News / USA

New Hampshire Voters Expect to See the Candidates Up Close

In U.S. politics, six Republicans vying to be their party’s presidential nominee face a crucial test Tuesday in the New Hampshire presidential primary.  Traditionally, a good showing in New Hampshire’s first-in-the-nation primary is seen as major step toward winning the presidential nomination of either major U.S. political party.

Mitt Romney can feel the love (support of voters).  Before he can reach the White House, Romney must first pass muster with these voters in New Hampshire.  And the voters here like to see their candidates up close and personal.

That suits Romney just fine.  He cheerfully goes about the task of greeting voters, signing autographs and posing for pictures, all in a day’s campaign work here in New Hampshire.

Once every four years, normally tranquil New Hampshire and its quaint New England landscape is invaded by presidential contenders and an army of news media, like the horde that descended on this event for former Pennsylvania senator Rick Santorum.

Though chaotic, Santorum’s impromptu parking lot appearance did attract undecided voters eager to hear from someone new.

“My wife has not told me, but she thinks she is 95 percent sure.  I am still debating,” voter Craig Gallant said.

Gallant brought his wife and son to the Santorum rally and is well aware that New Hampshire voters get special attention from the candidates.

“We always have a wider field to choose from.  We get to meet these people face to face and shake their hand and look them in the eye," he stated. "Sometimes that matters, sometimes it does not, but it is always nice to have that option."

Santorum is a Republican, but that did not stop Democrat Mary Claire Heffernan from stopping by to give a listen.

“It is unique and we really take our job seriously.  We take pride in the fact that we have this opportunity and people pay attention, people get to know the candidates and people come out to vote,” Heffernan noted.

Veteran journalist Tom DeFrank has covered U.S. elections since 1968.  DeFrank says New Hampshire voters expect the personal touch from their candidates.

“People in Iowa and New Hampshire and places like that expect to be courted, expect to be asked for their vote, expect to see you in dozens and hundreds of places,” he said.

Judy and Michael Lopacki came all the way from Pennsylvania to see Romney and democracy in action.

“I love being part of this whole thing.  It makes you really love being an American and feel good about what is happening,” Judy Lopacki said.

Her husband Michael found the experience overwhelming.

“Although some people may look at is as a carnival, which it is to some extent, it is very serious business," he stated. "It is democracy. That is it. Sorry.”

Once the candidates leave and take the reporters with them, New Hampshire will revert to its quiet self, a beckoning landscape of rolling hills, town greens and colonial churches that once every four years becomes a critical testing ground for those seeking the highest office in the land. 

You May Like

Ebola Death Toll Nears 5,000 as Virus Advances

West Africa bears heaviest burden; Mali toddler’s death raises new fears More

Jordan’s Battle With Islamic State Militants Carries Domestic Risks

Despite Western concerns that IS militants are preparing a Jordanian offensive, analysts call the kingdom's solid intel a strong deterrent More

Asian-Americans Assume Office in Record Numbers

Steadily deepening engagement in local politics pays off for politicians like Chinese-American Judy Chu 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.
Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukrainei
X
Al Pessin
October 25, 2014 4:21 PM
Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Talks to Resume on Winter Gas for Ukraine

Ukrainian and Russian officials will meet again next week in an effort to settle their dispute over natural gas supplies that threatens to leave Ukraine short of heating fuel for the coming winter. VOA’s Al Pessin reports from London the dispute is complex, and has both economic and geopolitical dimensions.
Video

Video Smugglers Offer Cheap Passage From Turkey to Syria

Smugglers in Turkey offer a relatively cheap passage across the border into Syria. Ankara has stepped up efforts to stem the flow of foreign fighters who want to join Islamic State militants fighting for control of the Syrian border city of Kobani. But porous borders and border guards who can be bribed make illegal border crossings quite easy. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video Comanche Chief Quanah Parker’s Century-Old House Falling Apart

One of the most fascinating people in U.S. history was Quanah Parker, the last chief of the American Indian tribe, the Comanche. He was the son of a Comanche warrior and a white woman who had been captured by the Indians. Parker was a fierce warrior until 1875 when he led his people to Fort Sill, Oklahoma, and took on a new, peaceful life. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Cache, Oklahoma, Quanah’s image remains strong among his people, but part of his heritage is in danger of disappearing.
Video

Video China Political Meeting Seeks to Improve Rule of Law

China’s communist leaders will host a top level political meeting this week, called the Fourth Plenum, and for the first time in the party’s history, rule of law will be a key item on the agenda. Analysts and Chinese media reports say the meetings could see the approval of long-awaited measures aimed at giving courts more independence and include steps to enhance an already aggressive and high-reaching anti-corruption drive. VOA’s Bill Ide has more from Beijing.
Video

Video After Decades of Pressure, Luxembourg Drops Bank Secrecy Rules

European Union finance ministers have reached a breakthrough agreement that will make it more difficult for tax cheats to hide their money. The new legislation, which had been blocked for years by countries with a reputation as tax havens, was approved last week after Luxembourg and Austria agreed to lift their vetoes. But as Mil Arcega reports, it doesn’t mean tax cheats have run out of places to keep their money hidden.
Video

Video Kobani Refugees Welcome, Turkey Criticizes, US Airdrop

Residents of Kobani in northern Syria have welcomed the airdrop of weapons, ammunition and medicine to Kurdish militia who are resisting the seizure of their city by Islamic State militants. The Turkish government, however, has criticized the operation. VOA’s Scott Bobb reports from southeastern Turkey, across the border from Kobani.
Video

Video US ‘Death Cafes’ Put Focus on the Finale

In contemporary America, death usually is a topic to be avoided. But the growing “death café” movement encourages people to discuss their fears and desires about their final moments. VOA’s Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Ebola Orphanage Opens in Sierra Leone

Sierra Leone's first Ebola orphanage has opened in the Kailahun district. Hundreds of children orphaned since the beginning of the Ebola outbreak face stigma and rejection with nobody to care for them. Adam Bailes reports for VOA about a new interim care center that's aimed at helping the growing number of children affected by Ebola.

All About America

AppleAndroid