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Word of Mouth
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

Word of Mouth for 01.14.12

Photo by Lockhart Steele, courtesy of Flickr Creative Commons

Part 1: Political Red Herrings

Absent tight races or sex scandals, pundits, op-eds and media-makers occasionally flirt with tantalizing uncertainties to liven things up. Salon news editor Steve Kornacki wrote about five of the biggest non-stories you’ll hear far too much of during campaign 2012 - none of which (he says) will amount to a hill of beans.

Part 2: Ten Revolutionary Tea-Parties you weren’t invited to

And now, the spread of the tea party…circa 1774. We’re talking about the Annapolis Tea Party…the New York Tea Party, and other protests that boiled over in the colonies from Maine to North Carolina. These copycat protests were buried by the 92,000 pounds shoved overboard in Boston. Historian Joseph Cummins highlights the significance of the original tea party craze in a new book called “Ten Tea Parties: Patriotic Protests that History Forgot.”

Part 3:  Faith on the Field

The most recent squabble about faith in America is not about the relative piety of the GOP candidates, but rather the spectacle of one Tim Tebow. The Denver quarterback’s in-game displays of devotion on bended knee make him the target of criticism and adulation.  Tebow’s public prayers have inspired a new verb, and a host of memes - including gobs of babies and toddlers “tebowing” on YouTube.  The devout blame the godless media for stirring things up.  Secular audiences  -- and broncos haters – poke fun at the presumption that God favors Tebow. We wondered how a member of the clergy might feel about mixing god with football.  Jason Wells, Vicar at Grace Episcopal Church in Concord, was a good enough sport to tackle the subject.

Part 4: Hope: A Tragedy

There are strange noises and a rotten smell coming from the attic of Solomon Kugel’s old farmhouse in upstate New York. Downstairs, his wife resents him, his kid is sickly and his mother imagines herself a holocaust survivor, even though she was born and raised in New York City. Yet, Kugel remains an optimist, which his shrink declares is the problem: the more hell bent one is on life, the more terrified of death. Kugel is part Nathan Zuckerman, part early Woody Allen, and the entirely comic protagonist of Hope: a Tragedy, a new novel by Shalom Auslander. Shalom is a regular contributor to PRI’s This American Life, and author of the international bestseller, Foreskin’s Lament.

For links to content mentioned during any of these interviews, click on the corresponding segment listed below under "related content".  


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