The New Hampshire Presidential Primary is the First in a Series of Nationwide Party Primary Elections and the Second Party Contest, the First being the Iowa Caucuses, held in the U.S. every Four years as part of the Process of choosing the Delegates to the Democratic and Republican National Conventions, which choose the Party Nominees for the Presidential Elections held in November.
New Hampshire State Law stipulates that the Presidential Primary shall be on the Second Tuesday in March, the Date when Town Meetings and Non-Partisan Municipal Elections are Traditionally Held.
But the Secretary of State must, if necessary, Change the Date to Ensure that the New Hampshire Primary will Always, take place at least Seven Days before Any "similar election" in any other State.
The Iowa Caucuses are Not considered to be a Similar Election.
In recent Election Cycles, the New Hampshire Primary has taken place the Week after the Iowa Caucus.
Although only a few Delegates are Chosen in the New Hampshire Primary, its real Importance comes from the Massive Media Coverage it receives, along with the Iowa's Caucus.
Spurred by the Events of the 1968 Election, Reforms that began with the 1972 Election elevated the Two States' Importance to the Overall Election, and began to Receive as much Media attention as All of the other State Contests combined.
Examples of this Extraordinary Coverage have been seen on the Campuses of Dartmouth College and Saint Anselm College, as the Colleges have held Multiple National Debates and have attracted Media Outlets like: NPR, Fox News, CNN, NBC, and ABC.
The Publicity and Momentum can be Enormous from a Decisive Win by a Frontrunner, or better-than-expected Result in the New Hampshire Primary.
The Upset or Weak showing by a Front-Runner Changes the Calculus of National Politics in a matter of hours, as happened in 1952 (D), 1968 (D), 1980 (R), and 2008 (D). Since 1952, the Primary has been a Major Testing Ground for Candidates for both the Republican and Democratic Nominations.
Candidates who do Poorly frequently Drop Out, while lesser-known, Underfunded Candidates who excel in New Hampshire can become serious Contenders, garnering Large Amounts of Media Attention and Campaign Funding.
Crucially, the New Hampshire Primary is Not a "Closed Primary", where Voter participation is Limited by Voters' Past or Recent Party Registration. Instead, New Hampshire enables any Voter who has been Undeclared (Independent), or Re-Registers as Undeclared, to Vote in either Party's Primary.
The Community of Dixville Notch, Traditionally Opens its Polling Place in the Ballroom of The Balsams Grand Resort Hotel at Midnight, usually in front of a Crowd of Journalists, where the Village's handful of Voters Cast their Ballots before the Polls Close about less than Ten minutes later. This has led many Presidential Candidates, to Visit the Area before the New Hampshire Primary, in hopes of Securing an Early-Morning Boost. However, in recent years, the Vote has taken Place in a Small Lodge next to where the Hotel was following a Fire that Burned the Hotel down.
New Hampshire's First-in-the-Nation Primary Status was threatened in 2007, when both the Republican and Democratic National Committees moved to give more Populous States a Bigger Influence in the Presidential Race.
Several States also sought to Move-Up the Dates of their 2008 Primaries, in order to have more Influence and Dilute the Power of the New Hampshire Primary.
In 2021, Nevada is looking to replace a Cacuss to a Primary and with a Date before New hampaire. But with its State Law, it could have to run a Primary the year before the Election in December.
NYC Wins When Everyone Can Vote! Michael H. Drucker