News / USA

New Hampshire Prepares for Presidential Primary

Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney greets audience members at a campaign stop in Peterborough, New Hampshire January 4, 2012, one day after winning the Iowa caucus.
Republican presidential candidate and former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney greets audience members at a campaign stop in Peterborough, New Hampshire January 4, 2012, one day after winning the Iowa caucus.

In less than a week, voters in the northeastern state of New Hampshire will cast ballots in the first U.S. presidential primary, following last Tuesday's Iowa caucuses. People going to the polls in New Hampshire are looking at very different issues in deciding who should be the Republican candidate to challenge President Barack Obama in the November election.

New Hampshire is a northeastern state of postcard-perfect scenes like this. Time seems to slow in its tiny, scenic towns until presidential candidates rush into the state, once every four years. They bring along noisy cheering (or booing) crowds along with nasty campaign ads.

Republican and Democratic voters choose their nominees, state-by-state, in primary contests like New Hampshire's.

But voters in New Hampshire are better off, financially, than the rest of the country.

High priced items do well in the state's big cities.  

A Lexus dealership in Manchester is moving into a new $7 million showroom.  General Sales Manager Nigel Long says the last quarter earnings were fantastic.

"When people have money, people have money," he said.

But that's not what's motivating people who live far from city buildings. Here, New Hampshire's country roads lead to financial rough times that have soured many on this year's presidential primary.

Franny Longo shaves wood for the Peterboro Basket Company where she's worked for 25 years.

"I've been able to make ends meet.  That's all I can say," she said.  "Struggling, working hard to make ends meet."

The Peterboro Basket Company has been around for more than 150 years - a true "Made in America" company, with wood from New England Ash trees, medallions from Rhode Island and leather straps from Massachusetts.  It's a successful business which grew 38 percent last year.  But owner Joan Dodds will cast a vote for change in Tuesday's primary.

"I know the country's in trouble and we need to do something and not wait too much longer," she said.

New Hampshire's state motto is "live free or die."  Residents are fiercely independent.  But also, fiercely undecided when it comes to the primary.

Factory worker Matt Rocca knows how to finish off a bicycle basket.  But he doesn't know who will get his vote.

"Not quite yet," he said. "I'm going to start looking later on."

Neil Levesque is a New Hampshire native who's worked on numerous campaigns.  He now runs the Institute of Politics at St. Anselm College in Manchester.  

"New Hampshire voters will wait until the last minute before they are concrete about what they want to do and they will switch if the candidate makes a big mistake. They will switch," he said. "New Hampshire is also known for big upsets."

The big upset would be if Mitt Romney - the former governor of an adjacent state - were to lose.  Polls show him in the lead at about 40 percent among Republican candidates. He's so confident that he campaigned Thursday in South Carolina, which holds its primary after New Hampshire.

But with the many undecided voters in this state, all the candidates will fight hard in the coming days, selling themselves to the residents who have money... and those who do not.

New Hampshire Candidates


Carolyn Presutti

Carolyn Presutti is an Emmy and Silver World Medal award winning television correspondent who works out of VOA’s Washington headquarters.   She has also won numerous Associated Press awards and a Clarion for her coverage of The Syrian Medical Crisis, Haiti, The Boston Marathon Bombing, Presidential Politics, The Southern Economy, and The 9/11 Bombing Anniversary.  In 2013, Carolyn aired exclusive stories on the Asiana plane crash and was named VOA’s chief reporter with Google Glass.

You can follow Carolyn on Twitter at CarolynVOA, on Google Plus and Facebook.

You May Like

Video Snowstorm Sweeps Northeastern US

'This is nothing like we feared it would be,' New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio says; he had warned storm could be one of worst in city history More

Millions of Displaced Nigerians Struggle With Daily Existence

Government acknowledges over a million people displaced in 2014 due to fight against Boko Haram insurgency More

Facebook: Internal Error to Blame for Outages

Temporary outage appeared to spill over and temporarily slow or block traffic to other major Internet sites More

This forum has been closed.
Comments
     
There are no comments in this forum. Be first and add one

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Obama Urges Closer Economic Ties During Historic India Visiti
X
Aru Pande
January 26, 2015 9:33 PM
U.S. President Barack Obama says the United States and India must do better to capitalize on untapped potential in their economic relationship - by removing some of the roadblocks to greater trade and investment. As VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports from New Delhi, Obama spoke after participating in India’s Republic Day celebration.
Video

