CONCORD, NH (WWLP) – Since 1952, the New Hampshire primary has been a major test for candidates seeking both the Republican and Democratic nominations.
In 1992, Bill Clinton got only about three percent of the Iowa caucus vote, losing to Iowa senator Tom Harkin, who had a home-state advantage.
“I remember the comeback kid was Bill Clinton. That’s what he used for his thing.”Larry Gagne, Manchester, NH
Clinton’s first real voter test was the New Hampshire primary a week later.
Senator Paul Tsongas ended up beating Clinton in the primary. He was a Senator from Lowell, Massachusetts – a town located just 10 miles from the New Hampshire border.
“If you took the votes 25 miles from where that candidate lived, and eliminated them, he really was the winner.”Bill Gardner, Secretary of State
Clinton is the only person to lose in both New Hampshire and Iowa, and go on to become President of the United States.
A win in the New Hampshire primary was crucial for George H.W. Bush’s 1988 presidential campaign.
“He was the Vice President and it was all on the line for him in New Hampshire.”Bill Gardner, Secretary of State
He finished third in Iowa, but his campaign got back on track in New Hampshire after a convincing win. He then went on to become President.
Candidates who do poorly in the New Hampshire primary frequently drop out. Those candidates who do well though can become serious contenders.
“Between the Iowa caucusses and the first in the nation New Hampshire primary, you get cred. If you win here, you have momentum to go to the other, bigger states.”Larry Gagne, Manchester, NH