New Hampshire primary

The New Hampshire primary is the first in a series of nationwide party primary elections and the second party contest (the first being the Iowa Caucuses) held in the United States every four years as part of the process of choosing the delegates to the Democratic and Republican national conventions which choose the party nominees for the presidential elections to be held the subsequent November. Although only a few delegates are chosen in the New Hampshire primary, its real importance comes from the massive media coverage it receives (along with the first caucus in Iowa). Spurred by the events of the 1968 election, reforms that began with the 1972 election elevated the two states' importance to the overall election,[1][2] and began to receive as much media attention as all other state contests combined.[3] Examples of this extraordinary coverage have been seen on the campuses of Dartmouth College and Saint Anselm College, as the colleges have held multiple national debates and have attracted media outlets like NPR, Fox News, CNN, NBC, and ABC. The publicity and momentum can be enormous from a decisive win by a frontrunner, or better-than-expected result in the New Hampshire primary. The upset or weak showing by a front-runner changes the calculus of national politics in a matter of hours, as happened in 1952 (D), 1968 (D), 1980 (R), and 2008 (D).

Since 1952, the primary has been a major testing ground for candidates for both the Republican and Democratic nominations. Candidates who do poorly frequently drop out, while lesser-known, underfunded candidates who excel in New Hampshire can become serious contenders, garnering large amounts of media attention and campaign funding.

Crucially, the New Hampshire primary is not a "closed primary," where voter participation is limited by voters' past or recent party registration. Instead, New Hampshire enables any voter who has been undeclared, or re-registers as undeclared (not registered with any party) to vote in either party's primary. This seemingly technical distinction can have big impacts on the primary, and how fluidly candidates do in the state (especially if only one party has a competitive primary in a given year, eliciting a greater likelihood that undeclared or less partisan voters will flood that party's primary, if they want to participate at all.) This system is not a fully open primary, because people who are registered with a party (Republican or Democratic) on voting day cannot vote in the other party's primary.[4]

FoxBox at Saint Anselm
Saint Anselm College Quad with the "Fox-Box", from which the Fox News network reported live during the 2004 and 2008 New Hampshire primary
Historical plaque, NH presidential primary IMG 2681
Historical marker in Concord on the significance of the New Hampshire primary
Balsams Grand Hotel - Dixville NH
The Balsams Grand Resort Hotel in Dixville Notch, the site of the first "midnight vote" in the New Hampshire primary

Timing

New Hampshire state law[5] stipulates that the presidential primary shall be on the second Tuesday in March (the date when town meetings and non-partisan municipal elections are traditionally held), but that the Secretary of State can change the date to ensure that the New Hampshire primary will take place at least seven days before any "similar election" in any other state. The Iowa caucuses are not considered to be a similar election. In recent election cycles, the New Hampshire primary has taken place the week after the Iowa caucus.

The community of Dixville Notch traditionally opens its polling place in the ballroom of The Balsams Grand Resort Hotel at midnight, usually in front of a crowd of journalists, where the village's handful of voters cast their ballots before the polls close about less than ten minutes later.[6] This has led many presidential candidates to visit the area before the New Hampshire primary in hopes of securing an early-morning boost.[7]

New Hampshire's first-in-the-nation primary status was threatened in 2007, when both the Republican and Democratic National Committees moved to give more populous states a bigger influence in the presidential race.[8]

Several states also sought to move up the dates of their 2008 primaries in order to have more influence and dilute the power of the New Hampshire primary.[9] Originally held in March, the date of the New Hampshire primary has been moved up repeatedly to maintain its status as first. The 2008 primary was held on January 8.

Significance

There is consensus among scholars and pundits that the New Hampshire primary, because of the timing and the vast media attention, can have a great impact and may even make, break or revive a candidate.[10] Controlling for other factors statistically, a win in New Hampshire increases a candidate's share of the final primary count in all states by 27 percentage points.[11]

Since 1977, New Hampshire has fought hard to keep its timing as the first primary (while Iowa has the first caucus a few days sooner). State law requires that its primary must be the first in the nation (it had been the first by tradition since 1920).[12] As a result, the state has moved its primary earlier in the year to remain the first. The primary was held on the following dates: 1952-1968, second Tuesday in March; 1972, first Tuesday in March; 1976–1984, fourth Tuesday in February; 1988–1996, third Tuesday in February; 2000, first Tuesday in February (February 1); 2004, fourth Tuesday in January (January 27). The shifts have been to compete with changing primary dates in other states. The primary dates for 2008 (January 8) and 2012 (January 10) continued the trend - they were held the second Tuesday in January both years.

Before the Iowa caucus first received national attention in the 1970s (Republicans began caucusing in Iowa in 1976), the New Hampshire primary was the first binding indication of which presidential candidate would receive the party nomination. In defense of their primary, voters of New Hampshire have tended to downplay the importance of the Iowa caucus. "The people of Iowa pick corn, the people of New Hampshire pick presidents," said then-Governor John H. Sununu in 1988.[13]

Since then, the primary has been considered an early measurement of the national attitude toward the candidates for nomination. Unlike a caucus, the primary measures the number of votes each candidate received directly, rather than through precinct delegates. The popular vote gives lesser-known candidates a chance to demonstrate their appeal to the electorate at large.

Unlike most other states, New Hampshire permits voters who have not declared their party affiliation to vote in a party's primary. A voter does have to officially join a specific political party before voting; however, the voter can change his or her affiliation back to "Undeclared" immediately after voting, and hence he or she only has to belong to a party for the few minutes it takes to fill out and cast a ballot. Voters who are already registered members of a political party cannot change their affiliation at the polling place; that can only be done before the checklist is closed several weeks prior to the election. New voters can, however, register at the polling place.[4] All voting is done with paper ballots; however, most of the paper ballots are counted by machine.

New Hampshire's status as the first in the nation is somewhat controversial among Democrats because the ethnic makeup of the state is not diverse and not representative of the country's voters.[14] This is shown in the 2010 Census data, with the percentage of minority residents being nearly five times smaller than the national average (New Hampshire is 92% non-Hispanic white, versus 64% nationally).[15] Politically however, the state does offer a wide sampling of different types of voters. Although it is a New England state, it is not as liberal as some of its neighbors. For example, according to one exit poll, of those who participated in the 2004 Democratic primary, 4-in-10 voters were independents, and just over 50% said they considered themselves "liberal". Additionally, as of 2002, 25.6% of New Hampshire residents are registered Democrats and 36.7% are Republicans, with 37.7% of New Hampshire voters registered as "undeclared" independents. Also, New Hampshire was the only state in the Northeast to vote for George W. Bush in 2000. This plurality of independents is a major reason why New Hampshire is considered a swing state in general U.S. presidential elections.

