Primary

(Ryan Lessard for NHPR)

The ominous Huntsman signs with their signature black background and big red "H" in vogue font are conspicuously absent this primary night. Instead, new posters with traditional red or blue colors are spread around the crowded Huntsman headquarters in downtown Manchester sporting the new slogan "Country First". The tagline is a reference to the way he has repeatedly defended himself for his service as Ambassador to China under the Obama administration, something his opponents hope to paint as tantamount to working for the enemy.

Taylor Quimby for NHPR

Political Reporter Josh Rogers listens in to NHPR's special coverage in the press area at Mitt Romney's HQ.

Kevin Flynn for NHPR.

At 7:00 pm, about 250 reporters, photographers and engineers are staking positions in the ballroom of the Derryfield Country Club in Manchester. There are a dozen satellite and ENG trucks in the parking lot, several with licenses plates from other time zones. Inside, the Santorum staff continues to play with signs and adjust lights, hoping to the make this an event most memorable.

What's missing? The supporters.

(Phil Sletten for NHPR)

The floor of the election night headquarters of Texas Representative Ron Paul still has a lot of open space, but more people are entering the room each minute.  The Paul staff appears exhausted, and some young men sitting in front of the main stage do not look very animated. 

The Paul Camp has a very strong media contingent, with a phalanx of camera crews and journalists spread across the entire back of the mid-sized room.  Media crews from as far away as Denmark have gathered to cover Congressman Paul's address.

Ready To Swing

Jan 10, 2012
Todd Bookman for NHPR

Strike up the band! Team Gingrich has hired Boston-based Tuxedo Junction to entertain the former Speaker's fans here in Manchester. The six-piece band will be playing a broad mix of tunes. Expect a few swing songs if polls look good...a dirge or two if Newt doesn't finish in the top three.

3...2...1...

Jan 10, 2012
(Photo by Rebecca Lavoie, NHPR)

Tune in all evening for our broadcast during this New Hampshire Primary. In the studio with Laura Knoy, NPR Political Junkie Ken Rudin, and Dante Scala from the University of New Hampshire's Carsey Institute. 

Taylor Quimby for NHPR

Jim Bragg, who calls himself Mitt Romney's "button-guy" is downstairs selling Romney campaign buttons, stickers, and blue and pink warm winter hats.  Bragg was selling buttons at the Romney camp in Iowa during the caucus, but says the New Hampshire supporters tonight are much more enthusiastic.  "This is a madhouse here," he says.  

Taylor Quimby for NHPR

Supporters of front-runner Mitt Romney are gathering downstairs in the dining hall at Southern New Hampshire University.  All the action will take place upstairs, but it won't be another 30 to 40 minutes before they start admitting the general public.  A group of young staffers say they're very optimistic about Mitt's chances of placing first.

Todd Bookman for NHPR

Polls will be closing soon here in Manchester. Outside of the Gingrich Camp, NH House Representative Laurie Pettengill (R, Carroll 1) is hoping to sway a few more voters over to Newt Gingrich. After volunteering for Romney four years ago, the first-term Representative is attracted to Newt's ideas for balancing the budget. "The conservative party is important to me," she says. "He's the right mix that we need." 

 

 

Kevin Flynn for NHPR.

In the hours before the polls close - and national reporters have nothing to do except bide their time before their live shots - there was some real buzz at the Santorum HQ.  Literally.  The audio system from the podium was plagued by a buzz.  Any audio engineer will tell you such a gremlin is caused by a crossed wire, a short inside a line, or the impedance on a sound line being switched the wrong way.  The problem is chasing it down among an army of radio and TV news crews.

All hands on deck

Jan 10, 2012
Photo by Rebecca Lavoie for NHPR

NPR's Political Junkie Ken Rudin is on hand tonight to provide insight and analysis. You can follow him on Twitter at @KenRudin, and let us know your questions for him on our NHPR Facebook page, or @NHPR on Twitter. 

How Much Does The Primary Actually Help NH Tourism?

Jan 10, 2012

In an earlier post, we spent a fair amount of time breaking down the economic impact of New Hampshire primary spending. (You can read that post here.)

Primary Day in New Hampshire turned into open season as GOP rivals launched a barrage of attacks seeking to undermine front-runner Mitt Romney, whose campaign hopes to live up to expectations that he will deliver a solid victory.

Not only does Romney need to win, he needs to win convincingly — holding challengers such as Rick Santorum, Ron Paul, Newt Gingrich and a resurgent Jon Huntsman comfortably at arm's length.

Photo by Mockstar via Flickr Creative Commons

In this latest podcast from the series Feet in Two WorldsLa Opinion's Pilar Marrero and freelance journalist Valeria Fernandez talk about the mood and opinions of Latino immigrants on the eve of the New Hampshire Primary. 

Steady Primary Turnout

Jan 10, 2012
Jon Greenberg, NHPR

Polling supervisors describe turnout as steady as the primary gets underway. 

The early birds were waiting outside the  Cawley Middle School when the polls opened at 6.   By 7:30, about 300 people had cast their ballots.

Hooksett resident Diana Brighton picked Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney.

“Well, I think he can beat Obama and I like his politics.”

Electability and the prospect of defeating the current president were reasons given often by Romney voters. 

But former Utah Governor Jon Huntsman was the choice for Sam Knowles.

