Monday, January 2, 2012

Challenging Conventional (Traditional) Wisdom on NH & Primaries

Time was professors and pundits intoned that the New Hampshire primary (January 10 in 2012) mattered do deeply because the victors turned out to be the major political parties' presidential nominees.

However, in recent years, that axiom is showing not to true. South Carolina (held on January 21 in 2012) is the better bellwether state.

In 1996, conservative political commentator Patrick ("Pat") Buchanan won the New Hampshire primary. In 2000 Arizona Senator John McCain won that primary.
The Democratic primary victors have differed from the eventual nominee in more contests: in 1984, Sen. Gary Hart won; in 1994 Sen. Paul Tsongas won; in 2008 Sen. Hilary Clinton won.

By contrast, in South Carolina the Republican primary race winners at least since 1980 have all eventually become the nominees.
For Democrats, however, South Carolina primary or caucus results have not matched the eventual nominess: in 1988 the South Carolina Democrats held a caucus and chose Rev. Jesse Jackson. In 2004 the primary winner was Sen. John Edwards.

(One practical resource:

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