Is Retail Politics Dead?

Jan 6, 2012

It’s game on in the Granite State. Every four years, the TV trucks pull in, guys in suits and sunglasses show up in your local breakfast joint, and the opinions of New Hampshire citizens are momentarily considered to be of national importance. It’s the first in the nation primary time!

First, the state of retail politics. In previous primaries, candidates with small war chests and a modicum of personal appeal could gain traction in New Hampshire by meeting and winning over the active electorate. Political momentum today is increasingly influenced by televised debates, coverage on TV talk shows, and the slings and arrows of real time information online. Rick Santorum’s come-from-behind showing in Iowa was attributed to his shoe leather campaigning throughout the state. Worked for him, but off-side candidates like Buddy Roemer haven’t moved the dial.

NHPR political reporter Josh Rogers has been on the ground for four presidential primaries in New Hampshire. 

Joanna Weiss is an op-ed columnist for the Boston Globe who wrote about what Roemer’s campaign signals for the state of retail politics.