Covering the New Hampshire Primary

Maxwell Surprenant and Kaitlin Clark at a polling place
Maxwell Surprenant and Kaitlin Clark at a polling place

Maxwell with fellow Kid Reporter Kaitlin Clark at a polling place in Manchester, New Hampshire

On February 9, the day of the New Hampshire Primary, my family and I drove from Boston, Massachusetts, to Manchester, the largest city in New Hampshire. New Hampshire has traditionally held the first presidential primary in the United States since 1916. For the past several months, as this year's primaries approached, presidential candidates held town hall meetings and rallies all over “the Granite State.”

While in Manchester, I caught up with voters at a polling place. Derek Pagliuca said that he’s concerned about the economy and illegal immigration. He added that he has done a lot of reading and research about the candidates. “People say that one vote doesn’t count,” he told me. “But that’s not true. If you don’t get out and vote, you don’t have anything to complain about.”

Voter Deborah Pare said that she is concerned about education, health care affordability, and the federal deficit. “It’s important for kids to get involved," she said, "because someday they're the ones who are going to run our country.” 


A Bernie Sanders bus in Manchester, NH

A Bernie Sanders campaign bus in Manchester


At the Radisson Hotel, journalists from around the world set up media centers to report on the primary results. “Australians are fascinated by how the American election works,” Mike Amor, the Los Angeles Bureau Chief for Australia’s Seven News, told me. “They find [Republican candidate] Donald Trump [to be] unusual and quirky.”

Amor explained that in his country, you have to vote or you get fined. “Kids should vote as soon as they're eligible,” he advised. “It’s important to be part of the process because that’s your voice.”

In New Hampshire, Senator Bernie Sanders won the Democratic contest. Trump won on the Republican side. While the state's "first-in-the-nation" primary is important, winning there does not guarantee who the final nominee from each party will be. We’ll have to wait for more states to hold primaries and caucuses.

Photos courtesy of the author