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Is New Hampshire Fit to Pick a President?
Townhall.com ^ | January 10, 2012 | Byron York

Posted on 01/10/2012 4:05:41 AM PST by Kaslin

NASHUA, N.H. -- Is New Hampshire too white, too old and too godless to play a key role in selecting the next president?

"The rap on Iowa: It doesn't represent the rest of the country -- too white, too evangelical, too rural," NBC's Andrea Mitchell famously said shortly before the Jan. 3 caucuses. Other critics called Iowa too old.

If such concerns about Iowa are legitimate, then so are concerns about New Hampshire. For example, the first-in-the-nation primary state is actually whiter than Iowa. According to the 2010 census, New Hampshire is 93.9 percent white, 2.8 percent Hispanic and 1.1 percent black, while Iowa is a virtual rainbow at 91.3 percent white, 5 percent Hispanic and 2.9 percent black.

As far as age is concerned, both states have higher-than-national-average numbers of residents above retirement age. In New Hampshire, 13.5 percent of the population is 65 or older; in Iowa, it's 14.9 percent. Not a lot of difference.

As far as rural is concerned, yes, Iowa is full of farms. But New Hampshire isn't exactly a great urban center. In fact, the primary and caucus path does not lead to any really big cities until the Florida primary on Jan. 31.

Then there is religion. During the run-up to Iowa, pundits talked endlessly about Iowa's evangelical Christians. Are they too conservative to pick a president? Are their views on social issues too extreme? Are they really representative of the country as a whole?

Many of the questions were ill-informed. According to the Pew Forum on Religion and Public Life's "U.S. Religious Landscape Survey," Iowa is, in fact, slightly less evangelical than the rest of the country: 24 percent of Iowans are evangelicals, while 26 percent of Americans are.

Iowa does have a higher percentage of mainline Protestants than the rest of the country. So when one combines the evangelical and mainline strands, Iowa is more Protestant (54 percent) than the rest of the country, which is 44 percent combined evangelical and mainline.

And New Hampshire? Its combined number is 34 percent, meaning the state is less Protestant than the rest of the country by about the same margin that Iowa is more Protestant. Will pundits see that as a problem?

There is one big difference between the two states, and that is the number of people who have no religious affiliation. According to Pew, about 15 percent of Iowans say they have no affiliation -- nearly right on the national average of 16 percent. But in New Hampshire, 26 percent have no religious affiliation -- well above the national average.

So is New Hampshire just too godless to pick a president? Of course not. States differ in their balance of faith and non-faith, and when you add up the early voting states -- Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, Florida, Nevada -- you get a pretty good mix. New Hampshire is as qualified as any to make a political statement. But it will be interesting to see if commentators who fretted about Iowa's religiosity will be equally concerned about New Hampshire's non-religiosity.

In the heat of a campaign, it's difficult to speak with much subtlety about the role religion plays in voting. The entrance polls measure religion very crudely, says John C. Green, professor of politics at the University of Akron and a top authority on evangelicals in politics. A lot of the evangelicals in Iowa may belong to mainline Protestant churches or even be Catholic.

Many such distinctions were lost in the punditry. Also, the statistics above describe each state's entire population, not just its most politically active residents. Which means that, yes, lots of political activists are evangelicals. But lots of evangelicals aren't active in politics.

Finally, there was a lot of bias in the pundits' descriptions of Iowa and conservatives in general. A number of commentators are alarmed to see conservative evangelicals in great numbers playing a key role in politics, and out of that concern, they ask whether Iowa is too evangelical. New Hampshire is a little more moderate, so the religion question doesn't occur to them.

Also, most pundits live in the Northeast or in Washington, so New Hampshire seems almost in the neighborhood. Really, what's the problem?


TOPICS: Editorial; Politics/Elections; US: New Hampshire
KEYWORDS: 2012gopprimary; byronyork; nh2012
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1 posted on 01/10/2012 4:05:46 AM PST by Kaslin
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To: Kaslin

My wife is from New Hampshire.

As long as I have known her and thats about 22 years I rarely see her make a long range intelligent decision.

She just has no vision other than a herd instinct.


2 posted on 01/10/2012 4:10:20 AM PST by Eye of Unk (NO Romney,NO way)
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To: Kaslin

lets get a US constitutional amendment to have all state, US Presidential selection votes (primaries/caucus/magic 8 ball, whatever) to occur on the same day.

I am sick of tired of having the vote come to NY with the candidate already picked(for the most part). This ticks me off every election cycle.


3 posted on 01/10/2012 4:10:38 AM PST by Vaquero ("an armed society is a polite society" Robert A. Heinlein)
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To: Kaslin
But in New Hampshire, 26 percent have no religious affiliation -- well above the national average. So is New Hampshire just too godless to pick a president?

