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What Does the 2008 N.H. Democratic Primary Teach Us About 2016?

Kate Brindley for NHPR

If you're closely following the New Hampshire Democratic primary, you might want to zero in on the results coming in from Berlin and Rochester — two post-industrial, blue-collar Democratic towns where Hillary Clinton beat Barack Obama in 2008.

As NHPR Senior Editor for Politics and Public Policy Dan Barrick points out in a new piece for PBS NewsHour, "If Sanders is running close to Clinton there, she’ll likely have a hard time scraping out a statewide victory."

Using data from NHPR's newly launched elections database, Barrick analyzed the 2008 results for clues about what to expect during this year's primary.

"The 2008 map tells a very clear political story. Clinton dominated in the vote-rich, traditionally Republican-leaning towns of southeastern New Hampshire and along the Massachusetts border, as well as chunks of far-north Coos County," the piece notes. "Obama, on the other hand, swept the more rural, Democratic-leaning central and western regions, as well as liberal centers like Durham, home of the University of New Hampshire, and Hanover, where Dartmouth College is located."

And if the election of 2008 serves as any kind of road map for what to expect in 2016, Barrick writes, Sanders won't be able to just bank on winning over the towns that Obama won. He'll also likely have to edge out some support in communities that previously backed Clinton, particularly in Manchester and other southeastern parts of the state.

For more details on this analysis, and for a sense of how the current candidates' campaign stops align with those past areas of support, check out the full piece here.

And for more stories that dig into the data from past elections, check out our ongoing coverage right here.