Letters and Politics

The New Hampshire Primary

With David Moore, professor of Political Science at the University of New Hampshire and Founding Director of the University of New Hampshire Survey Center. Former senior editor of the Gallup Poll, where he worked for thirteen years. Associate editor of the new online journal Survey Practice, sponsored by the American Association for Public Opinion Research. He is co-author of the book The First Primary: New Hampshire’s Outsize Role in Presidential Nominations.

About the book: 

A concise history of the first-in-the-nation presidential primary and its impact on politics

Since 1952, the primary election in a small, not very diverse New England state has had a disproportionate impact on the U.S. presidential nomination process and the ensuing general election. Although just a handful of delegates are at stake, the New Hampshire primary has become a massive media event and a reasonably reliable predictor of a campaign’s ultimate success or failure. In The First Primary, Moore and Smith offer a comprehensive history of the state’s primary, an analysis of its media coverage and impact, and a description of the New Hampshire electorate, along with a discussion of how that electorate reflects or diverges from national opinions on candidates and issues. A book for political scientists and political junkies, media and policy professionals, and all students of American government, The First Primary ably fills the gaps in our understanding of New Hampshire’s outsize role in the nomination process.


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