Vote First or Die

Friday, December 14, 2007


In the race to the ballot box the citizens of New Hampshire have long been first. In fact, it’s the law (okay, it’s their law). Brooke travels north to find out why the state is so determined to maintain its granite grip on the primacy of its primary.

Comments [7]

Frank Flynn from Palo Alto, CA

I was disappointed in this story; Brook you were completely duped by these New Hampshire power elites.

How is this attitude, that New Hampshire voters are better at choosing candidates because they have been doing it longer, any different from the white males of a century ago saying that we should not give women or former slaves the right to vote because white men had been voting longer, knew more about the issues and would make better choices?

In fact many white men of a century ago did make that very argument but, after much persuasion, we came to recognized that argument is wrong and if we wish to live in a democracy then we must ensure that everyones vote counts equally.

It is the height of arrogance to believe that because of an accident of location you are entitled to a more significant voice in an election than any of your fellow citizens or that because you live in New Hampshire you understand politician or take politics more seriously. I assure you I take politics very seriously, I am not alone and we do not believe that the residents of New Hampshire or Iowa could ever represent us better than we could represent ourselves.

Dec. 20 2007 07:04 PM
Sally from Honolulu, HI

I understand that New Hampshire residents' political views matter in the current political system, so I tolerate being bombarded by reports of what they think in regards to the election. But I don't need to or want to tolerate a piece indulging New Hampshire residents' egos about getting all the attention. Why don't you do a piece to balance their complacent entitlement by doing extended coverage of residents of all the other states that don't "matter"?

Dec. 20 2007 05:48 PM
Josh Burnett from Oakland, CA

Regardless of historical factors, the fact that a tiny minority of the nation's population, whose demographics are completely different from the rest of the nation, gets such a huge say in the nation's politics is quite simply an affront to democratic principles. That some or many New Hampshire voters may be charming or well-informed does nothing to change that.

Dec. 18 2007 09:50 PM
Chris Gray from New Haven, CT

Woops. Extemists in Iran.

Dec. 17 2007 03:03 AM
Chris Gray from New Haven, CT

Frankly, I think I heard a great deal of sense in both the historical argument and in the argument regarding the seriousness with which New Hampshire approaches participatory democracy.

How many State Reps!!!

Moreover, the pride with which Bill Gardener spoke of the ascendance of Jimmy Carter reminds me that it is about time Democrats and other progressives (such as myself) began to rehabilitate his Presidential reputation.

Carter's term in office always reminded me of Andrew Jackson's, who was conspired against by bankers for his support of the legalization of trade unions, only the "bankers" in Carters case held real wealth, oil, and were international in scope. Added to that were the Shi'a Muslim extremists in Iraq whom, it seems to me, were also mixed up with the Reagan/Bush administration in some quite peculiar ways.

It is time to say that both of my votes for him were my most satisfying votes for a Presidential candidate and those over which I have the least regret. He may not have been up to the politics; he was certainly up to the job and continues to work for the entire world.

Dec. 17 2007 02:58 AM
Paula DiNardo from Dover, NH

Great story, and it was great to have you on NHPR's Exchange, Brooke!

NH embraced the primary when others threw the chance away. And we made it work, for almost 100 years now. It's good for the candidates to learn humility, put up with the weather and the local characters. It's my favorite thing about living in the Granite State!

Some traditions are worth keeping, even if they don't make any sense. ;-)

Dec. 16 2007 10:19 AM
Eric Goebelbecker from Maywood, NJ

Very interesting story.

But I'm still waiting to hear a better reason than "We've always done it this way." for seeing all of the candidates to kowtow to such a tiny, sparsely populated state.

Seriously, what state reflects the rest of the nation less? I mean, other than Iowa.

Dec. 15 2007 09:03 PM

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