Recently, media expectations for the New Hampshire primary have come to be almost as important as the results themselves; meeting or beating expectations can provide a candidate with national attention, often leading to an infusion of donations to a campaign that has spent most of its reserves. For example, in 1992, Bill Clinton, although he did not win, did surprisingly well, with his team dubbing him the "Comeback Kid"; the extra media attention helped his campaign's visibility in later primaries.[16]

New Hampshire's political importance as the first-in-the-nation primary state is highlighted in the documentary film Winning New Hampshire. The film focuses on John Kerry's comeback in 2004 and the decisive effect of the New Hampshire primary on the presidential selection process.

The most recent presidential election winner, Donald Trump, won the New Hampshire primary, while the three before that (Bill Clinton, George W. Bush and Barack Obama) finished second in the New Hampshire primary before later being elected to the presidency, and the previous four before that won the New Hampshire primary.

History

Harry S Truman - NARA - 530677 (2)
Harry S. Truman remains the only incumbent president to lose the New Hampshire primary.

New Hampshire has held a presidential primary since 1916, but it did not begin to assume its current importance until 1952. This was after the state simplified its ballot access laws in 1949 seeking to boost voter turnout. Dwight D. Eisenhower demonstrated his broad voter appeal by defeating Robert A. Taft, "Mr. Republican", who had been favored for the nomination, and Estes Kefauver defeated incumbent President Harry S. Truman, leading Truman to abandon his campaign for a second term of his own. The other president to be forced out of the running for re-election by New Hampshire voters was Lyndon Johnson, who, as a write-in candidate, managed only a 49-42 percent victory over Eugene McCarthy in 1968 (and won fewer delegates than McCarthy), and consequently withdrew from the race.[17]

The winner in New Hampshire has not always gone on to win their party's nomination, as demonstrated by Republicans Leonard Wood in 1920, Harold Stassen in 1948, Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr. as a write-in candidate in 1964, Pat Buchanan in 1996, and John McCain in 2000, and Democrats Estes Kefauver in 1952 and 1956, Paul Tsongas in 1992, Hillary Clinton in 2008, and Bernie Sanders in 2016.

From 1952 to 1988, the person elected president had always carried the primary, but Bill Clinton broke the pattern in 1992, as did George W. Bush in 2000, and Barack Obama in 2008. In 1992, Clinton lost to Paul Tsongas in New Hampshire; in 2000, George W. Bush lost to John McCain in New Hampshire; and in 2008 Barack Obama lost to Hillary Clinton.

1968

In November 1967, McCarthy declared, "there comes a time when an honorable man simply has to raise the flag" to gauge the country's response and conduct a candidacy for the presidency of the United States by entering the New Hampshire Democratic primary. On March 12, 1968, McCarthy, who was the only candidate on the ballot, came within 7 percentage points of defeating President Lyndon Johnson, a write-in candidate who was technically still exploring his candidacy and had not bothered to file. Just a few days later, on March 16, 1968, Robert F. Kennedy announced he was entering the race for President. Johnson subsequently withdrew from the election with this Shermanesque statement: "I shall not seek, and will not accept, the nomination of my party for another term as your president."

One minor candidate in the Republican primary was William W. Evans, Jr., a former New Jersey State Assemblyman, who received just 151 votes statewide.[18]

The 1968 New Hampshire Democratic primary was one of the crucial events in the politics of that landmark year in United States history. Senator Eugene McCarthy began his campaign with a poem that he wrote in imitation of the poet Robert Lowell, "Are you running with me Jesus":

I'm not matching my stride
With Billy Graham's by the Clyde
I'm not going for distance
With the Senator's persistence
I'm not trying to win a race
even at George Romney's pace.
I'm an existential runner,
Indifferent to space
I'm running here in place ...
Are you with me Jesus?[19]

1992

Bill Clinton was able to declare himself the "Comeback Kid" after posting a surprise second-place finish behind Paul Tsongas in the Democratic primary. Clinton's support had been flagging for weeks since being hit by allegations of infidelity with actress Gennifer Flowers. On the Republican side, Pat Buchanan garnered an unexpected 37% showing behind incumbent President George H. W. Bush. Buchanan did not win a single state, but revealed some doubts about the moderate president among conservative voters.

2000

George W. Bush's campaign, which for months had dominated in polling, money and endorsements on the Republican side, suffered a blow when John McCain, who had been surging in late polls, ended up beating the governor in the Granite State by more than 18 points. The result forecast a tough two-man race for the GOP nomination, which would carry on until Super Tuesday in March. Al Gore helped himself with a narrow win in the Democratic primary, which somewhat assuaged his supporters' concerns about Bill Bradley's insurgent campaign.

2004

Senator John Kerry secured a decisive victory with 35% of the vote, 10 percentage points more than second-place finisher Howard Dean.

2008

Hillary Clinton managed an upset win over Barack Obama in New Hampshire, despite polls showing her as much as 13 points behind in the run-up to the vote.[20] The win helped Clinton get back some of the momentum she lost the week before when Obama carried the Iowa caucuses—though Obama did eventually win the Democratic nomination. John McCain won the Republican primary, sparking an unexpected comeback for the senator whose long-shot campaign had been written off as a lost cause months before. He went on to win the GOP nomination.

2016

Bernie Sanders defeated Hillary Clinton by 22 points. Sanders claimed 151,584 votes in total, earning him 15 delegates, while Clinton managed 95,252 votes with 9 delegates.[21] Together with Donald Trump's double-digit win in the GOP race, the primary results revealed voter frustrations with mainstream "establishment" politicians.[22]

2020

Winners and runners-up

Presidential results

Notes: Winner is listed first. Candidates in bold went on to win their party's nomination.

