Tuesday, January 27, 2004


Carl Cameron offers A Gambler's Guide to the N.H. Primary. Amongst the wisdom:
"Watch Derry and Hollis … laugh at Dixville Notch and Hart's Location."

Derry is just south of Manchester and a bellwether of state political sentiment.

Hollis, just west of Nashua, holds the record for voting for the winner most frequently.

Dixville Notch is a tiny community in the White Mountains that has 24 residents, 19 of whom are voting-age. Ten are registered Republicans, nine are undeclared. There are zero Democrats or independents. Most of the residents live and work at the Balsams Resort. The resort is the polling place. The first votes are cast and counted by 12:10 am on primary day.

Hart's Location is another tiny unregistered town that votes at midnight and is always fun to watch. But it gets nowhere near the attention of Dixville Notch because it lacks venue, charm, history and self-promotion. Neither community frequently picks the winner.
When does Punxsutawney Phil show up?
"Polls are a pain. We get so many calls, my neighbors toy with pollsters for fun."

Voters in New Hampshire are about eight times more likely to be polled than in Iowa, where quadrennial complaints about too many annoying polls and robo-calls could be heard long before caucus night. Weekend polling in New Hampshire right before the primary often skews.
Clem, are you foolin' with the city fellers again?
"You can lose while winning and win while losing."

New Hampshire's primary race is all about expectations, gamesmanship and momentum. The candidate who can look ahead is the one who exceeds expectations, carries the momentum, and balances those achievements with campaign cash, viability and a nationwide organization.
Very true and most of the expectations are set by the notoriously fickle press.
"This is the last time average folks have a chance to really see the candidates up close"

After New Hampshire, the race goes national. Candidates will communicate mostly through ads, news and airport rallies. The policies have all been laid out, now it's stump speeches, sloganeering, tactics and strategy.
Doing well in one of the big urban states brings a ton more delegates than Iowa and New Hampshire combined, but they will all go past in a blur after today. It must be rather confusing for furriners.