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Catch New Hampshire Public Radio’s “Stranglehold” Podcast On WBUR

On Jan 12, 8 p.m., WBUR will air a one-hour special from New Hampshire Public Radio’s Stranglehold podcast, about the power and people behind NH’s presidential primary. This episode looks at the man many consider to be “The Guardian” of the primary, New Hampshire Secretary of State, Bill Gardner.

WBUR will air another one-hour special on Jan 19, 8 p.m. titled “The Dragon Egg.” Here’s a brief description:

Jimmy Carter’s 1976 primary campaign gave New Hampshire one hell of a gift: the state’s best argument for why it deserves the privileged status of having the first-in-the-nation presidential primary. It also gave a lot of politicos in this state their ticket to power.

And one more on Jan 26, 8 p.m. titled “The Midnight Special":

Every four years, a caravan of national news networks descends on a remote corner of New Hampshire to broadcast the first results from the first-in-the-nation primary.  What appears on the TV screen usually looks like a slice of Small Town, USA.  A picture-perfect image of participatory democracy, complete with a big wooden ballot box and a town moderator with a pocket watch and a big bow tie.  A community that takes their civic duty so seriously they rise in the middle of the night to cast their ballots.  And maybe (just maybe) a hint of where the election is heading.  The wall-to-wall coverage of Dixville Notch by some major news outlets might lead you to believe that they started this midnight voting tradition, or that their vote is unique, or that it holds greater weight than of the other precincts in New Hampshire.  But there’s more - a lot more - to the story.

New Hampshire Public Radio’s “Stranglehold” podcast
New Hampshire Public Radio’s “Stranglehold” podcast

About the podcast:

Stranglehold presents a new way of reporting on an old political tradition NHPR’s newsroom has been covering for decades: the New Hampshire primary.

Rather than focus on the candidates, campaign promises, or polls, Stranglehold tells the story of the primary itself — the history, the infrastructure, the behind-the-scenes players and more.

Every four years, the candidates come and go, but the primary remains. It’s an institution that has transformed New Hampshire’s politics over the years, and it continues to shape how many in New Hampshire think of their state.

For many outsiders, the primary may be the only thing they know about New Hampshire.

Accordingly, Stranglehold reports on the primary as NHPR would any other powerful state institution, be it a state agency, a powerful business or an influential special interest group.

Fundamentally, Stranglehold is interested in questions of power as they relate to the primary: What power comes with holding the “first in the nation” Presidential primary? Who most benefits from this power? And what are the consequences — both in New Hampshire and nationally — of the system as it’s now designed?

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