2020 Primary

NHPR's coverage of the 2020 first-in-the-nation New Hampshire Primary.

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We follow up on Annie Ropeik's reporting on the 2020 Democratic candidates' climate change proposals, and talk about the trends in climate policy discussions, from taxes, to incentives, to new technology, and the improvement of existing infrastructure. We also hear what issues New Hampshire voters think are most important, when it comes to climate change, energy, and the environment. 

Original air date: Tuesday, December 10, 2019. 

Morning Edition host Rachel Martin interviews former Vice President Joe Biden aboard his campaign bus en route to Decorah, Iowa, about his bid for the Democratic nomination and the impeachment inquiry against President Trump.

This is the transcript of a conversation held on Dec. 6, 2019.

Rachel Martin: Mr. Vice President, thank you very much for having us.

Former Vice President Joe Biden: Well thanks for being on the bus. I appreciate it.

On the bus, very exciting. So we're in Iowa.

Todd Bookman/NHPR

Former U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry spent Sunday in New Hampshire campaigning for Joe Biden, part of an endorsement tour that included stops in Nashua and Hampton. The two former senators have known and worked with each other for decades, including during the Obama Administration, where Kerry was the nation’s top foreign diplomat.

Josh Rogers / NHPR

The question of how Democrats define themselves – beyond opposing President Trump – is one that New Hampshire primary voters will soon face.  And as primary day creeps closer, some leading presidential candidates are working to put their differences in sharper relief. And perhaps no two candidates better illustrate the different approaches to those questions than Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren and South Bend, Ind. Mayor Pete Buttigieg, both of whom campaigned in the state Friday.

South Bend, Ind. Mayor Pete Buttigieg called on the consulting firm McKinsey and Co. Friday to release its client list from his time at the company, a response to criticism that he hasn't been transparent about his nearly three years there.

Dan Tuohy / NHPR

Our N.H. 2020 Primary Forum series continues with Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg. We sit down with the South Bend, Indiana mayor and Afghanistan war veteran before a live audience to discuss a range of domestic and foreign policy issues and address listener questions submitted before the event.

Presidential candidate Joe Biden squared off with a voter in Iowa on Thursday, calling the man a "damn liar" after he accused Biden of helping to get his son on the board of a Ukrainian gas company in an attempt to win access with Ukraine's president.

In the testy exchange at a town hall packed with Biden supporters, the former vice president took umbrage with another accusation from the voter: that Biden is too old to run for president.

Tom Roy | The NH Union Leader

Gov. Chris Sununu's reelection campaign raised almost half a million dollars over the past six months.

That haul was made easier by Sununu's veto of a bill earlier this year that sought to limit contributions from certain corporations. 

College debt and the cost of higher education are major issues of the 2020 presidential primary. Democratic candidates, and President Trump, have announced a variety of plans, such as free public college or student loan forgiveness. We look at the proposals, and the role of higher education issues in this election. 

Original air date: Wednesday, December 4, 2019. 

Annie Ropeik / NHPR

Throughout the presidential primary campaign, voters in New Hampshire have said climate change is one of their top priorities. And even as candidates emphasize the dangers of global warming – and detail their plans to address it – many voters aren't reassured.

NHPR’s Annie Ropeik has more as part of our series “Where They Stand,” which takes a closer look at candidates’ policy proposals. 

Stranglehold Team of NHPR

We check in on how Granite State voters have experienced the N.H. primary season thus far and why many say this political institution is changing.  We talk with the producers of NHPR's new podcast Stranglehold, an investigation into the power and people behind the primary, about how the house-party tradition is holding up against larger candidate events & selfie lines.

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.

Joe Sestak, the former Pennsylvania congressman and retired Navy admiral who hoped to turn his military experience into an asset as a Democratic presidential candidate, said Sunday he was ending his bid for the party's nomination.

In a statement posted on his Twitter site, Sestak offered his thanks to supporters "for the honor of running for president" as "I end our campaign together."

"Without the privilege of national press, it is unfair to ask others to husband their resolve and to sacrifice resources any longer," he wrote.

Dan Tuohy / NHPR

Montana Gov. Steve Bullock announced Monday that he's ending his Democratic presidential campaign, saying it's become clear that he won't have a shot at being his party's nominee.

The two-term governor and former state attorney general tried to make the case that he was the best bet to beat President Donald Trump because he was the only Democratic candidate to win in a state that Trump won in 2016. But he got a late start, announcing his candidacy in May and joining nearly two dozen other Democratic candidates competing for attention and campaign donations.

Submit Your Questions for Mayor Pete Buttigieg

Dec 1, 2019
Allegra Boverman for NHPR

The Exchange sits down with Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg on Friday, Dec. 6 at 9 a.m. before a live audience to discuss domestic and international issues, from health care and the economy to instability and conflict in the Middle East and elsewhere in the world. In recent polls, the mayor of South Bend, Indiana, who has cast himself as a voice for unity and pragmatism, has surged into the top tier of primary candidates. What is your question for Mayor Buttigieg? We plan to include listener questions throughout the interview.

