NH Primary History | New Hampshire Public Radio

NH Primary History

New Hampshire's First in the Nation Presidential Primary turns 100 years old in 2016. Discover some of the people, places and stories behind that history through these audio and digital stories from NHPR.

All this week on The Exchange, it's another opportunity to hear some of our most interesting discussions of the year. NHPR's Peter Biello talked with the author of a biography of Nackey Scripps Loeb. She headed the Union Leader Corporation in the 1980s and 1990s, one of the most unusual and influential local newspapers in the U.S. Her unapologetic conservatism and position in the first-in-the-nation primary state gave her an outsized and now largely forgotten role in American politics. Although she initially had no interest in the newspaper business, she wrote more than a thousand front-page editorials, drew political cartoons, and became a regular on C-SPAN. We discussed her legacy in Granite State politics and women's roles in shaping the modern conservative movement.

Airing Wednesday, Dec. 30, 2020. Originally aired July 16, 2020

Boston Globe

A farmhouse in Millsfield believed to be the birthplace of New Hampshire's midnight voting tradition is among the newest additions to the state's register of historic places, the Division of Historical Resources announced Tuesday.

We talk with the author of a new biography of Nackey Scripps Loeb. She headed the Union Leader Corporation in the 1980s and 1990s, one of the most unusual and influential local newspapers in the U.S. Her unapologetic conservatism and position in the first-in-the-nation primary state gave her an outsized and now largely forgotten role in American politics. Although she initially had no interest in the newspaper business, she wrote more than a thousand front-page editorials, drew political cartoons, and became a regular on C-SPAN. How do we think about her legacy in Granite State politics and women's roles in shaping the modern conservative movement?

Airdate: Thursday, July 16, 2020

Phil Roeder / Flickr/cc

  Monday night, Feb. 3, 2020 was caucus night in Iowa, but despite promises of transparency, confusion reigned in reporting results and no winner was declared.  We discuss issues coming out of the Iowa caucuses, how the 2020 Democratic campaigns react, and how the lack of clarity coming out of Iowa impacts the landscape for the New Hampshire primary.   Air date: Tuesday, Feb. 4, 2020

Lauren Chooljian/NHPR

Some of the Democratic candidates running for president this year are banking on a myth.

It’s a famous one: That New Hampshire gives little known candidates a real chance at the White House.

But in 2020, is there still any truth to that?

Casey McDermott / NHPR

You might have heard that the New Hampshire primary is coming up on a big 100-year milestone in 2020. The Secretary of State’s office has marked the occasion with a commemorative centennial poster and — just last week — a special ceremony featuring the families of people who’ve shaped the primary’s history.

But if the idea of a 100th anniversary sounds familiar, it’s because you might have heard something similar four years ago.

Weekly N.H. News Roundup: November 1, 2019

Nov 1, 2019

The 100th anniversary of New Hampshire as the first in the nation primary officially begins as the candidate filing period kicks off this week. Elizabeth Warren's campaign joins the suit calling for a pause in the residency law, HB 1264, currently being challenged in court.  And wet weather delays Halloween for some towns.

Chris Jensen for NHPR

Once every four years, for a brief moment, it seems the whole world turns its eyes to Dixville Notch.

Since 1960, voters in this tiny Coos County community have been casting their ballots just after the stroke of midnight to mark the official start of the New Hampshire presidential primary.

For a year and a half leading up to the N.H. Primary, reporter Scott Conroy followed the  2016 campaign up and down New Hampshire. Along the way, he absorbed local insights and entertaining anecdotes from the state officials and political operatives who have determined national political fates for generations, thanks to N.H.'s First-in-the-Nation status. 


Logan Shannon / NHPR

When it comes to the players and intrigues of primary politics, Fergus Cullen, has plenty of stories. On today’s show we celebrate election day with the former chair of the New Hampshire Republican Party. He'll dish on some key moments of primaries past, And explain what he thinks makes New Hampshire voters tick.

Plus, we'll remember the campaign of Margaret Chase Smith, the first woman from a major party to run for president, in 1964.

nshepard via flickr Creative Commons / https://flic.kr/p/rS6ha

When it comes to the players and intrigues of primary politics, Fergus Cullen, has plenty of stories. On today’s show, the former chair of the New Hampshire Republican Party dishes on some key moments of primaries past.

Plus, a look back at the first woman from a major party to run for President - Margaret Chase Smith.

And we'll remember an environmental issue that dominated the headlines decades before climate change was on the radar.

Whatever happened to the hole in the ozone, and other stories from a not-so-bygone-era.

Brady Carlson

It is perhaps the most famous moment in New Hampshire primary history: a packed auditorium, Ronald Reagan, and the moment he said: "I am paying for this microphone, Mr. Green!” [sic]

adwriter via Flickr/CC - http://ow.ly/Va4C2

For decades, some the first ballots in the first in the nation primary have been cast in the same place: the Ballot Room at the Balsams grand resort hotel in Dixville Notch.

Marc Nozell via Flickr / Creative Commons / https://flic.kr/p/3MY97U

 When it comes to presidential primaries, New Hampshire is always first. But that used to only be part of the slogan printed on bumper stickers and buttons. 

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Last week we took a closer look at the most vigorous defender of the New Hampshire Presidential Primary: Secretary of State Bill Gardner.

Over the past four decades, Gardner has met nearly every candidate to run for president. That access has provided him a fair share of stories -- so many stories, in fact, that we couldn't find room for even a fraction of them all.

Casey McDermott, NHPR

The presidential candidates who start parading through Secretary of State Bill Gardner’s office this week might do well to pay special attention to the desk that’ll be on display nearby — its original owner is to thank (or blame) for why they’re spending so much time in New Hampshire these days.

Marc Nozell via Flickr / Creative Commons / https://flic.kr/p/3MY97U

Every four years, New Hampshire welcomes the national political spotlight in the months leading up to the presidential primary. As the hosts of the first primary in the country, Granite State voters have the opportunity to make their voices heard on the campaign trail, at town hall events, and most importantly, at the ballot box.

But it wasn’t always this way.

Allegra Boverman / NHPR

Throughout the 2016 presidential season, NHPR is bringing you profiles of the people and places behind the scenes of the New Hampshire Primary. In our latest installment, we catch up with Jim Cole, the Associated Press photographer who has covered every New Hampshire presidential primary since 1980. 

Ken Rudin for NHPR

July 1, 1995 – In the race for the 1996 Republican presidential nomination, Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole holds a 39-point lead over Sen. Phil Gramm in an average of national polls.

Courtesy Craig Michaud via Wikimedia.

Republican hopefuls with their eyes on 1600 Pennsylvania Ave are flooding New Hampshire this month. Decrying the state of the nation and the Democrat in the Oval Office is part of today's rhetoric, but history shows us, is nothing new. 

From The Archives: 1984 N.H. Primary

Feb 28, 2014

Today marks thirty years since the 1984 New Hampshire primary. It’s a contest not well remembered today – on the Republican side, President Ronald Reagan was running essentially unopposed, and the man who won the Democratic nomination, Walter Mondale, not only lost the New Hampshire primary, he lost the general election in a landslide.