I made my first trip to NH during political season over the weekend, and my reaction was bittersweet. I found myself encouraged by how seriously the state’s residents take their voting responsibility, and how they take the time to research and carefully consider each candidate before making a decision. But I was also saddened by the fact that such a process couldn’t be replicated at the national level. New Hampshire’s relatively small size and status as the first primary in the nation gives its voters the unique oppourtunity to get face time with the candidates and interact with them on a personal level. Also, New Hampshire voters get to choose from a wide range of candidates. Those of us in the rest of the country don’t get to see much of the candidates and we don’t have as many choices because the field begins to dwindle after NH. If primaries were nationalized so that all states held them on the same day, candidates would not be able to interact with as many people and those who couldn’t raise enough money would perhaps have even less of a chance of being heard than under the current system. So, I think there’s a clear value to NH’s status as the first primary in the nation, but I’m jealous of people who live there.