Lauren Chooljian / NHPR

A federal judge has denied a request from the American Civil Liberties Union and the state Democratic Party to block enforcement of a new New Hampshire residency law, but has asked the state Supreme Court to clear up several questions about how the law works.

Dan Tuohy

[THIS EVENT IS NOW SOLD OUT. THANK YOU FOR YOUR INTEREST. YOU CAN STILL  LISTEN TO THE LIVE BROADCAST ON THE EXCHANGE FRIDAY, DECEMBER 6 AT 9 A.M., OR TO THE REBROADCAST THAT NIGHT AT 7 P.M.]

New Hampshire Public Radio, in collaboration with New Hampshire PBS, is holding a series of forums with presidential primary candidates to explore in-depth the issues that impact New Hampshire voters. Forums are open to the public, broadcast on NHPR live, and then broadcast on New Hampshire PBS.  

Where are all of these presidential candidates coming from?

If you've lived through a presidential primary in New Hampshire, you've probably wondered this at one point or another. But we also wondered where all of the candidates for president have come from, literally — in other words, what states are most popular for modern New Hampshire presidential primary candidates?

Casey McDermott / NHPR

It's official: The date of the upcoming New Hampshire primary is Feb. 11, 2020.

That announcement came as no surprise, since the Iowa caucuses have long been scheduled for Feb. 3, 2020, and the New Hampshire primary typically follows one week later. But, by law, the New Hampshire primary date isn't official until Secretary of State Bill Gardner says so. And that didn’t happen until Monday afternoon.

Updated at 12:22 ET

Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg is making a late entry into the presidential race, a move that could upend the Democratic nominating contest this spring.

Bloomberg said in a statement Sunday that he is running to rebuild America and defeat President Trump, whom he says "represents an existential threat to our country and our values."

New Hampshire Secretary of State Bill Gardner is expected to officially announce Monday that the state's 2020 presidential primary will be held on February 11th.

If all goes as expected, the date will be in line with a long-established tradition that puts the state's first in the nation primary a week and a day after the Iowa caucuses.

But in New Hampshire, the date isn't official until Gardner says it is.

Todd Bookman/NHPR

For people who pay close attention to politics, this is an unusually busy moment. Two weeks of impeachment hearings in Washington, combined with the crowded field of presidential candidates in the first-in-the-nation primary, is leaving some overwhelmed -- or just plain tuckered out -- in New Hampshire right now. 

With the late entrance of former Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick into the 2020 presidential race, there are now four candidates from neighboring states campaigning in New Hampshire. In addition to Patrick, that list includes Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren and former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld.

Morning Edition Host Rick Ganley spoke with NHPR’s Senior Political Reporter Josh about the track record of candidates from next door in the New Hampshire primary.

Population growth in New Hampshire has been fairly modest in the last 20 years or so, but there’s been a substantial change in who is actually living in the state.

That’s according to a recent report from the UNH Carsey School of Public Policy. Senior demographer Ken Johnson is the author of that report. Morning Edition Host Rick Ganley spoke with Johnson about how shifting demographics in New Hampshire could affect the state's voting population in the upcoming presidential election.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

A lawsuit over a controversial new residency law is back in court Thursday morning, this time to decide whether the state could be blocked from enforcing any link between voter registration and vehicle licensing through the 2020 presidential primary election.

Daniela Allee / NHPR

Immigration advocates in New Hampshire are working on ways to get presidential candidates more engaged with their issue.

About 30 advocates from around the state met today in Manchester to talk about what’s happening in New Hampshire's immigrant communities.

Many said they don't feel immigration is getting enough attention.

The Granite State Organizing Project has been setting up meetings with presidential candidates to talk about the issue.

MSNBC

Ten Democratic presidential candidates will debate in Atlanta on Wednesday night, amid the public hearings in the U.S. House impeachment inquiry into President Trump.

It's the fifth debate for the Democrats. NPR reporters will be providing fact checks and analysis throughout the debate.

The 10 candidates: Joe Biden, Cory Booker, Pete Buttigieg, Tulsi Gabbard, Kamala Harris, Amy Klobuchar, Bernie Sanders, Tom Steyer, Elizabeth Warren, and Andrew Yang.

New Hampshire voters have a lot of options in the 2020 presidential primary — not only because of the large field of candidates on the left, but also because President Trump is facing a rare challenge within his own party.

In New Hampshire, the most popular political party is no party at all: Undeclared or “independent” voters make up the biggest chunk of the electorate. And heading into the 2020 presidential primary, they are the voters with the most choices to make — not just what candidate to support, but what party's primary to vote in. As Primary Day nears, both voters and campaigns are trying to take advantage of this freedom.

Daniela Allee / NHPR

Earlier this year, NHPR did a survey of what questions, concerns and stories our listeners wanted to hear when it came to the 2020 primary. One theme that came up several times was civility in political and national conversations.

In Keene, a group has been meeting since early 2017 to talk about politics civilly, and they’ve learned a lot about how to do it.


If you want to run for president, New Hampshire is an easy place to start.

The relatively low barrier to getting on New Hampshire's primary ballot is legendary, something Secretary of State Bill Gardner has promoted ever since he first became the state’s chief election officer in 1976. Still, people might have questions about the ins and outs of this political tradition.

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