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New Hampshire has proudly held the title of first-in-the-nation primary since 1920. Unfortunately, both politicians and journalists don’t like it there.So while the excitement wasn’t palpable in New Hampshire this year, the negative feelings certain were.
Steve Kornacki at Salon describes a lonely state:
Evidence abounds of New Hampshire’s diminished importance this cycle. Candidates have spent less time here than in past campaigns, events this week aren’t as crowded as usual, and journalists are skipping town early. There just isn’t much buzz this time around.
Most others were really just looking forward to South Carolina. Chris Cilliza at The Washington Post writes:
New Hampshire’s presidential primary may be the news of the day but talk to any Republican strategist and it’s clear that the Granite State vote is only the appetizer to South Carolina’s main course in 11 days.
Also anticipating more fun down south, Time’s Joe Klein writes:
The New Hampshire primary has been a disappointment to those of us who love this event. The crowds were minimal. The candidates’ stump performances were largely dreadful. The looming South Carolina bloodbath is likely to be a far more important event in this year’s nominating process.
Even Rick Perry was itching to be done with New Hampshire, but then again he didn’t do very well, so it makes sense. At a campaign stop on Tuesday, he said:
These other states winnow the candidacy down, if you will. They kinda start separating the wheat from the chaff, if you will. But South Carolina picks presidents.
Meanwhile Gil Troy at the New York Times’ “Campaign Stops” blog is sick of New Hampshire always getting to go first:
Right now, while we indulge New Hampshire’s childish insistence on its presidential primary being “first in the nation,” Americans should decide to bury this tradition. Nearly a century is enough: the Granite State has somehow turned a fluke into an entitlement. Worse, its obsession with primacy prolongs, complicates and distorts the presidential nominating process.
Walter Shapiro from The New Republic was just really bored:
As a reporter chronicling his ninth New Hampshire primary (dating back to the days when George Bush boasted that he was “up for the Eighties”), I can recall no contested race in either party this devoid of energy. It feels like the primary is being conducted underwater, with every movement slow and exaggerated.
So was Business Insider’s own Glynnis MacNicol:
This year New Hampshire, normally the media go-to thanks to its accessibility to NYC, feels like a hangover. A somewhat wearisome, strained attempt to wring a few last stories out of the campaign before the media is forced to concede that Mitt Romney is the inevitable nominee and brace itself for a nine-month slog through Romney-bot-land.
Poor New Hampshire — unimportant, snooze-worthy, and diminished in the shadow of South Carolina. Better luck next time?