New Hampshire primary at Christmastime? Election 2012 could get weird.
Election 2012 voters in New Hampshire might have to shop for holiday gifts and presidential candidates at the same time. The state is considering a Dec. 6 primary to maintain its first-in-the-nation status.
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NH law doesn’t require that the primary be on a Tuesday, so the vote could potentially be held on Jan. 3, 4, 5, 6, or 7, all of which are seven days before Nevada’s current Jan. 14 date. Gardner's office has not said specifically whether they would consider these dates.Skip to next paragraph
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In response to Gardner’s tough stance, tweeters are having a field day, using the hashtag #BillGardnerFacts, started by NECN television reporter Lauren Collins:
@HotlineJess Costume idea! ... People in New Hampshire dress up as Bill Gardner on Halloween to scare people.
@Graniteprof Bill Gardner was challenged to a staring contest in first grade. He didn't blink until he was 12.
@dbernstein When he goes to the beach, Bill Gardner gets the moon to change the time of high tide.
@LaurenNECN Bill Gardner knows the date of the primary. It's tucked in the holy grail. Which is stashed under his desk.
But Gardner, who doesn’t tweet, offered a more serious explanation for the importance of maintaining New Hampshire’s primary primary position [see what we did there?] – not just for New Hampshire, but for the health of the nation:
“It has allowed for candidates regardless of national standing or financial capability to begin their launch into presidential politics by winning or doing well here ... [I]f the role of small states was eliminated, only the very rich or famous candidates would be able to put on the major campaigns needed for victory or to exceed expectations. In a state like New Hampshire, candidates can run without a large staff or heavy advertising and consulting budgets if they have a message, meet directly with voters, and explain why they should be president.”
But some commentators speculate a December date could backfire for New Hampshire.
“[C]hances are that a December date would diminish the importance of New Hampshire from an electoral perspective, both because it is so disconnected from the rest of the calendar and because [Mitt] Romney’s rivals might have more of an excuse for a poor performance there. Candidates like [Rick] Perry and Herman Cain could cite the difficulty of competing in New Hampshire on a compressed schedule ... The news media, annoyed that the earlier date would require them to revisit their own plans for the campaign, might be happy to play along. It’s hard to know exactly how the spin war would unfold, but it’s possible that New Hampshire could come to be regarded as something of a curiosity or even a beauty contest.”
Just in case, New Hampshire voters might want to start their holiday shopping now.
IN PICTURES: Republicans in the 2012 presidential race