Democrats

Primary date Winner Runners-up
February 9, 2016 Senator Bernie Sanders (60.40%) Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (37.95%)[23]
January 10, 2012 President Barack Obama (80.91%) No other candidate received 4%[24]
January 8, 2008 Senator Hillary Clinton (39.09%) Senator Barack Obama (36.45%), former Senator John Edwards (16.93%), Governor Bill Richardson (4.61%), Congressman Dennis Kucinich (1.36%), Senator Joe Biden (0.22%), Governor Mitt Romney (0.21%), and former Senator Mike Gravel (0.14%)[25]
January 27, 2004 Senator John Kerry (38.39%) Former Governor Howard B. Dean III (26.28%), General Wesley K. Clark (12.43%), Senator John Edwards (12.05%), Senator Joseph I. Lieberman (8.60%), Congressman Dennis J. Kucinich (1.42%), Congressman Dick Gephardt (0.19%) and Reverend Al Sharpton (0.16%)[26]
February 1, 2000 Vice President Al Gore (49.74%) Former Senator Bill Bradley (45.60%)[27]
February 20, 1996 President Bill Clinton (84.37%) The next closest candidate was write-in choice Republican Patrick J. "Pat" Buchanan (3.68%)[28]
February 18, 1992 Senator Paul Tsongas (33.20%) Governor Bill Clinton (24.78%), Senator Bob Kerrey (11.08%), Senator Tom Harkin (10.18%), former Governor Jerry Brown (8.15%)[29]
February 16, 1988 Governor Michael Dukakis (35.89%) Congressman Richard A. "Dick" Gephardt (19.94%), Senator Paul Simon (17.16%), Reverend Jesse L. Jackson (7.82%), Senator Al Gore (6.83%), Governor Bruce Babbitt (4.59%), and former Senator Gary Hart (3.98%)[30]
February 28, 1984 Senator Gary Hart (39.28%) Former Vice President Walter Mondale (29.35%), Senator John Glenn (12.49%), Reverend Jesse L. Jackson (5.53%), former Senator George McGovern (5.43%), President Ronald Reagan (5.27%), and Senator Ernest "Fritz" Hollings (3.73%)[31]
February 26, 1980 President Jimmy Carter (47.61%) Senator Edward Kennedy (37.69%) and Governor Jerry Brown (9.68%)[32]
February 24, 1976 Governor Jimmy Carter (28.57%) Congressman Mo Udall (22.87%), Senator Birch Bayh (15.29%), former Senator Fred R. Harris (10.83%), and former Ambassador R. Sargent Shriver (8.24%)[33]
March 7, 1972 Senator Edmund Muskie (46.40%) Senator George McGovern (37.15%), Mayor Samuel William Yorty (6.078%), Congressman Wilbur Mills (4.01%) and Senator Vance Hartke (2.72%)[34]
March 12, 1968 President Lyndon B. Johnson (49.80%) Senator Eugene McCarthy (42.10%), former Vice President Richard Nixon (4.58%)[35]
March 10, 1964 President Lyndon B. Johnson (95.26%) Only Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy (1.58%) received more than 1% of the vote.[36]
March 8, 1960 Senator John F. Kennedy (85.21%) Businessman Paul C. Fisher (13.46%)[37]
March 13, 1956 Senator Estes Kefauver (84.61%) Former Governor Adlai Stevenson (14.84%)[38]
March 11, 1952 Senator Estes Kefauver (54.62%) President Harry S. Truman (43.93%)[39]
  • 1948: All delegates elected (except for one alternate) were pledged to President Harry Truman[40]
  • 1944: All delegates elected were pledged to President Franklin D. Roosevelt[41]
  • 1940: All delegates and alternates were pledged to President Roosevelt[42]
  • 1936: All delegates and alternates elected were pledged to President Roosevelt[43]
  • 1932: All delegates and alternates elected were pledged to Governor Franklin D. Roosevelt[44]
  • 1928: All delegate candidates ran unpledged[45]
  • 1924: All delegate candidates ran unpledged[46]
  • 1920: Of the eight delegates elected three were pledged to former U.S. Food Administrator Herbert Hoover; the rest were unpledged[47]
  • 1916: Six of the eight delegates elected were pledged to President Woodrow Wilson, the other two were unpledged[48]

* - write-in candidate

Republicans

Primary date Winner Runners-Up
February 9, 2016 Donald Trump (35.34%) Governor John Kasich (15.81%), Senator Ted Cruz (11.68%), former Governor Jeb Bush (11.02%), Senator Marco Rubio (10.57%), Governor Chris Christie (7.42%), businesswoman Carly Fiorina (4.12%), retired neurosurgeon Ben Carson (2.29%), former Governor Jim Gilmore (0.05%)
January 10, 2012 Former Governor Mitt Romney (39.26%) Congressman Ron Paul (22.89%), Governor Jon Huntsman (16.89%), Senator Rick Santorum (9.43%), former Speaker Newt Gingrich (9.43%), Governor Rick Perry (0.71%)[49]
January 8, 2008 Senator John McCain (37.00%) Former Governor Mitt Romney (31.55%), former Governor Mike Huckabee (11.23%), former Mayor Rudy Giuliani (8.48%), Congressman Ron Paul (7.65%), former Senator Fred Thompson (1.23%), Senator Barack Obama (0.83%), Senator Hillary Clinton (0.76%), Congressman Duncan Hunter (0.50%)[50]
January 27, 2004 President George W. Bush (80.96%) No other candidate received 5%[51]
February 1, 2000 Senator John McCain (48.59%) Governor George W. Bush (30.39%), Malcolm S. "Steve" Forbes, Jr. (12.68%) and former Ambassador Alan Keyes (6.38%)[52]
February 20, 1996 Pat Buchanan (27.26%) Senator Bob Dole (26.23%), Governor A. Lamar Alexander (22.60%), Steve Forbes (12.24%), Senator Richard G. "Dick" Lugar (5.19%), former Ambassador Alan Keyes (2.67%) and Morry Taylor (1.4%)[53]
February 18, 1992 President George H. W. Bush (53.19%) Patrick J. "Pat" Buchanan (37.53%)[29]
February 16, 1988 Vice President George H. W. Bush (37.70%) Senator Bob Dole (28.48%), Congressman Jack F. Kemp, Jr. (12.79%), former Governor Pierre S. "Pete" du Pont IV (10.10%), and Reverend Marion G. "Pat" Robertson (9.40%)[54]
February 28, 1984 President Ronald Reagan (86.42%) Only Democrat Gary Hart (5.27%) and former Governor Harold E. Stassen (2.06%) also polled more than 2%[31]
February 26, 1980 Former Governor Ronald Reagan (49.86%) Ambassador George H. W. Bush (22.94%), Senator Howard H. Baker, Jr. (12.98%), Congressman John B. Anderson (9.91%), Congressman Philip M. "Phil" Crane (1.80%), Governor John B. Connally (1.54%) and Senator Bob Dole (0.42%)[32]
February 24, 1976 President Gerald R. Ford (50.06%) Former Governor Ronald Reagan (48.62%)[33]
March 7, 1972 President Richard Nixon (67.61%) Congressman Paul N. "Pete" McCloskey, Jr. (19.79%) and Congressman John M. Ashbrook (9.69%)[55]
March 12, 1968 Former Vice President Richard Nixon (77.61%) Governor Nelson Rockefeller (10.82%), Senator Eugene McCarthy (5.30%), President Lyndon B. Johnson (1.71%), Governor George Romney (1.68%)[56]
March 10, 1964 Ambassador Henry Cabot Lodge, Jr.* (35.54%) Senator Barry M. Goldwater (22.28%), Governor Nelson A. Rockefeller (21.99%), and former Vice President Richard Nixon (16.78%)[57]
March 8, 1960 Vice President Richard Nixon (89.28%) The next highest candidate was Governor Nelson Rockefeller (3.76%)[58]
March 13, 1956 President Dwight D. Eisenhower (94.11%) Of the more than 57,000 GOP votes cast only 600 were not for Eisenhower[59]
March 11, 1952 General Dwight D. Eisenhower (56.31%) Senator Robert A. Taft (31,18%), former Governor Harold E. Stassen (7.93%) and General Douglas MacArthur (3.89%)[60]

