Brief introduction to New Hampshire presidential primary 2008-01-06 12:11:29   Print

Special Report: U.S. presidential election 2008    

Calender: U.S. 2008 presidential primary, caucus

Profiles: U.S. 2008 presidential primaries, caucuses forerunners

Backgrounder: Key players in 2008 U.S. presidential race   

Backgrounder: U.S. presidential nomination process and Iowa caucus

Backgrounder: Major events leading up to 2008 U.S. presidential race

    WASHINGTON, Jan. 5 (Xinhua) -- A total of six Democrats and seven Republicans will start the second bout of competition for the 2008 presidential race as New Hampshire primary is scheduled to start next Tuesday.

    The following is a brief introduction to the New Hampshire primary, which is regarded as a turning point for the competitors' path to the White House.

    Since the Iowa caucuses resulted in a three-way battle for Democratic candidates and an open-ended game for the Republican, New Hampshire, the U.S. state which is scheduled to host the first presidential primary, becomes a must-win place for those who either seek widened leads or fight for survival.

    The New Hampshire presidential primary started in the 1910s with a reform act of the state legislature to select delegates for the national party conventions.

    The New Hampshire state legislature passed a law in 1977, ruling that its primary must be the first in the country, seven days before any other "similar contest."

    Originally held in early March, its date has been moved up for several times to maintain the state's political status in the presidential election driven by other states' attempt to grab the earliest primary.

    Different from the Iowa caucuses that gauge support for presidential candidates through local meetings of party members, New Hampshire primary gauges support through statewide direct voting to determine which candidates will receive a state's votes for the Republican and Democratic nominations at the two parties' national conventions respectively scheduled later in the year. The event is run by the State of New Hampshire instead of the state party committees.

    On the voting day, independent voters can register and vote in either party primary, but people registered as Republican or Democrat cannot cast ballots in the primary of the other party.

    Partly because the primary is open to undeclared voters, the event usually draws a large turnout.

    The Department of State statistics showed that in 2000, 85 percent of registered Republicans and 74 percent of registered Democrats went to the polls in the state, some 50 percent higher than the country's average turnout.

    In 1992, Bill Clinton, although just ranking the second in the New Hampshire Democratic primary, won the party's nomination and the presidential election against then President George H. W. Bush, becoming the first one who did not win the New Hampshire primary but turned out to be the final winner since 1952.

    The second primary "loser" but the final winner in the race was George W. Bush. He lost the Republican primary in 2000, but later defeated John McCain in the party's nomination and won the presidential election against former Vice President Al Gore.

New Hampshire heats up as presidential contenders swarm in

    WASHINGTON, Jan. 4 (Xinhua) -- As campaign volunteers disappear from the streets and candidates' posters come off the walls in Iowa, New Hampshire becomes the second heated battlefield in which the 2008 presidential contenders will further their leads or fight for survival in the Jan. 8 primary. Full story

Implications of first-in-the-nation Iowa caucuses

    DES MOINES, the United States, Jan. 4 (Xinhua) -- In a dramatic way, two leading candidates posing as "Washington outsiders" are declared winners of the Iowa caucuses for both major political parties, according to preliminary results of the first battle of the 2008 presidential race held here Thursday night. Full story

U.S. presidential race formally starts in Iowa

    DES MOINES, Jan. 3 (Xinhua) -- The 2008 U.S. presidential race for the White House was formally kicked off Thursday night in the Midwestern state of Iowa, as Iowans are gathering in some 1,781 precincts to make their choices among the candidates. The race is too close to call.

    On the Democratic side, Senator Hillary Clinton and Senator Barrack Obama are locked in a three-way race with former North Carolina Senator John Edwards.  Full story

Obama, Huckabee lead in last poll before Iowa caucuses

    DES MOINES, the United States, Jan. 3 (Xinhua) -- In the final poll before the first-in-the-nation Iowan Caucues on Thursday night, Barack Obama leads among Democrats and Mike Huckabee among Republicans.

    The Reuters/C-SPAN/Zogby tracking poll released hours before the Iowa Caucus gives Obama, a Senator from Illinois, the support of 31 percent of likely Democratic caucus-goers, ahead of former Senator John Edwards from North Carolina with 27 percent and Senator Hillary Clinton from New York at 24 percent. Full story

U.S. presidential hopefuls make last-minute push in Iowa

    DES MOINES, THE UNITED STATES, Jan. 3 (Xinhua) -- U.S. presidential hopefuls are making last-minute push Thursday in Iowa, just hours before the first formal contest of the 2008 presidential race begins in the night.

    The race in Iowa is still too close to call. On the Democratic side, Sen. Hillary Clinton and Sen. Barrack Obama relocked in a three-way race with former North Carolina Senator John Edwards.  Full story

U.S. presidential hopefuls to face 1st real test in Iowa

    DES MOINES, the United States, Jan. 2 (Xinhua) -- The battle for the next U.S. presidency started probably by the end of November 2006, but the first real test will come on the night of Jan. 3 in the midwestern state of Iowa.

    Pre-election polls can reflect strength of a candidate, but some results are conflicting and polls are not real elections anyway. With all the major candidates making final pushes in Iowa Wednesday, three latest polls showed no clear leader in the state in the run-up to Thursday's caucuses.  Full story

Editor: Du Guodong
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