NH's crucial and cherished role

The New Hampshire Presidential Primary, first in the nation since 1920, has long played a crucial role in the selection of our nation's leaders.

The Granite State's primary has become, in the words of one political reporter, "the most cherished of American political tribal rites."
It has also become increasingly coveted by other states.

For its size, it is one of the most thoroughly covered elections in the world. Neverhave more than 394,000 voters participated; what matters is the timing of the vote it is the first direct expression of Presidential preference.

From 1952 until 1992, no one had been elected President without a victory in New Hampshire first. Bill Clinton broke that record in 1992, winning the Presidency after finishing a close second in the Democratic primary here.

The following stories are from "First Primary: Presidential Politics in New Hampshire," copyright 1995, Union Leader Corp. For a summary of each primary, click on the headline.