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New Hampshire

“Live Free or Die”

Independents in New Hampshire have been described as finicky, traditional, indecisive, and most often, stubborn. They vote as their state motto depicts and have been known to swap parties based on budget boundaries or on who came most often to their local diner.

The independents there are weighted more carefully because NH is generally considered a “swing state” and holds an open primary. Traditionally, NH is less religious and more concerned about fiscal conservatism with more emphasis on a balanced budget than on whether or not abortion should be legal.

This idea is reflected in the exit polling from the 2012 Primary with 61% of voters choosing the economy as the most influential issue in deciding how they voted as compared to only 6% who chose abortion.

During primary season, New Hampshire’s position between socially conservative Iowa and evangelist South Carolina helps give the country the first glimpse of a candidate who can win more moderate votes. Additionally, the open primary is an indicator of national electability. Given that NH has a “swing state” status, it reaffirms the ideas that the candidate who wins there will earn the support of a middle-of-the-road electorate nationwide (Allen, 2012).


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