Factbox: New Hampshire Republican primary

By REUTERS
January 10, 2012 18:58

The small New England state has become famed for political upsets; 12 delegates are at stake in the vote.

2 minute read.



US Republican presidential primaries

Republican presidential primaries 311. (photo credit: REUTERS/ERIC THAYER)

The US Republican presidential race moves to New Hampshire on Tuesday for the primary vote on a Republican candidate to challenge President Barack Obama in 2012.

Here are a few facts about the New Hampshire primary, the second in the state-by-state nominating contest.

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* New Hampshire's primary was the first test for presidential hopefuls before the date of the Iowa caucuses was moved up in 1972. The small New England state has become famed for political upsets starting with Dwight Eisenhower's 1952 win over long-time Republican Senator Robert Taft, before winning the presidency. Defenders of the primary say it offers a true indicator of public opinion and acts as a leveler and winnower of the candidates.

* Winners of the Granite State's primary have had mixed success in getting their party's nomination, a fact that raises questions about its relevance. John McCain won the Republican primary in 2000 but lost the bid to George W. Bush. In 2008 Hillary Clinton won the Democratic primary but the party nod went to Obama. Candidates who lost New Hampshire but eventually won their party nomination include Democrat Walter Mondale in 1984, Republican Bob Dole in 1996, and George W. Bush.

* Since 1984, only two candidates have won both the Iowa caucuses and the New Hampshire primaries. If Romney wins New Hampshire, he will be the first non-incumbent Republican to win both states since they became home to the first nominating races in the 1970s.

* Only 12 delegates are at stake in the New Hampshire primary, compared with 25 and 50 delegates up for grabs in the South Carolina and Florida primaries which follow. Delegates are allocated in proportion to candidates' win of the popular vote.

* Critics of the New Hampshire primary say it is arcane, unrepresentative and given undue media attention. With a population of a little over 1 million, New Hampshire is one of the 10 least populated states in the country. About 94 percent of the population is white, the latest US Census shows.

* New Hampshire is not as liberal as some of its New England neighbors. A study released in December by Third Way, a Washington think tank that promotes centrist policies, found that the number of registered Democratic voters had fallen 14.6 percent while that of Republicans had declined 13.5 percent.

* Richard Nixon, the Republican president from 1969 to 1974, holds the record for winning the most New Hampshire primaries: three.


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