There's been a collective notion swirling among New Hampshire politicos and pundits that this year's Republican primary just doesn't stack up to past events. Candidates aren't as anxious to go to town hall meetings and shake hands at nondescript diners. By and large, they're not throwing astronomical sums of cash into unending TV ads. Yes, they're here, touting the importance of the early New England vote.

New Hampshire Public Radio has been covering the candidates as they campaign in New Hampshire. On Tuesday evening, host Laura Knoy sits down with NPR's political editor Ken Rudin, and UNH political analyst Dante Scala, to keep you apprised of the latest poll results and check-in with reporters throughout the state.

Can you name the candidate donning the boots pictured in the photograph?

Republican presidential candidates file in to New Hampshire in preparation for Tuesday's primary.

Hundreds Turn Out For Santorum Town Hall

Jan 7, 2012
Amy Quinton

Before last night’s debate, a crowd of several hundred gathered in Hollis for a town hall meeting with former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum.

So many people squeezed inside a barn in Hollis to hear Rick Santorum that it prompted one campaign staffer to exclaim “this is nuts.”

Most of the several hundred people inside were political tourists from out of state.

At one point Santorum told the crowd that he’d only take questions from New Hampshire residents.

He urged voters to stick to their values.

The University of New Hampshire poll shows Mitt Romney at 44 percent support, up five points from two weeks ago. Texas congressman Ron Paul stands at 20 percent. UNH survey center director Andy Smith says the race for now – at least -- is for third.

“But because NH voters make up their minds very late that could easily be for second, should Ron Paul slip up and or should some of the support for the non-Paul and non Romney candidate go to Santorum or Gingrich or Huntsman.”

Photo by Lawria via Flickr

It’s game on in the Granite State. Every four years, the TV trucks pull in, guys in suits and sunglasses show up in your local breakfast joint, and the opinions of New Hampshire citizens are momentarily considered to be of national importance. It’s the first in the nation primary time!

courtesy <a href="https://secure.flickr.com/photos/marcn/sets/72157628499845889/with/6544306259/" target="blank">Marc Nozell</a> via Flickr/Creative Commons

Half a dozen GOP contenders are taking part in two televised debates this weekend in New Hampshire.

But the field of candidates is quite a bit larger - in fact, there are 30 Republicans and 14 Democrats on the New Hampshire primary ballot this year.

Photo by JCB Walksh via Flickr

We've heard several takes on the downward slide of retail politicking in New Hampshire…now, to other trending topics in the 2012 campaign…joining us with his take on New Hampshire's role in the political process is Bill Curry. He’s a long-time political analyst and NPR commentator who was a close advisor to Bill Clinton during his presidency .  

For those who revel in political swag and campaign catering, the New Hampshire primary is a perfect opportunity to socialize with like-minded supporters and bathe in the glow of national media.  But for many others, politics are a private affair – that is until you receive a pre-recorded via the home phone - usually, right around dinner time.

Photo by FlickrDelusions via Flickr

Bookies take bets on winners and losers. Political junkies follow the news, budgets and campaign strategies to determine the odds. Astrologers follow the candidates destinies as mapped out in the heavens. The Nashua Patch asked astrologer Dorothy Morgan to consult the stars  for clues to the outcome of the New Hamsphire primary.

Tracy Lee Carroll, NHPR. File photo

The primary trail is busy again, with Iowa in the rearview mirror and just days before Granite Staters cast their votes.

NHPR's Josh Rogers shares the latest from the trail with All Things Considered host Brady Carlson, including what Mitt Romney and Rick Santorum are doing as they hope to build on the results of the Iowa caucuses.

Chris Jensen for NHPR

Newt Gingrich took jabs at Republican opponent Mitt Romney today/Thursday while making a campaign stop in the North Country. NHPR’s Chris Jensen reports.

About 100 people showed up for the town hall meeting with Gingrich at the Littleton Opera House.

He talked about the economy, the budget. And what he believes president Obama has done wrong, which Gingrich says is a lot.

And he took a big poke at Mitt Romney, typically seen as the Republican front runner.

Gingrich Vows To Bury Northern Pass

Jan 5, 2012
Chris Jensen for NHPR

Newt Gingrich was in Littleton Thursday and he put aside national and international issues for one focused on one of the biggest issues in the North Country: The Northern Pass. 

Like a good politician Newt Gingrich couldn’t have come up with a more popular position at a town meeting at the Littleton Opera House.

It had to do with Northern Pass, the proposed hydro-electric project despised by many in the North Country.

In particular it had to do with the federal government’s consideration of a Presidential Permit.

Campaigning in New Hampshire, Republican Mitt Romney accused President Obama of creating a bad business climate.

Romney said the President’s policies are designed to help his political allies more than the country as a whole.

He told voters in Salem that President Obama packed the National Labor Relations Board with union stooges; that he used the stimulus to repay public sector unions, and that the President backed green jobs initiatives to benefit supporters at companies like Solyndra.

Tracy Lee Carroll, NHPR

The Iowa caucuses have come and gone, and that leaves New Hampshire the better part of a week to consider the candidates before the primary on January 10th.

Here to help us sort out New Hampshire’s changing role in the political landscape is NPR’s Political Editor Ken Rudin. He talked about the primary with All Things Considered host Brady Carlson. 

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