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

US, China Have Dueling Definitions of Cybersecurity

Analysts say attribution or or proving that a particular individual or government is responsible for a hack, is a daunting task More

Snowden: I'd Go to Prison to Return to US

Former NSA contractor says he has not received a formal plea-deal offer from US officials, who consider him to be a traitor More

Goodbye Pocahontas: Photos Reveal Today's Real Native Americans

Weary of stereotypes, photographer Matika Wilbur is determined to reshape the public's perception of her people More

This forum has been closed.
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.
Russia’s Syria Involvement Raising Concerns in Europei
Luis Ramirez
October 02, 2015 4:45 PM
European nations are joining the United States in demanding that Russia stop targeting opposition groups other than the Islamic State militants as Russian warplanes continue to conduct raids in Syria. The demand came in a statement from Britain, France, Germany, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the United States Friday. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.

Video Russia’s Syria Involvement Raising Concerns in Europe

European nations are joining the United States in demanding that Russia stop targeting opposition groups other than the Islamic State militants as Russian warplanes continue to conduct raids in Syria. The demand came in a statement from Britain, France, Germany, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey and the United States Friday. VOA Europe correspondent Luis Ramirez reports.

Video First Self-Driving Truck Debuts on European Highways

The first automated semi-trailer truck started its maiden voyage Friday, Oct. 2, on a European highway. The Daimler truck called 'Actros' is the first potentially mass-produced truck whose driver will be required only to monitor the situation, similar to the role of an airline captain while the plane is in autopilot mode. VOA’s George Putic reports.

Video Nano-tech Filter Cleans Dirty Water

Access to clean water is a problem for hundreds of millions of people around the world. Now, a scientist and chemical engineer in Tanzania (in East Africa) is working to change that by creating an innovative water filter that makes dirty water safe. VOA’s Deborah Block has the story.

Video Demand Rising for Organic Produce in Cambodia

In Cambodia, where rice has long been the main cash crop, farmers are being encouraged to turn to vegetables to satisfy the growing demand for locally produced organic farm products. Daniel de Carteret has more from Phnom Penh.

Video Migrant Influx Costs Europe, But Economy Could Benefit

The influx of hundreds of thousands of refugees and migrants is testing Europe’s ability to respond – especially in the poorer Balkan states. But some analysts argue that Europe will benefit by welcoming the huge numbers of young people – many of them well educated and willing to work. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

Video Botanists Grow Furniture, with Pruning Shears

For something a bit out of the ordinary to furnish your home, why not consider wooden chairs, crafted by nature, with a little help from some British botanists with an eye for design. VOA’s Jessica Berman reports.

Video New Fabric Helps Fight Dust-Related Allergies

Many people around the world suffer from dust-related allergies, caused mainly by tiny mites that live in bed linen. Polish scientists report they have successfully tested a fabric that is impenetrable to the microscopic creatures. VOA’s George Putic has more.

Video Burkina Faso's Economy Deeply Affected by Political Turmoil

Political turmoil in Burkina Faso over the past year has taken a toll on the economy. The transitional government is reporting nearly $70 million in losses in the ten days that followed a short-lived coup by members of the presidential guard earlier this month. The crisis shut businesses and workers went on strike. With elections on the horizon, Emilie Iob reports on what a return to political stability can do for the country's economic recovery.

Video Fleeing Violence, Some Syrians Find Refuge in Irbil

As Syrians continue to flee their country’s unrest to seek new lives in safer places, VOA Persian Service reporter Shepol Abbassi visited Irbil, where a number Syrians have taken refuge. During the religious holidy of Eid al-Adha, the city largely shut down, as temperatures soared. Amy Katz narrates his report.

Video Nigeria’s Wecyclers Work for Reusable Future in Lagos

The streets and lagoons of Africa's largest city - Lagos, Nigeria - are often clogged with trash, almost none of which gets recycled. One company is trying to change that. Chris Stein reports for VOA from Lagos.

Video Sketch Artist Helps Catch Criminals, Gives a Face to Deceased

Police often face the problem of trying to find a crime suspect based on general descriptions that could fit hundreds of people in the vicinity of the crime. In these cases, an artist can use information from witnesses to sketch a likeness that police can show the public via newspapers and television. But, as VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Houston, such sketches can also help bring back faces of the dead.

Video Thailand Set to Build China-like Internet Firewall

Thai authorities are planning to tighten control over the Internet, creating a single international access point so they can better monitor content. VOA Correspondent Steve Herman reports from Bangkok on what is being called Thailand’s own "Great Firewall."

Video Croatian Town’s War History Evokes Empathy for Migrants

As thousands of Afghanistan, Iraqi and Syrian migrants pass through Croatia, locals are reminded of their own experiences with war and refugees in the 1990s. VOA's Daniel Schearf reports from the town of Vukovar, where wartime scars still are visible today.

Video Long Drought Affecting California’s Sequoias

California is suffering under a historic four-year drought and scientists say even the state's famed sequoia trees are feeling the pain. The National Park Service has started detailed research to see how it can help the oldest living things on earth survive. VOA’s George Putic reports.

VOA Blogs