What makes the New Hampshire Primary so important?

What happens in New Hampshire sets the tone for the entire campaign.

MANCHESTER, N.H. (WWLP) – Relatively speaking, New Hampshire doesn’t have that many delegates to the party conventions, and a candidate can still win the presidency without winning the state’s first-in-the-nation primary. But the New Hampshire Primary is so important here because it sets the tone for what’s to come in the campaign.

We saw in Iowa that after the caucuses, several Republican candidates dropped out. It is expected that we will see that again following Tuesday’s primary. This year is unique. With no strong moderate Republican frontrunner and still many candidates in the race, the top four finishers in New Hampshire could still get strong support in other states.

On the Democratic side, Bernie Sanders is expected to win, but Hillary Clinton will still have strong support in the other primary states. This is also important because the undecided voters in Massachusetts may be convinced by the candidates that come out of New Hampshire on top.

Still, political scientists warn that anything can happen in the voting booths, especially this year with Donald Trump in the GOP race.

“A lot of times we see candidates who have been hyped up and then they come up here and they don’t do quite so well. Other times, we’ve seen people surprise us. And that first vote really helps people both in states that go later in the process and leaders of their political parties really make up their minds about which candidates to support,” Saint Anselm College political science professor Chris Galdieri said.

Galdeiri showed 22News presidential memorabilia from decades ago, and said that candidates will look at how New Hampshire towns historically vote, so they can see where to campaign the most.

Copyright 2016 WWLP. All rights reserved.

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