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N.H. Voters Watch Iowa 05:45


As voters in Iowa caucus Tuesday night, New Hampshire voters will no doubt be paying attention, but that doesn’t mean the results will dictate who they vote for.

WBUR's Fred Thys joined Morning Edition from Portsmouth, N.H., to talk about how the Iowa caucuses might, or might not, impact the N.H. primary.

“Among Republicans, at least typically, Iowa does not influence New Hampshire much,” Thys said.

Only two Republicans have won both in Iowa and New Hampshire, Gerald Ford and George H. W. Bush, and both were sitting presidents.

“Observers say Iowa Republicans and New Hampshire Republicans are two very different electorates,” Thys explained. “Iowa Republicans tend to be socially conservative. New Hampshire Republicans tend to be more moderate. And that difference is made all the much starker by the fact that in New Hampshire independent voters can vote in the primary.”

Jack Newark, a restaurant owner in Dover, voted for John McCain four years ago. He is leaning toward Jon Huntsman but also likes Mitt Romney.

"Look at the record of Iowa. They've only had one or two guys come out of there and make it to the final race. New Hampshire is where it's at. I'm biased,” Newark said, laughing.

While there is still some indecision, a lot of New Hampshire voters are lining up behind Romney.

"The polls show here that what the people want in New Hampshire is Mitt Romney. He's pulling away from the rest of the field and I have to point out that despite what we hear about voters in New Hampshire being late deciders, by this time four years ago, the field was set,” Thys said. “And this year, despite the interest that Ron Paul and Huntsman are generating at their events, it is just not translating in the polls.”

This program aired on January 3, 2012.

Fred Thys Twitter Reporter
Fred Thys reports on politics and higher education for WBUR.


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