No religious affiliation does NOT mean someone is necessarily godless. It means they don't seek Him inside an organization and/or a building.

4 posted on 01/10/2012 4:10:50 AM PST by rhombus
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To: Kaslin

Five ten state primary dates on a rotation.

Two north, two south, two east, two west, and two central.


5 posted on 01/10/2012 4:12:58 AM PST by cripplecreek (Stand with courage or shut up and do as you're told.)
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To: Kaslin

I think it would be great to change it up some and have a different state beginning the process. However, it would still have to be a small, cheap advertising state or smaller candidates will not be able to compete. I mean if we start with Florida that would be a disaster because of the very high cost of advertising. South Carolina would not be a bad state to begin with but I think their advertising is expensive too.


6 posted on 01/10/2012 4:13:53 AM PST by napscoordinator (Go Rick! Go Rick! Go Newt! Let's get 'er done.)
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To: Vaquero

exactly or all 50 states must be contested, not one or two then dropouts. Everyone should get a chance to vote on all candidates.


7 posted on 01/10/2012 4:14:12 AM PST by sunmars
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America is at Bat
And the Democrats are pitching.
Don't blow it America.

Support FR, support Conservative ideals.

8 posted on 01/10/2012 4:14:40 AM PST by Darksheare (You will never defeat Bok Choy!)
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To: Eye of Unk
My wife is from New Hampshire. As long as I have known her and thats about 22 years I rarely see her make a long range intelligent decision. She just has no vision other than a herd instinct.

You judge an entire state by YOUR wife? :-) Hey, she married you, didn't she? New Hampshire is hardly the only state in the union to produce a person with herd instincts and no vision. My advice is to get out and meet a few other folks from New Hampshire.

9 posted on 01/10/2012 4:14:54 AM PST by rhombus
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To: Eye of Unk

You think that is any different than in any other state? LMAO!


10 posted on 01/10/2012 4:15:52 AM PST by GlockThe Vote (The Obama Adminstration: 2nd wave of attacks on America after 9/11)
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To: cripplecreek

why not all on the same day???


11 posted on 01/10/2012 4:17:58 AM PST by Vaquero ("an armed society is a polite society" Robert A. Heinlein)
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To: Kaslin

The answer is NO, but not for the reasons mentioned in the article.

New Hampshire’s problems are that it is an open primary state, permitting Independents and crossover Democrats to vote and that there are minimal residency requirements, allowing college students and residents from neighboring states to register and vote the same day.


12 posted on 01/10/2012 4:17:58 AM PST by catman67
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To: Kaslin
Is New Hampshire Fit to Pick a President?

no

13 posted on 01/10/2012 4:19:03 AM PST by Invincibly Ignorant
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To: Kaslin

Sometimes I don’t think any of the states are capable of picking a suitable president. Look at all the poor choices so many have made just for the U.S. Senate. It’s the American people who repeatedly let us down.


14 posted on 01/10/2012 4:19:26 AM PST by Theodore R. (I'll still vote for the Right Rick --Santorum-- if he is on the April 3 ballot.)
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To: Vaquero

I agree on getting the primaries all on the same day. Think about how much time, money, and energy has been expended by GOP candidates in Iowa and NH and then think about how these states normally vote in the general elections. Uhuh......this is madness is it not?


15 posted on 01/10/2012 4:19:51 AM PST by MachIV
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To: Theodore R.

I agree. A friend of mine many years ago said something to the effect that the average John Q American was too uninformed to make intelligent decisions with respect to governance.


16 posted on 01/10/2012 4:22:12 AM PST by MachIV
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To: Kaslin

Not if they plan on picking Romney. Americans just don’t like Romney!


17 posted on 01/10/2012 4:23:49 AM PST by RoosterRedux
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To: Vaquero

Are you saying we should do away with the caucuses and primaries and just do the general election?


18 posted on 01/10/2012 4:24:57 AM PST by Kaslin (Acronym for OBAMA: One Big Ass Mistake America)
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To: cripplecreek

That sounds really good...!! We NEED to change the system and we have to use our voice to get it changed!!!!


19 posted on 01/10/2012 4:25:30 AM PST by Rick_Michael ( 'REAL' Conservatives who witch hunt their own, are no better than Obama.)
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To: Vaquero

I think giving people a week or so to think about things between primary dates is a good idea. Plus candidates may decide to drop out after 1, 2, or 3 dates.

In any case this crap we have now is a mess. The media is talking like the race will be over today after a fraction of a percent of Americans get to vote.


20 posted on 01/10/2012 4:27:15 AM PST by cripplecreek (Stand with courage or shut up and do as you're told.)
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To: Kaslin
If they support Romney, then no.