* - write-in candidate

  • 1948: Of the eight delegates elected, two were pledged to Governor Thomas E. Dewey, the remainder were unpledged; four of the alternate delegates were also pledged to Governor Dewey[61]
  • 1944: Two of the 11 delegates elected were pledged to Governor Dewey, the rest were unpledged[62]
  • 1940: All eight delegates elected (and all alternates) were unpledged[63]
  • 1936: All delegates and alternates were unpledged[64]
  • 1932: All delegates and alternates elected were pledged to President Herbert Hoover[44]
  • 1928: All delegate candidates ran unpledged[45]
  • 1924: All delegate candidates ran unpledged[65]
  • 1920: All eight elected delegates were pledged to General Leonard Wood; one of the defeated delegates had been pledged to Governor Hiram Johnson[47]
  • 1916: Of the eight delegates elected only one was formally pledged (to former President Theodore Roosevelt)[66]

Libertarians

Primary date Winner Runners-Up
February 26, 1996 Investment analyst Harry Browne (35.00%) Tax protester Irwin Schiff (18.33%)[28]
February 18, 1992 Former Alaska state representative Andre Marrou (100%) No other candidate received a vote[67]

Vice-presidential results

A Vice-presidential preference primary was also formerly held at the New Hampshire primary. New Hampshire State Senator Jack Barnes, who won the 2008 Republican contest, co-sponsored a bill in 2009 which would eliminate the Vice-presidential preference ballot. The bill passed both houses of the state legislature and took effect in 2012.[68]

The only time a non-incumbent won the Vice-presidential primary and then went on to be formally nominated by his or her party was in 2004, when Democratic U.S. Senator John Edwards won as a write-in candidate. Edwards, who was running for President at the time, did not actively solicit Vice-presidential votes.

In 1968, the sitting Vice President Hubert Humphrey won the Democratic Vice-presidential primary, and then later won the Presidential nomination after the sitting President Lyndon B. Johnson dropped out of the race.

The following candidates received the greatest number of votes at each election.

Year Date Republican Democratic Libertarian
2008 January 8 John Barnes, Jr.[69] Raymond Stebbins[70]
2004 January 27 Dick Cheney* John Edwards*
2000 February 1 William Bryk Wladislav D. Kubiak
1996 February 20 Colin Powell* Al Gore* Irwin Schiff*
1992 February 18 Herb Clark Jr. Endicott Peabody Nancy Lord*
1988 February 16 Wayne Green David Duke
1984 February 28 George H. W. Bush* Gerald Willis
1980 February 26 Jesse A. Helms Walter Mondale*
1976 February 24 Wallace J.S. Johnson Auburn Lee Packwood
1972 March 7 Spiro Agnew* Jorge Almeyda*
1968 March 12 Austin Burton Hubert Humphrey*
1964 March 10 Richard Nixon* Robert Kennedy*
1960 March 8 Wesley Powell* Wesley Powell*
1956 March 13 Richard Nixon* Adlai Stevenson II*
1952 March 11 Styles Bridges* Estes Kefauver*

* - write-in candidate

Sources: New Hampshire Department of State, New Hampshire Political Library

See also

Early votes:

  • Ames Straw Poll, Iowa, on a Saturday in August prior to the election year, since 1979
  • Iowa caucuses, first official election-year event since 1972

Reform plans:

