Why does New Hampshire matter?

New Hampshire has a pretty good record as state that votes the same way as the country as whole, despite not being typical from a demographic point of view.

In 2004, John Kerry famously claimed that all he had to do was win there to overturn the 2000 defeat of Al Gore. He was wrong of course, because the 200 Census meant Kerry needed 11 extra electoral college votes than Gore needed the previous time.

Here's the record of New Hampshire in presidential elections since 1972:
1972: Richard Nixon (Republican, winner)
1976: Gerald Ford (Republican, loser)
1980: Ronald Reagan (Republican, winner)
1984: Ronald Reagan (Republican, winner)
1988: George HW Bush (Republican, winner)
1992: Bill Clinton (Democrat, winner)
1996: Bill Clinton (Democrat, winner)
2000: George W Bush (Republican, winner)
2004: John Kerry (Democrat, loser)

Two losers in nine elections ain't bad. I'd settle for that prediction ratio myself.

Another win for Barak Obama kills any notion (assuming anyone not on the Clinton payroll needs convincing) that a black man can't win a U.S. presidential election. The Clintons look so 1990s...

On the Republican side, Rudy Giuliani really needs to start getting some votes. I love having a former Libertarian Party candidate for President (Ron Paul) outscoring him, but come on! The G.O.P. nomination looks as wide open as ever.

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