Strategies Changing as First-in-the-Nation NH Primary Nears - NBC10 Boston

Strategies Changing as First-in-the-Nation NH Primary Nears

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    Candidates Changing Strategies for NH Primary

    With under 100 days before New Hampshire's first-in-the-nation primary, some candidates are making changes to their strategies.

    (Published Wednesday, Nov. 6, 2019)

    Filing season is in full swing in New Hampshire, but with under 100 days to go until the first-in-the-nation primary, some candidates are beginning to shift their focus away from the Granite State.

    Kamala Harris had high hopes for the state when she kicked off her campaign early in 2019.

    "I plan on spending time in New Hampshire," she said at her first town hall. "I plan on competing in New Hampshire, I plan on doing very well in New Hampshire."

    Julian Castro took a similar position after speaking at Politics and Eggs.

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    "I am going to do the hard work that it takes here in New Hampshire," he said at the time.

    Now, as the primary approaches, both candidates have pulled resources out of New Hampshire to devote more time to the first caucus state, Iowa. Others could soon follow.

    "I think there's a belief that if they don't do well in Iowa, it's not going to matter what happens in New Hampshire," said Southern New Hampshire University professor Dean Spiliotes.

    Spiliotes says with New Hampshire's two front-runners coming from neighboring Vermont and Massachusetts — Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, respectively — it's a high hill to climb.

    "There's just a belief that you have to show viability early," he said.

    Amy Klobuchar, a midwest moderate and one of the few candidates climbing in New Hampshire polls, is doubling down in the Granite State. She was asked if she had considered the Iowa-only strategy.

    "Not for a second," Klobuchar said. "And that's because we are actually gaining momentum."

    Pete Buttigieg has also been moving up. But most of the 18 Democratic candidates have yet to get past 1-2% in New Hampshire.

    Secretary of State Bill Gardner is quick to point out that of the 17 primaries since 1952, 14 of the state's winners went on to become president. And the other three came in second place in New Hampshire.

    Those statistics are why long-time New Hampshire politicos have a message for primary candidates: bypass New Hampshire at your peril.

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