Candidates already gearing up for New Hampshire primary

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(Host) The New Hampshire primary of 2008 is already in the news.

Over the weekend, former Senate Minority leader Tom Daschle said he’s considering a run for the Democratic Presidential nomination.

That means he’ll soon turn up in New Hampshire.

There are now, between the two major parties, at least fourteen presidential hopefuls who will be visiting the Granite State.

Dartmouth political analyst Linda Fowler says the race is starting early.

(Fowler) “The candidates started coming to NH last summer which is the earliest we’ve ever seen them. There’s a reason why it’s happening earlier. I think everybody understands George Bush got the nomination because he sewed up the major party donors pretty early. So I think all candidates have discovered that the person with the most money at the start of the race is the person who’s able to stay in. I think it also has to do with the fact that this president is unpopular for this point in his term.”

(Host) Fowler says there’s also the concept of the “invisible primary” that’s going on right now.

(Fowler) “The invisible primary has two functions, the first is to lock up money and the major donors. Part of the way you do that is by getting indications of support in the early states and the second is to simply identify the people who can host dinners for you and constitute an organization within the state.”

(Host) There are proposals to change the primary and caucus lineup in the early states so that they would be more representative of the population.

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