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New Hampshire Primary

Playing A Unique Role in History: America's Classroom


2012 Republican Presidential Debate at Saint Anselm CollegeThe New Hampshire Presidential Primary and Saint Anselm College

Every four years, New Hampshire serves as a magnet to politicians and the media as the nation’s first presidential primary unfolds. The New Hampshire Institute of Politics & Political Library and the college are center stage, hosting presidential hopefuls and providing a backdrop for American democracy in action.

Hundreds of Oval Office aspirants have delivered speeches, met with students, and participated in debates on campus. Many future presidents have spent time at the college, including each of the last eight: Presidents Richard M. Nixon, Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, George H. Bush, William Jefferson Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama. Saint Anselm College and the New Hampshire Institute of Politics & Political Library has become a “must stop” for campaigns, providing what The Washington Post calls “a box seat on America’s most riveting political theatre.”

The Institute seeks to add context to complicated political issues and to promote civic responsibility and engagement. As one of the few undergraduate colleges in the nation to offer such an experience, the college offers students unique access to political leaders.

Behind the Scenes: 2012 Primary