Video Obama Urges Closer Economic Ties During Historic India Visit

U.S. President Barack Obama says the United States and India must do better to capitalize on untapped potential in their economic relationship - by removing some of the roadblocks to greater trade and investment. As VOA correspondent Aru Pande reports from New Delhi, Obama spoke after participating in India’s Republic Day celebration.
Video

Video US, EU Threaten New Russia Sanctions Over Ukraine

U.S. President Barack Obama has blamed Russia for an attack by Ukrainian separatists that left dozens dead in the port of Mariupol and cast further doubt on the viability of last year’s cease-fire with the Kyiv government. VOA’s Michael Bowman reports from Washington.
Video

Video White House Grapples With Yemen Counterterrorism Strategy

Reports say the U.S. has carried out a drone strike on suspected militants in Yemen, the first after President Barack Obama offered reassurances the U.S. is continuing its counterterrorism operations in the country. The future of those operations has been in question following the collapse last week of Yemen’s government. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video Kerry Warns Against Violence in Nigeria Election

US Secretary of State John Kerry visited Nigeria Sunday in a show of the level of concern within the U.S. and the international community over next month’s presidential election. Chris Stein reports.
Video

Video Zoo Animals Show Their Artistic Sides

The pursuit of happiness is so important, America's founding fathers put it in the Declaration of Independence. Any zookeeper will tell you animals need enrichment, just like humans do. So painting, and even music, are part of the Smithsonian National Zoo's program to keep the animals happy. VOA’s June Soh met some animal artists at the zoo in Washington. Faith Lapidus narrates.
Video

Video Worldwide Photo Workshops Empower Youth

Last September, 20 young adults from South Sudan took part in a National Geographic Photo Camp. They are among hundreds of students from around the world who have learned how to use a camera to tell the stories of the people in their communities through the powerful medium of photography. Three camp participants talked about their experiences recently on a visit to Washington. VOA’s Julie Taboh reports.
Video

Video Saudi, Yemen Developments Are Sudden Complications for Obama

The death of Saudi Arabia's King Abdullah and the collapse of Yemen’s government have cast further uncertainty on U.S. efforts to fight militants in the Middle East and also contain Iran’s influence in the region. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports on the new complications facing the Obama administration and its Middle East policy.
Video

Video Progress, Some Areas of Disagreement in Cuba Talks

U.S. and Cuban officials are reporting progress from initial talks in Havana on re-establishing diplomatic ties. U.S. Assistant Secretary of State (for Western Hemisphere Affairs) Roberta Jacobson said while there was agreement on a broad range of issues, there also are some “profound disagreements” between Washington and Havana. VOA State Department correspondent Pam Dockins has the story.
Video

Video US, Japan Offer Lessons as Eurozone Launches Huge Stimulus

The Euro currency has fallen sharply after the European Central Bank announced a bigger-than-expected $67 billion-a-month quantitative easing program Thursday - commonly seen as a form of printing new money. Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA from London on whether the move might rescue the eurozone economy -- and what lessons have been learned from similar programs around the world.
Video

Video Nigerian Elections Pose Concern of Potential Conflict in 'Middle Belt'

Nigeria’s north-central state of Kaduna has long been the site of fighting between Muslims and Christians as well as between people of different ethnic groups. As the February elections approach, community and religious leaders are making plans they hope will keep the streets calm after results are announced. Chris Stein reports from the state capital, Kaduna.
Video

Video As Viewership Drops, Obama Puts His Message on YouTube

Ratings reports show President Obama’s State of the Union address this week drew the lowest number of viewers for this annual speech in 15 years. White House officials anticipated this, and the president has decided to take a non-traditional approach to getting his message out. VOA White House correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.
Video

Video S. Korean Businesses Want to End Trade Restrictions With North

Business leaders in South Korea are calling for President Park Geun-hye to ease trade restrictions with North Korea that were put in place in 2010 after the sinking of a South Korean warship.Pro-business groups argue that expanding trade and investment is not only good for business, it is also good for long-term regional peace and security. VOA’s Brian Padden reports.

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More

All About America

AppleAndroid