Romney makes Obama's ineligibility MOOT.
THAT is why the DNC wants him.

Romney makes Obama's ObamaCARE/RomneyCARE MOOT.
THAT is why the DNC wants him.

Romney makes Obama's IAG issues MOOT.
THAT is why the DNC wants him.

Romney makes Obama's Sharia issues MOOT.
THAT is why the DNC wants him.

Romney makes Obama's 911 Victory Mosque MOOT.
THAT is why the DNC wants him.

Romney makes Obama's RomneyMarriage/Gay Marriage issue MOOT.
THAT is why the DNC wants him.

Romney makes Obama's bad governmental history MOOT.
THAT is why the DNC wants him.

Romney makes Obama's AGW issue MOOT.
THAT is why the DNC wants him.

Romney makes Obama's liberal judge issue MOOT.
THAT is why the DNC wants him.


21 posted on 01/10/2012 4:27:54 AM PST by Diogenesis ("Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction. " Pres. Ronald Reagan)
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To: Vaquero

Who says you have to vote for the candidate that is already picked. This is a free country and you can vote for whoever you want.


22 posted on 01/10/2012 4:27:59 AM PST by Kaslin (Acronym for OBAMA: One Big Ass Mistake America)
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To: rhombus; Eye of Unk

My wife is from Massachusetts but before she was done with her teen years, she found out that New Hampshire was a much better place to call home.


23 posted on 01/10/2012 4:28:25 AM PST by Past Your Eyes (I'm not cut out to suffer fools like this.)
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To: cripplecreek

That’s a great idea, and all primaries MUST be closed.


24 posted on 01/10/2012 4:30:56 AM PST by McGavin999 ("If you'll have my back when I go to Washington, I'll have yours" Rick Perry 2012)
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To: Kaslin

The NH House of Representatives has 3 out of 4 who were not born here. Believe me, the place was a lot better off when the natives were in charge.


25 posted on 01/10/2012 4:31:07 AM PST by Past Your Eyes (I'm not cut out to suffer fools like this.)
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To: Kaslin

We need a new system. How about dividing the country into regions and having one state from each region vote on a given date. Rotate or chose at random the states to ensure each state has a chance to be involved. I’m sick and tired of the idiots in Iowa and New Hampshire always having such a heavy influence on the nomination.


26 posted on 01/10/2012 4:31:34 AM PST by Kozak ("It's not an Election it's a Restraining Order" .....PJ O'Rourke)
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To: Kaslin

I think a better question is is America fit to choose a president?


27 posted on 01/10/2012 4:31:45 AM PST by chris37 (Heartless.)
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To: MachIV
this is madness is it not?


28 posted on 01/10/2012 4:32:42 AM PST by RoosterRedux
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To: catman67
New Hampshire’s problems are that it is an open primary state, permitting Independents and crossover Democrats to vote and that there are minimal residency requirements, allowing college students and residents from neighboring states to register and vote the same day.

You're right...watch who the 'independents' support on the GOP side in today's primary...that will tell you who the Democrats want to run against Obama. In 2008, 'independents' went for McCain. We know how THAT turned out...

29 posted on 01/10/2012 4:33:24 AM PST by who knows what evil? (G-d saved more animals than people on the ark...www.siameserescue.org.)
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To: Rick_Michael

I think it would also help to tone down the vitriol between candidates. Iowa has become a 9 month dog fighting pit that benefits only the media.

Get them out of Iowa and campaigning nationwide. As it is now, only one candidate did any campaigning in Michigan and that was Herman Cain. His exit has pretty much handed the state to Romney by default.


30 posted on 01/10/2012 4:34:32 AM PST by cripplecreek (Stand with courage or shut up and do as you're told.)
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To: Vaquero

Everybody knows that there is no place more important than New York.

31 posted on 01/10/2012 4:34:41 AM PST by Past Your Eyes (I'm not cut out to suffer fools like this.)
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To: Diogenesis
THAT is why the DNC wants him.

Exactly and that must mean

MITT ROMNEY, NO WAY

32 posted on 01/10/2012 4:35:27 AM PST by Kaslin (Acronym for OBAMA: One Big Ass Mistake America)
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To: napscoordinator

Liberals would love to have it all start (and end) in California.


33 posted on 01/10/2012 4:35:36 AM PST by corlorde (Drone strikes: the preferred method of killing by Nobel peace prize winners since 2009)
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To: Vaquero

You get my vote.

It is not right that by the time half of Aericans get to vote the Candidates have been picked over by states with open voting and filled with Yankee’s.


34 posted on 01/10/2012 4:36:33 AM PST by Venturer
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To: Past Your Eyes
My wife is from Massachusetts but before she was done with her teen years, she found out that New Hampshire was a much better place to call home.