Notes

  1. ^ "Nominations & Conventions: Current Practices: Iowa and New Hampshire". U.S. Political Conventions & Campaigns. Northeastern University. Retrieved February 2, 2016.
  2. ^ Rainey, Ryan (April 18, 2013). "Choosing the Nominee: How PresidentialPrimaries Came To Be and Their Future in American Politics". ScholarWorks at WMU, Western Michigan University.
  3. ^ Richard M. Perloff, Political Communication: Politics, Press, and Public in America (1998) p. 294
  4. ^ a b Secretary of State of New Hampshire (n.d.). "How to register to vote in New Hampshire". Election Division, Secretary of State of New Hampshire. Archived from the original on 2008-01-16. Retrieved 2008-01-14. The term the state of New Hampshire uses for voters not affiliating with a party is "undeclared". See the section entitled "Political Parties" in the source.
  5. ^ "Section 653:9 Presidential Primary Election". Gencourt.state.nh.us. Retrieved 16 October 2017.
  6. ^ "Two New Hampshire towns are fighting for the prestige of the 'midnight vote'". Washington Post. August 23, 2015. Retrieved February 24, 2016.
  7. ^ "The effort to save New Hampshire's midnight vote". CNN. February 3, 2016. Retrieved February 24, 2016.
  8. ^ "Election 2008: Presidential, Senate and House Races Updated Daily". Electoral-vote.com. 2000-12-31. Retrieved 2012-01-04.
  9. ^ Scala 2003
  10. ^ Rebecca B. Morton, Learning by Voting: Sequential Choices in Presidential Primaries and Other Elections (2001) p. 24
  11. ^ William G. Mayer, The Making of the Presidential Candidates 2004 pp. 106-7 online
  12. ^ "CQ Politics - A History of U.S. Presidential Primaries: 1912-64". Cqpolitics.com. Archived from the original on 28 December 2007. Retrieved 16 October 2017.
  13. ^ "Corn crack gets Gregg an earful". Retrieved 2008-01-06.
  14. ^ Steven S. Smith, Reforming the Presidential Nomination Process (2009) p. 143
  15. ^ "Profile of General Population and Housing Characteristics: 2010 Demographic Profile Data (DP-1): New Hampshire". U.S. Census Bureau, American Factfinder. Retrieved May 6, 2013.
  16. ^ David A. Hopkins, Presidential Elections: Strategies and Structures of American Politics (12th ed. 2007) p. 108
  17. ^ "NH.gov - New Hampshire Almanac - First-in-the-Nation - Highlights". State.nh.us. Retrieved 2012-01-04.
  18. ^ Richardson, Darcy G. A Nation Divided: The 1968 Presidential Campaign.
  19. ^ Society on the Run: A European View of Life Werner Peters page xi contribution by Senator Eugene McCarthy
  20. ^ RealClearPolitics - Election 2008 - New Hampshire Democratic Primary. Retrieved 2016-02-12.
  21. ^ "2016 full New Hampshire presidential primary election results". WMUR. Retrieved 2016-02-18.
  22. ^ Healy, Patrick; Martin, Jonathan (February 9, 2016). "Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders Win in New Hampshire Primary". The New York Times. Retrieved February 12, 2016.
  23. ^ "New Hampshire presidential primary". Associated Press. February 9, 2016. Retrieved February 11, 2016.
  24. ^ State of New Hampshire (2013). "Presidential Primary, 2012". New Hampshire Secretary of State. p. 182. Retrieved February 3, 2016.
  25. ^ State of New Hampshire (2009). "Presidential Primary, 2008". Manual for the General Court. New Hampshire Secretary of State. p. 182. Retrieved February 2, 2016.
  26. ^ State of New Hampshire (2005). "Presidential Primary, 2004". Manual for the General Court. New Hampshire Secretary of State. p. 170. Retrieved February 3, 2016.
  27. ^ State of New Hampshire (2001). "Presidential Primary, 2000". Manual for the General Court. New Hampshire Secretary of State. p. 182. Retrieved February 3, 2016.
  28. ^ a b State of New Hampshire (1997). "Presidential Primary, 1996". Manual for the General Court. New Hampshire Secretary of State. p. 184. Retrieved February 3, 2016.
  29. ^ a b State of New Hampshire (1993). "Presidential Primary, 1992". Manual for the General Court. New Hampshire Secretary of State. pp. 134–135. Retrieved February 5, 2016.
  30. ^ State of New Hampshire (1989). "Presidential Primary, 1988". Manual for the General Court. New Hampshire Secretary of State. pp. 132–133. Retrieved February 3, 2016.
  31. ^ a b State of New Hampshire (1985). "Presidential Primary, 1984". Manual for the General Court. New Hampshire Secretary of State. p. 54. Retrieved February 3, 2016.
  32. ^ a b State of New Hampshire (1981). "Presidential Primary, 1980". Manual for the General Court. New Hampshire Secretary of State. p. 42. Retrieved December 10, 2015.
  33. ^ a b State of New Hampshire (1977). "Presidential Primary, 1976". Manual for the General Court. New Hampshire Secretary of State. pp. 300–302. Retrieved January 29, 2016.
  34. ^ State of New Hampshire (1973). "Presidential Primary, 1972". Manual for the General Court. New Hampshire Secretary of State. pp. 328–329. Retrieved January 31, 2016.
  35. ^ State of New Hampshire (1969). "Presidential Primary, 1968". Manual for the General Court. New Hampshire Secretary of State. p. 441. Retrieved January 31, 2016.
  36. ^ State of New Hampshire (1965). "Presidential Primary, 1964". Manual for the General Court. New Hampshire Secretary of State. p. 428. Retrieved February 1, 2016.
  37. ^ State of New Hampshire (1961). "Presidential Primary, 1960". New Hampshire Secretary of State. p. 382. Retrieved February 3, 2016.
  38. ^ State of New Hampshire (1957). "Presidential Primary, 1956". New Hampshire Secretary of State. p. 421. Retrieved February 3, 2016.
  39. ^ State of New Hampshire (1953). "Presidential Primary, 1952". Manual of the General Court. p. 426publisher=New Hampshire Secretary of State. Retrieved February 3, 2016.
  40. ^ State of New Hampshire (1949). "Presidential Primary, 1948". Manual for the General Court. New Hampshire Secretary of State. pp. 339–341. Retrieved February 3, 2016.
  41. ^ State of New York (1945). "Presidential Primary, 1944". Manual for the General Court. New Hampshire Secretary of State. pp. 320–321. Retrieved February 3, 2016.
  42. ^ State of New Hampshire (1941). "Presidential Primary, 1940". Manual for the General Court. New Hampshire Secretary of State. pp. 235–236. Retrieved February 3, 2016.
  43. ^ State of New Hampshire (1937). "Presidential Primary, 1936". Manual for the General Court. New Hampshire Secretary of State. pp. 93–95. Retrieved February 4, 2016.
  44. ^ a b State of New Hampshire (1933). "Primary Election, 1932". Manual for the General Court. New Hampshire Secretary of State. pp. 92–93. Retrieved February 4, 2016.
  45. ^ a b State of New Hampshire (1928). "Presidential Primary, 1928". Manual for the General Court. New Hampshire Secretary of State. pp. 198–199. Retrieved February 4, 2016.
  46. ^ Stte of New Hampshire (1925). "Presidential Primary of 1924". Manual for the General Court. New Hampshire Secretary of State. pp. 98–99. Retrieved February 4, 2016.
  47. ^ a b State of New Hampshire (1921). "Presidential Primary, 1920". Manual for the General Court. New Hampshire Secretary of State. p. 79. Retrieved February 4, 2016.
  48. ^ State of New Hampshire (1917). "Presidential Primary 1916". Manual for the General Court. New Hampshire Secretary of State. p. 256. Retrieved February 4, 2016.
  49. ^ State of New Hampshire (2013). "Presidential Primary, 2012". New Hampshire Secretary of State. pp. 187–188. Retrieved February 1, 2016.
  50. ^ State of New Hampshire (2009). "Presidential Primary, 2008". New Hampshire Secretary of State. pp. 181–182. Retrieved February 2, 2016.
  51. ^ State of New Hampshire (2005). "Presidential Primary, 2004". New Hampshire Secretary of State. pp. 169–170. Retrieved February 3, 2016.
  52. ^ State of New Hampshire (2001). "Presidential Primary, 2000". Manual for the General Court. New Hampshire Secretary of State. p. 181. Retrieved February 3, 2016.
  53. ^ State of New Hampshire (1997). "Presidential Primary, 1996". Manual for the General Court. New Hampshire Secretary of State. pp. 183–184. Retrieved February 3, 2016.
  54. ^ State of New Hampshire (1989). "Presidential Primary, 1988". Manual for the General Court. New Hampshire Secretary of State. p. 132. Retrieved February 3, 2016.
  55. ^ State of New Hampshire (1973). "Presidential Primary, 1972". Manual for the General Court. New Hampshire Secretary of State. pp. 306–307. Retrieved January 31, 2016.
  56. ^ State of New Hampshire (1969). "Manual for the Genera Court". New Hampshire Secretary of State. pp. 318–319. Retrieved January 31, 2016.
  57. ^ State of New Hampshire (1965). "Presidential Primary, 1964". Manual for the General Court. New Hampshire Secretary of State. p. 284. Retrieved February 1, 2016.
  58. ^ State of New Hampshire (1961). "Presidential Primary, 1960". New Hampshire Secretary of State. p. 284. Retrieved February 3, 2016.
  59. ^ State of New Hampshire. "Presidential Primaries, 1956". Manual for the General Court. New Hampshire Secretary of State. p. 323. Retrieved February 3, 2016.
  60. ^ State of New Hampshire (1953). "Presidential Primary, 1952". Manual for the General Court. New Hampshire Secretary of State. p. 307. Retrieved February 3, 2016.
  61. ^ State of New Hampshire (1949). "Presidential Primary, 1948". Manual for the General Court. New Hampshire Secretary of State. pp. 338–339. Retrieved February 3, 2016.
  62. ^ State of New York (1945). "Presidential Primary, 1944". Manual for the General Court. New Hampshire Secretary of State. pp. 318–319. Retrieved February 3, 2016.
  63. ^ State of New Hampshire (1941). "Presidential Primary, 1940". Manual for the General Court. New Hampshire Secretary of State. pp. 234–235. Retrieved February 3, 2016.
  64. ^ State of New Hampshire (1937). "Presidential Primary, 1936". Manual for the General Court. New Hampshire Secretary of State. pp. 87–88. Retrieved February 4, 2016.
  65. ^ "Presidential Primary of 1924". Manual for the General Court. New Hampshire Secretary of State. 1925. pp. 97–98. Retrieved February 4, 2016.
  66. ^ State of New Hampshire (1917). "Presidential Primary 1916". Manual for the General Court. New Hampshire Secretary of State. p. 267. Retrieved February 4, 2016.
  67. ^ State of New Hampshire (1993). "Presidential Primary, 1992". Manual for the General Court. New Hampshire Secretary of State. p. 183. Retrieved February 5, 2016.
  68. ^ "Bill_Status". Gencourt.state.nh.us. Retrieved 16 October 2017.
  69. ^ "Presidential Primary Election January 8". Sos.nh.gov. 2008-01-08. Archived from the original on 2012-02-07. Retrieved 2012-01-04.
  70. ^ "Presidential Primary Election January 8". Sos.nh.gov. 2008-01-08. Archived from the original on 2011-09-27. Retrieved 2012-01-04.

