Just like Iowans, New Hampshire voters have been inundated with campaign ads and visits from presidential candidates. And once the Iowa caucus results are in, they know the national spotlight will shift to the Granite State, which holds the first-in-the-nation primary on Feb. 9.
"Our phone rings off the hook all day," said Tyler Isabelle, 21, an employee at The Red Arrow Diner, a frequent stop for candidates. "Robots and real people, all day and night. Everyone wants to know who everyone's voting for."
Both contests are critically important for the momentum they give — or deny — candidates hoping to remain competitive later. Since 1976, when Iowa's caucuses became the nation's first nomination contest, Bill Clinton has been the only candidate to make it to the White House without winning either Iowa or New Hampshire. But even he was dubbed the “Comeback Kid” for finishing second in the Granite State.
With Donald Trump leading comfortably in New Hampshire, the other GOP candidates are largely battling for second place. RealClearPolitics' average of the latest polls puts Trump at 33.2%, or 21.7 points ahead of Sen. Ted Cruz and Ohio Gov. John Kasich, tied at 11.5%.
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Democratic front-runner Hillary Clinton won the New Hampshire primary in 2008, but polls this time show her trailing Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., by an average 18 points. Clinton's support is stronger in the South -- and South Carolina's Democratic primary will be held on Feb. 27 -- but experts say her candidacy could be damaged if she performs badly in the first two states.
Iowa and New Hampshire are largely white states that take their roles in the nominating process seriously. New Hampshire has more registered Republicans than Democrats, but the state’s largest bloc consists of “undeclared” voters who can cast ballots in either party’s primary.Read the rest of the story HERE.
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