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Is N.H. representative for other American voters?

Supporters of Republican presidential hopefuls hold placards outside a polling station at Webster School in Manchester, N.H., January 10, 2012.

Steve Chiotakis: Today New Hampshire voters go to the polls in the state's all-important primary contest. The Republican presidential candidates have been campaigning in the Granite State for weeks and months. But the voters of New Hampshire are different from the rest of the country, and so is the state's economy.

Marketplace's John Dimsdale reports.


John Dimsdale: New Hampshire is growing faster than the rest of the country. Its unemployment rate, at 5.2 percent, is one of the nation's lowest. The state has no income tax, no sales tax and the poverty rate is low. You'd think the economy wouldn't be much of an issue for the candidates campaigning there.

Steve Duprey of the New Hampshire Republican party says you'd be wrong.

Steve Duprey: They always talk about jobs because they realize they're not only speaking to New Hampshire voters, but nationally. But they focus more on the debt and deficit because this is such a conservative state fiscally.

Despite its outlier economic status, New Hampshire, through its first in the nation primary, has an outsized say in who the next president will be. The small number of voters are able to get one-on-one attention from the candidates. Those voters give the winner frontrunner status going into subsequent primaries.

In Washington, I'm John Dimsdale for Marketplace.

About the author

As head of Marketplace’s Washington, D.C. bureau, John Dimsdale provides insightful commentary on the intersection of government and money for the entire Marketplace portfolio.
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