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Final results: Summary results | Town resultsThe BasicsThe New Hampshire primary is a mainstay in American electoral politics. Every four years, voters gather to help determine the Republican and/or Democratic nominee for President. While the state only has 12 electoral votes in 2012 (normally it’s 24, but the Republican National Committee penalized the state party for moving up the event date), the primary’s position as one of the earliest contests gives the state out-sized influence over the nomination process.Only the Iowa caucuses come before New Hampshire’s primary. Traditionally, New Hampshire’s broad-based primary contest has been seen as a counter-weight to Iowa’s more drawn-out caucus process, which tends to draw a smaller core of party faithful. In the case of the 2012 Republican race, New Hampshire’s electorate is seen to represent the more libertarian-leaning, fiscally conservative wing of the party, while Iowa voters are seen as representing the socially conservative wing of the GOP base.N.H. Primary summary provided by StateImpact - NH reporter, Amanda Loder

He hitchhiked from PA to be here

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Kevin Flynn for NHPR.
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Sean Michael O'Dwyer thumbed in from Pennsyvania to campaign for Rick Santorum. He was moved by Santorum's Caucus night speech.

Participating in the NH Primary was not something Sean Michael O'Dwyer planned on doing. American-born, reared in Ireland, O'Dwyer heard Rick Santorum's (moral) victory speech in Iowa and was moved.

"When he was talking about looking at his grandfather's large hands," O'Dwyer recalled Santorum's story of going to his grandfather's wake, "he could have been talking about my father...He didn't work in the mines, but my father worked the land and he had these large hands."

The next morning, O'Dwyer set off from South Waverly, PA (which, surprisingly, is north of North Waverly). He put on his overalls, three overcoats, and a floppy hat and set off hitchhiking.  He made it as far as a small bus station (think: Steinbeck's Wayward Bus), then got to Boston. He slept in South Station before arriving in New Hampshire nearly two days later.

Since arriving in New Hampshire, O'Dwyer has been a shinning star in the Santorum campaign. Volunteers have given him room and board. He's rewarded the campaign by being a tireless worker.  O'Dwyer was not a Keystone State resident when Santorum was in office - so he's yet to officially vote for him.  He praises the former Senator for his experience on the Armed Services Committee, but it's clear his passion for Santorum is personal.

"As soon as he said that about his grandfather, I thought that was grand," he says in the lilt of someone raised in Belfast. "My father was the smallest kid in his class, but he had the largest hands. They learned that when they measured him for class rings.  He had the biggest hands."