Our previous post showed that New Hampshire primary voters don’t always fall in line with the choices of Iowa caucus-goers. Here’s some geographical context on the Democratic side.
A backlash against Iowa winners has been most consistent in western New Hampshire and in college towns. Hanover, Lebanon, and Durham are the biggest communities to snub Iowa winners Walter Mondale (for Gary Hart), Richard Gephardt (for Michael Dukakis), Al Gore (for Bill Bradley), and John Kerry (for Howard Dean).
The pro-Iowa geography is not as clear. New Hampshire’s biggest city, Manchester, was one of the few communities in the state carried by Gephardt over Dukakis. Manchester also backed Gore and Kerry,but Mondale wasn’t able to hold the blue-collar city against Hart. Only three New Hampshire cities went for Iowa favorite Mondale — Berlin, Nashua, and Portsmouth — but none of them went for Gephardt four years later.
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The bellwether communities in the "whither Iowa" question may be Concord, Dover, and Derry. They’re the biggest towns that followed the state as a whole in turning down Iowa winners Mondale and Gephardt but giving the stamp of approval to Iowa winners Gore and Kerry. Will they be as pivotal in determining the primary winner, and perhaps the eventual Democratic nominee, this year?
A similar analysis on the Republican side to come soon…