State of Democracy

NHPR's reporting initiative focused on the impact of politics and public policy on the residents of New Hampshire and beyond. Learn more here.

Natasha Haverty

It’s on every presidential candidate’s checklist: make at least one swing through northern New Hampshire, deliver a stump speech, shake hands with residents of the quiet mountain towns. But what about the people who aren’t at those campaign events? 

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

For the past two weeks, presidential candidates have been handing in the paperwork needed to qualify for the New Hampshire primary ballot. In doing so, they also come face to face with Secretary of State Bill Gardner, whose office oversees the election. He's also the man most responsible for ensuring that New Hampshire has retained its first-in-the-nation status when it comes to the presidential primary calendar.

Brady Carlson / NHPR

Huge rallies with thousands of supporters. Ad buys that try to reach millions of voters. Those are the hallmarks of modern presidential campaigns.

But there’s a good chance the next president will have also spent some time getting to know voters one on one in much smaller settings – like Rich Ashooh's living room.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

If any single mode of campaigning could be said to typify the New Hampshire Primary it would probably be the town hall meeting, where would-be presidents throw open the floor to questions from all comers. Some New Hampshire Primary winners - think John McCain - have put town halls at the very center of their strategies. But that’s not been the case with top candidates this year.

Sam Evans-Brown / NHPR

Sanders arrived at the William B. Cashin Senior Center in Manchester around noon Friday, having just flown in from Washington and a 3 a.m. Senate vote on the latest budget deal.

When the Department of Education released its latest round of state-level reading and math scores this week, it was cause for cheer in New Hampshire. The state ranked in the top two or three states in every category and grade-level tests.

Those kind of high marks have been common in New Hampshire for years. But a recent report suggests the state’s status as one of the nation’s top test-takers should come down a few notches. 

Chris Jensen/NHPR

Here's an issue with bipartisan consensus: Both parties agree the opioid epidemic is one of the most pressing challenges facing New Hampshire. But Democrats and Republicans in the State House are not quite yet reading from the same script on how to tackle this problem.

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?

Jim Cole / AP

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.

“As somebody said a while back – you know, if you go to a baseball game and you don’t know what the rules of the game are, it’s incomprehensible. If you know something about the three strikes rule, it’s maybe a little bit more comprehensible,” the retired United States Supreme Court justice told an audience at Nashua Community College Monday afternoon. “Well, the same thing goes for government.”

Screenshots from Brigade App

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.

This primary season, NHPR is taking a closer look at some of the issues defining the presidential primary races through a series we’re calling Where They Stand. Today we’re looking at some of the top foreign policy questions in the Republican primary.

On this subject, while the candidates agree on most issues, there are still differences to be found.

Presidential candidates boosted their spending in New Hampshire this summer, spending nearly six times as much as they did in the previous three month period.

The Republican and Democratic candidates doled out nearly $2 million across the state from July to September. The vast majority of that cash, however, went to a small handful of Republican operatives and consultants -- and the New Hampshire Democratic Party.

istock photo

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.

Turn on the television in New Hampshire these days, and you won’t have to wait long before Jeb Bush, John Kasich or Chris Christie pops up on your screen. 

Credit Kinder Morgan / http://www.kindermorgan.com/content/docs/TGP_Northeast_Energy_Direct_Fact_Sheet.pdf

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?

The pipeline is officially known as the Northeast Energy Direct Project.  And the question of whether it should run through the southern part of the state has been posed to a number of both Republicans and Democrats, including Jeb Bush. 

Republican donors in New Hampshire are beginning to loosen their purse strings for their party’s primary contenders.

Granite Staters contributed more than $220,000 to GOP presidential candidates in the third quarter of 2015. That’s $70,000 more than Democrats took in, and a big change from earlier in the year, when Republican candidates were out-raised in New Hampshire by a two-to-one margin.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Before last week's Democratic presidential debate, the first of the primary season,  former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley wasn't on the radar of many New Hampshire voters.

Casey McDermott, NHPR

It’s hard to find housing in New Hampshire, according to those who spoke at a summit on the issue in Manchester on Friday — but it’s particularly challenging for young professionals, older adults and those with limited incomes.

Addressing this is a key part of ensuring the state’s economic viability in the long run, according to the local officials who spoke at the event.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

By most measures of success, South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham’s presidential bid is lagging: low poll numbers, few major endorsements, little money raised. But those challenges aren’t slowing the GOP candidate in his efforts to win over Granite State voters.

UNH Communication and Public Affairs

Every four years, as interest in New Hampshire’s presidential primary rises, two UNH political scientists find their services in high demand. Now, the professors are preparing to offer their insights to the general public through a new online course.

Allegra Boverman / NHPR

Recently, the Sanders campaign held an organizing party in Nashua.

There have been thousands of parties like these throughout the country, but in the beginning they were organized by local volunteers. 

Courtsey of NoLabels.org

Presidential candidates from both sides of the aisle are coming together for the first time in New Hampshire on Monday. GOP candidates Donald Trump, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham and Democratic candidates Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley will all give remarks.

Brady Carlson / NHPR

Many of the candidates for president this year have made an unusual detour from the campaign trail: strolling the sidewalks of a quiet North Manchester neighborhood with the city's mayor.

But it’s actually a longstanding tradition in New Hampshire primary politics. Presidential candidates hope to benefit from their associations with local officials – and the locals stand to gain, too.

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.

After a long battle in Concord, the state’s business tax rates are now set to drop starting next year, the first such cut in more than a decade.

But the question of whether these cuts will succeed in luring new businesses to New Hampshire doesn't yet have a clear answer.

modernfarmer.com

Listen to enough political punditry, and you could easily conclude that America's rural areas are vast swaths of Republican support, with little variety in political opinion or voter demographics.

But recent research from the University of New Hampshire's Carsey School of Public Policy undercuts that assumption. In fact, rural America is actually surprisingly varied, researchers found -- at least when it comes to election results.

Map: 2016 Candidate Campaign Offices in N.H.

Sep 18, 2015
Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders will open two new campaign offices in New Hampshire this weekend: one in Portsmouth, the other in Manchester. According to the campaign, that brings Sanders' Granite State offices to four. 

Associated Press

When talking to voters on the campaign trail, Ohio Gov. John Kasich likes to sum up the last time he ran for president in New Hampshire with a story. It starts with him talking to a potential supporter in Bow in 1999.

WBUR

WBUR released a new poll of the Republican presidential field this morning. The results mirror other recent polling of the GOP race: Donald Trump and Ben Carson bunched at the top, the rest of the field far below.

Sara Plourde / NHPR

House and Senate members return to Concord this afternoon to consider 10 pieces of legislation passed earlier this year by the Legislature but vetoed by Gov. Maggie Hassan.

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