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

Bernie Sanders
FILE - In this May 10, 2011, file photo Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., gestures during a news conference on Capitol Hill in Washington to discuss single-payer health care bills in the Senate and House. In In 2016 Democratic presidential candidate Sanders says his plan for a government-run health care system from cradle to grave is like Medicare for all. But with full coverage for long-term care, most dental care included, no deductibles and zero copays, the Sanders plan is considerably more generous. Think of it as Medicare on growth hormones. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)

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.

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