In this brief, authors David Moore and Andrew Smith describe the origin of the New Hampshire presidential primary and the Iowa presidential caucuses. The developments by which these two small states came to hold the first nominating contests every four years were accidental, generated by a variety of events not at all intended to educate future leaders and certainly not adopted with any expectation that these states would emerge with the enormous influence that comes with being first. But once Iowa and New Hampshire were first, and once they realized the extensive benefits the position brought to them, their leaders fought tenaciously to hold on to their advantage.


Carsey School of Public Policy

Publication Date

Winter 12-23-2019


Perspectives Brief


Durham, N.H. : Carsey School of Public Policy, University of New Hampshire

Document Type



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