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

ASEAN Ministers to Push for S. China Sea Agreements

According to documents obtained by VOA Khmer, ministers will stand up for 'freedom of navigation, unimpeded lawful maritime commerce, trade and over flight' More

Puerto Rico Defaults on $58M Debt Payment

Payment was due Saturday, default is first in country's 117 years as a United States possession More

Turkish Public Fears Jihadists More Than Kurds

Turkey facing twin threats of terrorism by Islamic State and PKK Kurdish separatists, says President Erdogan’s ruling AK Party 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.
Iraqi Yazidis Fear Death of Their Communityi
X
Sharon Behn
August 03, 2015 2:23 PM
A year ago on August 3, Islamic State militants stormed the homelands of Iraq’s Yazidi minority, killing hundreds of men and enslaving thousands of women. The scenes of desperate Yazidi families crowding on the top of Sinjar mountain without food or water spurred Kurdish fighters into action, an emergency airlift and the start of the U.S. airstrike campaign against the Islamic State Sunni extremists. VOA's Sharon Benh reports from northern Iraq.
Video

Video Iraqi Yazidis Fear Death of Their Community

A year ago on August 3, Islamic State militants stormed the homelands of Iraq’s Yazidi minority, killing hundreds of men and enslaving thousands of women. The scenes of desperate Yazidi families crowding on the top of Sinjar mountain without food or water spurred Kurdish fighters into action, an emergency airlift and the start of the U.S. airstrike campaign against the Islamic State Sunni extremists. VOA's Sharon Benh reports from northern Iraq.
Video

Video Bangkok Warned It Soon Could Be Submerged

Italy's Venice and America's New Orleans are not the only cities gradually submerging. The nearly ten million residents of the Bangkok urban area now must confront warnings the city could become uninhabitable in a few decades. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from the Thai capital.
Video

Video Inclusive Gym Gets People With Disabilities in Fitness Spirit

Individuals with special needs are 58 percent more likely to be obese than the general population. According to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control, they also have an increased likelihood of anxiety, depression and social isolation. But a sports club outside Washington wants to make a difference in these people's lives. With Carol Pearson narrating, VOA's June Soh reports.
Video

Video Astronauts Train Underwater for Deep Space Missions

Manned deep space missions are still a long way off, but space agencies are already testing procedures, equipment and human stamina for operations in extreme environment conditions. Small groups of astronauts take turns in spending days in an underwater lab, off Florida’s southern coast, simulating future missions to some remote world. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video Special Olympics Show Competitors' Skill, Determination

Special Olympics competitions will wrap up Saturday in Los Angeles, and the closing ceremony for athletes with intellectual disabilities will be held Sunday night. In a week of competition, athletes have shown what they can do through skill and determination. VOA's Mike O'Sullivan reports.
Video

Video Civil Rights Leaders Struggled to Achieve Voting Rights Act

Fifty years ago, lawmakers approved, and U.S. President Lyndon Johnson signed, the Voting Rights Act of 1965. The measure outlawed racial discrimination in voting, giving millions of blacks in many parts of the southern United States federal enforcement of the right to vote. Correspondent Chris Simkins introduces us to some civil rights leaders who were on the front lines in the struggle for voting rights.
Video

Video Shooter’s Grill: Serving Food with a Touch of the Second Amendment

Shooter's Grill, a restaurant in Rifle, Colorado, attracts visitors from all over the world as well as local patrons. The reason? Waitresses openly carry loaded firearms as they serve food, and customers are welcome to carry them, too. VOA's Enming Liu and Lin Yang paid a visit to Shooter's Grill, and heard different opinions about this unique establishment.
Video

Video Despite Controversy, Business Owner Continues Sale of Confederate Flags

At Cooter’s, a store in rural Sperryville, Virginia, about 120 kilometers west of Washington, D.C., Confederate flags are flying off the shelves. The red, white and blue battle flag, with 13 white stars representing the Confederate states, was carried by southern forces during the U.S. Civil War in the 1860s. The South had seceded from the Union over several key issues of disagreement, including slavery. VOA’s Deborah Block has the story.
Video

Video Booming London Property a ‘Haven for Dirty Money’

Billions of dollars of so-called ‘dirty money’ from the proceeds of crime - especially from Russia - are being laundered through the London property market, according to anti-corruption activists. As Henry Ridgwell reports from the British capital, the government has pledged to crack down on the practice.
Video

Video Hometown of Boy Scouts of America Founder Reacts to Gay Leader Decision

Ottawa, Illinois, is the hometown of W.D. Boyce, who founded the Boy Scouts of America in 1910. In Ottawa, where Scouting remains an important part of the legacy of the community, the end of the organization's ban on openly gay adult leaders was seen as inevitable. VOA's Kane Farabaugh reports.

VOA Blogs