References

External links

1964 Republican Party presidential primaries

The 1964 Republican presidential primaries were the selection process by which voters of the Republican Party chose its nominee for President of the United States in the 1964 U.S. presidential election. Senator Barry Goldwater of Arizona was selected as the nominee through a series of primary elections and caucuses culminating in the 1964 Republican National Convention held from July 13 to July 16, 1964, in San Francisco, California.

1980 Democratic Party presidential primaries

The 1980 Democratic presidential primaries were the selection process by which voters of the Democratic Party chose its nominee for President of the United States in the 1980 U.S. presidential election. Incumbent President Jimmy Carter was again selected as the nominee through a series of primary elections and caucuses culminating in the 1980 Democratic National Convention held from August 11 to August 14, 1980, in New York City.

1992 Republican Party presidential primaries

The 1992 Republican presidential primaries were the selection process by which voters of the Republican Party chose its nominee for President of the United States in the 1992 U.S. presidential election. Incumbent President George H. W. Bush was again selected as the nominee through a series of primary elections and caucuses culminating in the 1992 Republican National Convention held from August 17 to August 20, 1992, in Houston, Texas.

2004 Democratic Party presidential primaries

The 2004 Democratic presidential primaries were the selection process by which voters of the Democratic Party chose its nominee for President of the United States in the 2004 U.S. presidential election. Senator John Kerry of Massachusetts was selected as the nominee through a series of primary elections and caucuses culminating in the 2004 Democratic National Convention held from July 26 to July 29, 2004, in Boston, Massachusetts. Kerry went on to lose the general election on November 2, 2004, to incumbent Republican President George W. Bush.

2004 United States presidential election in New Hampshire

The 2004 United States presidential election in New Hampshire took place on November 2, 2004, and was part of the 2004 United States presidential election. Voters chose 4 representatives, or electors to the Electoral College, who voted for president and vice president.

New Hampshire was won by Democratic nominee John Kerry by a 1.4% margin of victory. Prior to the election, most news organizations considered it as a swing state. Traditionally a more Republican leaning state of the heavily Democratic New England region, it was the only state in all of the Northeast to vote Republican in 2000. The state is considered to be more fiscally conservative than its neighbors in New England. However, like the rest of New England, it is considerably more liberal on social issues, which benefits Democratic candidates. New Hampshire was the only state that Bush won in the 2000 presidential election but lost in the 2004 presidential election. This is the first time that a Republican won a presidential election while losing New Hampshire, while Bush became the second consecutive Republican president (after his father) to lose New Hampshire in his second election having won it in his first. This would also be the first time since 1976 that New Hampshire would back the losing candidate in a presidential election.

2008 New Hampshire Democratic primary

The 2008 New Hampshire Democratic primary on January 8, 2008 was the first primary in the United States in 2008. Its purpose was to determine the number of delegates from New Hampshire that would represent a certain candidate at the National Convention. In a primary, members of a political party—in this case, the Democratic Party—will select the candidates to a subsequent election. Since 1920, New Hampshire has always hosted the first primaries in the entire nation. The Democratic Party's primary occurred on the same day as the Republican primary.Hillary Clinton was the winner of the popular vote in the primary, with Barack Obama trailing in second. Clinton and Obama received an equal number of delegates to the National Convention since the percentages of their votes were close. With this win, Clinton became the first female candidate to ever win a delegate-binding primary of a major political party's presidential nominating contest.After Obama became the Democratic Party's presumptive nominee on June 3, the New Hampshire Delegation to the 2008 Democratic National Convention unanimously cast its 30 formal votes for him, one of only three states to do so.