Been there, done that. Although I'm not originally from Massachusetts, I do have a house there as well as one in New Hampshire.

35 posted on 01/10/2012 4:38:59 AM PST by rhombus
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To: Eye of Unk

Fortunately, she doesn’t read your freep posts.


36 posted on 01/10/2012 4:40:31 AM PST by freedomfiter2 (Brutal acts of commission and yawning acts of omission both strengthen the hand of the devil.)
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To: Kaslin
Could someone give me the definition of evangelical Christian?
37 posted on 01/10/2012 4:45:00 AM PST by Ditter
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To: Kaslin

These two states are not typical in that neither one of them has a major city. Some states are primarily rural but are regional centers with an important city, while many others - all over the country, and not just on the coasts - have large urban areas.

So making these two states the litmus tests for candidates for the entire US population is a big mistake.

In addition, I think one of the reasons that the GOP often does poorly in cities in the general elections is precisely because GOP candidates start off by focusing so heavily on two states that are among the most non-urban, non-industrial of all. Therefore the candidates never develop the policies or answers that would make them important to the larger urban populations.

Yet at the same time, the thing that really makes a candidate win in either NH or Iowa is something purely personal, mostly “how much is he like me?” In these rather liberal states, the winner is bound to be a dull RINO of some kind; possibly a social conservative who seems safe, possibly not even socially conservative, but in general, a non-threatening white-bread (not referring to his color!) kind of candidate.


38 posted on 01/10/2012 4:45:08 AM PST by livius
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To: Kaslin

Inbred and too stupid to go south.


39 posted on 01/10/2012 4:45:53 AM PST by Doc Savage ("I've shot people I like a lot more,...for a lot less!" Raylan Givins)
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To: Vaquero

Totally agree. All 50, winner take all.


40 posted on 01/10/2012 4:46:45 AM PST by joesbucks
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To: Kaslin
We have this same whining every 4 years. My biggest whine is the “open primary states” (all of them). Independents have no business voting in ANY party primary. If they are too gutless to make a commitment to a party, they have no business picking the party's candidate. And yeah, sure the order of the primaries should change and sure strip a state of their delegates if they don't play ball. It's really all about the money... look what gets spent in Iowa and NH.
41 posted on 01/10/2012 4:48:59 AM PST by rhombus
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To: Kaslin

NO

you have a primary election day for ALL states....then x months later you have general election day.

the parties would still have their conventions after the primary election and pick the candidates either by the most votes or have a brokered convention.


42 posted on 01/10/2012 4:54:53 AM PST by Vaquero ("an armed society is a polite society" Robert A. Heinlein)
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To: Past Your Eyes

NY BLOWS....it is a leftist paradise...if my wife would leave her old/sick parents I would have moved to flyover country years ago....

I hate it almost as much as I hate New Hampshire.

but none of this has anthing to do with making the selection process fair for the whole country.

Winnow out the candidates after the 1 day national primary at the conventions.

spreading it out over months is counter productive in our Republic.


43 posted on 01/10/2012 5:00:55 AM PST by Vaquero ("an armed society is a polite society" Robert A. Heinlein)
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To: Vaquero

I don’t want a brokered convention. I prefer people’s choice. Primary winner take all.


44 posted on 01/10/2012 5:01:15 AM PST by joesbucks
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To: joesbucks

OK fine, but do it all the same day.


45 posted on 01/10/2012 5:03:27 AM PST by Vaquero ("an armed society is a polite society" Robert A. Heinlein)
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To: All

until they close the primary, then no..


46 posted on 01/10/2012 5:04:51 AM PST by newnhdad
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To: Past Your Eyes

oh...ps

in NY only Republicans get the vote in the Republican primaries...

you granate brains need to get your schmitt together.


47 posted on 01/10/2012 5:05:23 AM PST by Vaquero ("an armed society is a polite society" Robert A. Heinlein)
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To: Vaquero

I’m sure your reasons for hating New Hampshire are filled with merit. Is it just the primary or do you have other equally valid reasons?


48 posted on 01/10/2012 5:06:26 AM PST by Past Your Eyes (I'm not cut out to suffer fools like this.)
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To: Kaslin

Andrea Mitchell is too pock-marked to be on TV, yet . . . there she is.


49 posted on 01/10/2012 5:11:24 AM PST by Oratam
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To: Kaslin

The question is really not “Is NH fit to pick a POTUS”, but rather “How come the choices are so limited by Super Tuesday, when folks like me get a chance to vote?”


50 posted on 01/10/2012 5:17:44 AM PST by TheRobb7 (OBAMA 2012: NO TAX LEFT BEHIND)
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