New Hampshire Primary Celebrates Centennial Anniversary - NECN
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New Hampshire Primary Celebrates Centennial Anniversary

Robie's Country store serves as one the state's most popular political arenas.



    100 Years of NH Primary

    (Published Tuesday, Sept. 15, 2015)

    The New Hampshire "first in the nation primary" is celebrating it's centennial anniversary.

    An event at the state house kicked off the 100th year, but managers at Robie's Country Store are celebrating in their own way by remembering some of the most memorable visits to the small shop.

    "That is Jimmy Carter right here," said Robert Schroeder of the Robie's Country Store Preservation committee as he showed us a wall full of photos.

    Here in New Hampshire, politics is sport and one of the most popular arenas might just be Robie's Country store.

    What's happened inside during the first in the nation primary has shaped history.
    It's not just the antiques dating back to 1822, but the wall of photos that truly capture history.

    Schroeder was here when a relatively unknown Jimmy Carter stopped by Robie's as a presidential hopeful.

    "He introduced himself as Jimmy Carter and Mr. Robie, being hard of hearing, said, 'Jimmy who,'" Schroeder remembered.

    As New Hampshire celebrates 100 years of hosting the First in the Nation Presidential Primary, Robie's celebrates at least that many years of hosting the candidates.
    Schroeder says a stop here can make or break a campaign.

    And that's the case at campaign stops across the state, according to political analyst Scott Spradling.

    "You can't win the presidential election by winning New Hampshire, but you sure can lose it," Spradling said. "We are very used to being plugged into the political process it is our sport up here."

    And so, Spradling says candidates can rise or fall depending on their performance inside diners, town halls, and country stores.

    "This is retail politics, it isn't all on TV," said Hooksett resident Mike Lennon.
    Manchester voter Bryan Bouchard agreed, saying, "They have to make a personal connection to everybody."

    For the last century, Granite Staters have been the first to make their voices heard and here at Robie's, residents are confident the nation is listening.

    "These are ordinary people talking with candidates, being interviewed, and asking direct questions, sometimes pretty pointed," Schroeder said. "It's a real test of the candidates too."

    All of today's candidates on both sides of the aisle have been invited to Robie's. Seven of them have made a stop so far.

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