2008 United States presidential election in New Hampshire

The 2008 United States presidential election in New Hampshire took place on November 4, 2008, as part of the 2008 United States presidential election throughout all 50 states and D.C. Voters chose 4 representatives, or electors to the Electoral College, who voted for president and vice president.

Democratic nominee Barack Obama won the state with a margin of 9.61 percentage points. Obama took 54.13% to Republican John McCain's 44.52%. Prior to the election, all 17 news organizations considered this a state Obama would win, or otherwise considered as a safe blue state. The state was originally thought to be a swing state in 2008 for a number of reasons. New Hampshire is considerably more fiscally conservative than its neighbors in New England and has a strong disdain for taxes, giving the Republicans an edge in the state. However, like the rest of New England, it is considerably more liberal on social issues like abortion and gay rights, which helps the Democrats. Also, McCain was very popular among Republicans based on the fact that he won both the 2000 and 2008 primaries here. In 2008, Obama lost the primary to Hillary Clinton. However, after the financial crisis, Obama pulled away in the pre-election polls.

The 2008 result made Barack Obama the first Democratic presidential nominee to sweep all 10 of New Hampshire's counties since native son Franklin Pierce in 1852. Obama even won a majority of the vote in traditionally staunchly Republican Carroll County, the only county in New Hampshire (and in all of New England) to have voted for Republican Barry Goldwater in the 1964 Democratic landslide. This is despite Obama's 10-point margin being considerably lower than Lyndon B. Johnson's 28-point margin. Carroll County had not given a majority to a Democratic presidential nominee since 1888, although vote-splitting last allowed Woodrow Wilson to win a plurality there in 1912. As of the 2016 presidential election, this is the last election in which Rockingham County, Belknap County, and Carroll County voted for the Democratic candidate.

2020 Nevada Democratic caucuses

The 2020 Nevada Democratic caucuses will take place on Saturday, February 22, 2020, as the third nominating contest in the Democratic Party presidential primaries for the 2020 presidential election, following the New Hampshire primary the week before. The Nevada caucuses are a closed caucus, with the state awarding 48 delegates, of which 36 are pledged delegates allocated on the basis of the results of the caucuses.

2020 New Hampshire Democratic primary

The 2020 New Hampshire Democratic primary will take place on Tuesday, February 11, 2020, as the second nominating contest in the Democratic Party presidential primaries for the 2020 presidential election, following the Iowa caucuses the week before. The New Hampshire primary is a semi-closed primary, with the state awarding 33 delegates, of which 24 are pledged delegates allocated on the basis of the results of the primary.

Bill Gardner (politician)

Bill Gardner (born October 26, 1948) is the current Secretary of State of New Hampshire. He is in charge of the department that oversees all general elections, primary elections, voter registration and recounts within the state, including the New Hampshire primary. He is the longest currently-serving Secretary of State in the United States.

Dixville Notch, New Hampshire

Dixville Notch is an unincorporated community in Dixville township, Coos County, New Hampshire, United States. The population of the township, all of whom live in Dixville Notch, was 12 at the 2010 census. The village is known for being one of the first places to declare its results during United States presidential elections and the New Hampshire primary. It is located in the far north of the state, approximately 20 miles (30 km) south of the Canadian province of Quebec.

The village is named for the Dixville Notch mountain pass (or "notch," in White Mountains terminology) about 0.5 miles (800 m) southeast of and 100 feet (30 m) uphill from it, that lies between Dixville Peak and Sanguinary Mountain, and separates the Connecticut River's watershed from that of the Androscoggin. The village, situated at about 1,800 feet (550 m) above sea level at the base of dramatic mountains, is the location of The Balsams Grand Resort Hotel; one of a handful of surviving New Hampshire grand hotels, it is situated on a 15,000-acre (61 km2) plot, accommodating golfing in the summer and skiing in the winter.

Dixville Notch is part of the Berlin, NH–VT Micropolitan Statistical Area.

Elections in New England

Elections in New England have been defined by the region's political and cultural history, demographics, economy, and its loyalty to particular U.S. political parties. Within the elections in the United States, New England is sometimes viewed in terms of a single voting bloc.

Hooksett, New Hampshire

Hooksett is a town in Merrimack County, New Hampshire, United States. The population was 13,451 at the 2010 census and an estimated 14,175 in 2017. The town is located between Manchester, the state's largest city, and Concord, the state capital. A prominent landmark is Robie's Country Store, a National Historic Landmark and a frequent stop for presidential candidates during the New Hampshire primary.The central village in town, where 4,147 people resided at the 2010 census, is defined as the Hooksett census-designated place and is located at a bridge crossing of the Merrimack River. The town also contains the census-designated place of South Hooksett.

Interregional Primary Plan

The Interregional Primary Plan is a proposed reform to the United States primary calendar supported by Representative Sandy Levin and Senator Bill Nelson, both Democrats. The plan would break the country into six regions. From those regions, one subregion - either a single state or a group of smaller states - would vote on each primary date (e.g., all A states,) with the entire country having held its primaries after the sixth set of primaries votes. Each state would vote first once every twenty-four years, with the first set of primaries determined by lottery and cycled thereafter.Historically, the presidential primary season started slowly, ramping up several weeks after the Iowa caucuses and the New Hampshire primary. In the 2008 Presidential primary season, with competition to increase the relevance of each state's selection process, 34 states (plus the District of Columbia), have scheduled their primary or caucus process to be held in January and February, tripling the number of states voting this early than the count in the 2000 races.

John W. King

John William King (October 10, 1916 – August 9, 1996) was an American lawyer, jurist, and Democratic politician from Manchester, New Hampshire. He received his undergraduate degree from Harvard College and his law degree from Columbia Law School in 1943. He practiced law in Manchester and served in the New Hampshire House of Representatives. In 1962 he was elected Governor of New Hampshire, becoming only the third Democratic Governor of the Granite State in 88 years, and the first since Fred Herbert Brown lost the 1924 election. After his three terms as Governor of New Hampshire, he served on the New Hampshire Supreme Court from 1979, and as its Chief Justice from 1981 until 1986.

As Governor, King instituted the first state lottery in the nation since 1894. He was a major hawk and a fierce supporter of President Lyndon B. Johnson during the Vietnam War.

During his attacks on Senator Eugene McCarthy, Johnson's challenger in the New Hampshire primary, King questioned McCarthy's national loyalty and also warned that a strong vote for "the appeaser," would be "greeted with cheers in Hanoi."King was a Roman Catholic and after his death in 1996 he was buried in the New St. Joseph’s Cemetery in Bedford, New Hampshire.

