Weather Patterns

  • Dante J. Scala


The morning of the 2000 New Hampshire primary was a sunny one, but not for Vice President Al Gore and his operatives. Early exit polls showed that Gore had frittered away a lead over his challenger, Bill Bradley, and was trailing the insurgent. A campaign that took months to build suddenly had just hours to redeem itself. To salvage a victory, Gore’s multimillion-dollar campaign now depended on decidedly low-tech devices: sound trucks, shoe leather, and knuckles on doors.


Weather Pattern Democratic Party Class Vote Front Runner Candidate Total 
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  1. 2.
    The work of Ronald Brownstein of Los AngelesTimes offered much food for thought when I began to examine this subject during the 2000 primary cycle. See, for example, “To Challenge Gore, Bradley Needs to Look Beyond Volvo Democrats,” the Los Angeles Times, May 17, 1999.Google Scholar
  2. 4.
    William L. Dunfey, “A Short History of the Democratic Party in New Hampshire” (master’s thesis, submitted to the University of New Hampshire, 1954), p. 228.Google Scholar
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    Duane Lockard, New England State Politics (Princeton, N.J.: Princeton University Press, 1959), p. 63.Google Scholar
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    Ibid., p. 67.Google Scholar
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    Ibid., pp. 15–16.Google Scholar
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    John DiStaso and Michael Cousineau, “Forbes Has Good Night, but Bradley Doesn’t,” Manchester Union Leader, January 25, 2000.Google Scholar
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    Emmett Buell, “The Changing Face of the New Hampshire Primary,” in In Pursuit of the White House 2000, edited by William G. Mayer (New York: Chatham House, 2000).Google Scholar
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    Data from exit polls conducted at 2000 New Hampshire primary; for further details, see http:// Scholar
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    Interview by the author, December 17, 2002. A recent study of New Hampshire voters concludes that there is little evidence that undeclared voters in the state behaved much differently from registered party voters in the 2000 presidential primary. Primaries are volatile, they state, because “voters and candidates are operating in a low-information environment in which new facts and new impressions count heavily”; both undeclared voters and registered party voters are subject to these same uncertainties. Allowing undeclared voters to participate, they conclude, “does not seem to make an already unstable situation decidedly worse.” Linda L. Fowler, Constantine J. Spiliotes, and Lynn Vavreck, “Sheep in Wolves’ Clothing: Undeclared Voters in New Hampshire’s Open Primary,” PS: Political Science and Politics 36, no. 2 (April 2003): 159–63.Google Scholar

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© Dante J. Scala 2003

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  • Dante J. Scala

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