Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
Become a sustaining member and you could win a trip to Barbados!

This Week On The Exchange: A Special Broadcast of 'Stranglehold'

Sara Plourde; NHPR

Beginning Monday, Dec. 30, NHPR is airing a special 4-part broadcast of "Stranglehold," the podcast about New Hampshire's first-in-the-nation primary, at 9 a.m.

The podcast is a project from NHPR's newsroom, and explores the history and controversy around the New Hampshire primary, and the role our state has played in presidential elections.

You can find full episodes of Stranglehold here, or wherever you get your podcasts.

The Exchange returns Friday, Jan. 3, with a live interview with Cory Booker, as part of The 2020 Exchange Candidate Forums, a partnership with NHPBS. Find information about that event, and submit your questions, here.

Program Schedule:

Monday, December 30:  


For the last four decades, hundreds of the most powerful people in American politics — senators, governors, even a reality TV star — have had to meet one unassuming state bureaucrat on their way to The White House.

This man has built a reputation as "the guardian" of New Hampshire’s most sacred political institution. Some consider him an icon. But others say he’s a problem.

Tuesday, December 31:


Jimmy Carter’s 1976 primary campaign gave New Hampshire one hell of a gift: the state’s best argument for why it deserves the privileged status of having the first-in-the-nation presidential primary.

And it also gave a lot of politicos in this state their ticket to power.

Wednesday, January 1:


Every four years, a caravan of national news networks descends on a remote corner of New Hampshire to broadcast the first results from the first-in-the-nation primary.

The wall-to-wall coverage of Dixville Notch by some major news outlets might lead you to believe that they started this midnight voting tradition, or that their vote is unique, or that it holds greater weight than of the other precincts in New Hampshire.


But there’s more — a lot more — to the story.

Thursday, January 2:


When New Hampshire is up against the wall, when other states are trying to creep up on the first-in-the-nation primary, people here insist we’re special. That no one else can do it like we do.

This episode is about that stranglehold.

For decades, New Hampshire could stand its ground and knock down anybody that tried to steal its prized possession. But how long can a state hold on? Battle lines are being redrawn, and these days, the threats aren’t coming from the usual suspects.

National politics…the media…technology…it’s all changing - and the New Hampshire primary can’t escape it.

Related Content

You make NHPR possible.

NHPR is nonprofit and independent. We rely on readers like you to support the local, national, and international coverage on this website. Your support makes this news available to everyone.

Give today. A monthly donation of $5 makes a real difference.