List of female United States presidential and vice-presidential candidates

The following is a list of female U.S. presidential and vice-presidential nominees and invitees. Nominees are candidates nominated or otherwise selected by political parties for particular offices. Listed as nominees or nomination candidates are those women who achieved ballot access in at least one state (or, before the institution of government-printed ballots, had ballots circulated by their parties). They each may have won the nomination of one of the US political parties (either one of the two major parties or one of the third parties), or made the ballot as an Independent, and in either case must have votes in the election to qualify for this list. Exception is made for those few candidates whose parties lost ballot status for additional runs.

New Hampshire

New Hampshire () is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States. It is bordered by Massachusetts to the south, Vermont to the west, Maine and the Atlantic Ocean to the east, and the Canadian province of Quebec to the north. New Hampshire is the 5th smallest by area and the 10th least populous of the 50 states.

Concord is the state capital, while Manchester is the largest city in the state. It has no general sales tax, nor is personal income (other than interest and dividends) taxed at either the state or local level. The New Hampshire primary is the first primary in the U.S. presidential election cycle. Its license plates carry the state motto, "Live Free or Die". The state's nickname, "The Granite State", refers to its extensive granite formations and quarries.In January 1776, it became the first of the British North American colonies to establish a government independent of the Kingdom of Great Britain's authority, and it was the first to establish its own state constitution. Six months later, it became one of the original 13 colonies that signed the United States Declaration of Independence, and in June 1788 it was the ninth state to ratify the United States Constitution, bringing that document into effect.

Historically, New Hampshire was a major center for textile manufacturing, shoemaking, and papermaking, with Amoskeag Manufacturing Company in Manchester at one time being the largest cotton textile plant in the world. Numerous mills were located along various rivers in the state, especially the Merrimack and Connecticut rivers. Many French Canadians migrated to New Hampshire to work the mills in the late 19th and early 20th century; New Hampshire still ranks second among states by percentage of people claiming French American ancestry, with 24.5% of the state.

Manufacturing centers such as Manchester, Nashua, and Berlin were hit hard in the 1930s–1940s, as major manufacturing industries left New England and moved to the southern United States or overseas, reflecting nationwide trends. In the 1950s and 1960s, defense contractors moved into many of the former mills, such as Sanders Associates in Nashua, and the population of southern New Hampshire surged beginning in the 1980s as major highways connected the region to Greater Boston and established several bedroom communities in the state.

With some of the largest ski mountains on the East Coast, New Hampshire's major recreational attractions include skiing, snowmobiling, and other winter sports, hiking and mountaineering (Mount Monadnock in the state's southwestern corner is among the most climbed mountains in the U.S.), observing the fall foliage, summer cottages along many lakes and the seacoast, motor sports at the New Hampshire Motor Speedway, and Motorcycle Week, a popular motorcycle rally held in Weirs Beach in Laconia in June. The White Mountain National Forest links the Vermont and Maine portions of the Appalachian Trail, and has the Mount Washington Auto Road, where visitors may drive to the top of 6,288-foot (1,917 m) Mount Washington.

Among prominent individuals from New Hampshire are founding father Nicholas Gilman, Senator Daniel Webster, Revolutionary War hero John Stark, editor Horace Greeley, founder of the Christian Science religion Mary Baker Eddy, poet Robert Frost, astronaut Alan Shepard, rock musician Ronnie James Dio, author Dan Brown, actor Adam Sandler, inventor Dean Kamen, comedians Sarah Silverman and Seth Meyers, restaurateurs Richard and Maurice McDonald, and President of the United States Franklin Pierce.

New Hampshire Democratic Party

The New Hampshire Democratic Party (NHDP) is the affiliate of the Democratic Party in the state of New Hampshire. The chair is Raymond Buckley. The vice chairs are Martha Fuller Clark and Mo Baxley. The most recent Democratic governor was Maggie Hassan, who served from 2013 to 2017.

The only U.S. president from New Hampshire was a Democrat, Franklin Pierce who served from 1853 to 1857.

The New Hampshire Democratic Party has played a pivotal role in the election process for the president of the United States, with New Hampshire holding the first primary in the nation. Local Democrats in New Hampshire have huge power in determining the outcomes of elections.

United States presidential primary

The presidential primary elections and caucuses held in the various states, the District of Columbia, and territories of the United States form part of the nominating process of candidates for United States presidential elections. The United States Constitution has never specified the process; political parties have developed their own procedures over time. Some states hold only primary elections, some hold only caucuses, and others use a combination of both. These primaries and caucuses are staggered, generally beginning sometime in January or February, and ending about mid-June before the general election in November. State and local governments run the primary elections, while caucuses are private events that are directly run by the political parties themselves. A state's primary election or caucus is usually an indirect election: instead of voters directly selecting a particular person running for president, they determine the number of delegates each party's national convention will receive from their respective state. These delegates then in turn select their party's presidential nominee. The first state in the United States to hold its presidential primary was New Hampshire in 1920.

Each party determines how many delegates it allocates to each state. Along with those "pledged" delegates chosen during the primaries and caucuses, state delegations to both the Democratic and Republican conventions also include "unpledged" delegates who have a vote. For Republicans, they consist of the three top party officials who serve At Large from each state and territory. Democrats have a more expansive group of unpledged delegates called "superdelegates", who are party leaders and elected officials (PLEO). If no single candidate has secured an absolute majority of delegates (including both pledged and unpledged), then a "brokered convention" occurs: all pledged delegates are "released" after the first round of voting and are able to switch their allegiance to a different candidate, and then additional rounds take place until there is a winner with an absolute majority.

The staggered nature of the presidential primary season allows candidates to concentrate their resources in each area of the country one at a time instead of campaigning in every state simultaneously. In some of the less populous states, this allows campaigning to take place on a much more personal scale. However, the overall results of the primary season may not be representative of the U.S. electorate as a whole: voters in Iowa, New Hampshire and other less populous states which traditionally hold their primaries and caucuses in late-January/February usually have a major impact on the races, while voters in California and other large states which traditionally hold their primaries in June generally end up having no say because the races are usually over by then. As a result, more states vie for earlier primaries, known as "front-loading", to claim a greater influence in the process. The national parties have used penalties and awarded bonus delegates in efforts to stagger the system over broadly a 90-day window. Where state legislatures set the primary or caucus date, sometimes the out-party in that state has endured penalties in the number of delegates it can send to the national convention.

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