caucus. The group behind the event wants grassroots activists to play a larger role in choosing the Republican nominee in 2016.

  It’s unclear when Howard Dean, the former Vermont governor and second-place finisher in the 2004 New Hampshire Democratic presidential primary, is planning to return to the Granite State. But it's probably safe to assume he won’t be swinging by Bill Gardner’s office anytime soon.

The Democratic party’s five major presidential candidates gathered in Las Vegas for their first debate Tuesday night. But for all intents and purposes — as summed up by POLITICO and a good chunk of the mainstream media — it may as well have been billed as “the Hillary and Bernie Show.”

Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid just made a whole lot of New Hampshire enemies. It didn't take much. He just insulted the First in the Nation Primary.

Graham's Gun Tour

Oct 9, 2015

During the first leg of a 10-day campaign trip through New Hampshire Thursday, South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham stopped at gun accessories company Samson Manufacturing in Keene.

  Here are the #FITN stories we're reporting this week:

Sara Plourde for NHPR

Every four years or so, someone proposes replacing Iowa and New Hampshire as the first two states on the presidential nomination calendar, raising the hackles of activists and politicos in both states. This year the call is perhaps more newsworthy, since it came from Republican Party chairman Reince Priebus, in an interview with National Journal.

NHPR Staff

The Hillary Clinton campaign has been doing it for weeks, rolling out the names of prominent local backers. Sometimes the names are big, such as Gov. Maggie Hassan. Other times, they are smaller, like Wednesday's endorser, former Executive Councilor Debora Pignatelli.

Either way, the Clinton campaign keeps them coming. But the same thing can’t be said for Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, who counts no current office holders among his Granite State backers. The question is: Does that matter in this election?

Associated Press

For as long as New Hampshire has hosted the nation’s first presidential primary contest, it seems outsiders have been trying to dilute the state’s influence. The latest such attempt comes from the Republican National Committee chairman, Reince Priebus.

In an interview with the National Journal, Priebus says he’s been supportive of early nominating states like New Hampshire and Iowa in the past, but “I don’t think anyone should get too comfortable.”

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