Seeing candidates in NH when you're from out of state

I went back and forth between GQ and Elections for this, but I’ll give this a try.

I’d like my teenage son to experience what a carnival those in-person presidential candidate appearances are - but also how interesting/informative they can be - and he’s pretty excited about it.

We found a good day in NH for events (well, all days are good in NH, but this is actually a great day), but I have a lingering question about whether we’ll actually be able to get into them, or get close to them, given 1) crowds, and 2) we’re from MA & aren’t sure if they actually check to see if you’re from NH.

Has anyone here gone to any of these NH town halls or organized appearances (as opposed to cafe stops), and if so, any thoughts to share? As much as it would be fun to see Trump we’re not bothering because of expected crowd size, but otherwise there are lots of these folks appearing all on one day and yes, it seems like fun to me.


I would check with the field offices of the candidates you’re interested in. You can find them through Google, or checking with the state GOP or Democratic committees. Find out what their campaign schedules are, if tickets are available/required, and if you’ll be able to get in. I wouldn’t tell them you’re from out of state unless asked directly.

First, thank you for the pity response, I was feeling pretty lonely. :slight_smile: Second, my question wasn’t really about how to get tickets, but what the experience would be like in terms of crowds and accessibility…I did already have tickets, though when you order online it was hard to tell if being from out-of-state would be an issue.

If anybody wonders about the experience…

First we went to the appearance of Bill and Hillary Clinton. Security was predictably tight, and it took us almost 2 hours to get in. During that time I was regularly accosted and asked to volunteer in a number of different ways…phone calls or driving or around or canvassing. When I checked in I was asked one more time if I would like to volunteer, and when I said no, the woman behind the table rolled her eyes and said “enjoy the rally”. I didn’t take it personally, however-the intent of the rally wasn’t just to get one vote, it was to get people organized and moving to go out and get a lot of votes. In that sense I was kind of a freeloader.

Next stop was Chris Christie. This was interesting, it was at the New Hampshire Institute of Politics, and rather than a rally it was a get to know the candidate interview and Q&A. There was no security, and there were fewer than 100 people there, roughly half of them from the neighboring college. It was informal and relaxed, and Christie came across as jovial and friendly until he got a few combative questions from the audience, and then the grumpy bear came out. It was really quite entertaining.

The last stop of the day was a Marco Rubio rally. There was also no security here, and roughly 400 people showed up (they announced 700 people, but it really wasn’t close). This was a fairly hostile, angry crowd, and I felt no urge to disclose to any of the people standing near me that I am in fact one of those hateful, evil liberals whose only desire is to destroy America (though I did join the crowd in the Pledge of Allegiance to maintain my cover). Also, I learned that he’s running against Barack Obama, apparently, since he kept talking about him. Finally, I’m not sure that Rubio has the right political instincts…when he got off the bus and came into the room, he engaged in a side conversation for more than 10 minutes with an organizer before actually taking the stage, even though he was completely visible to us. It killed the momentum for a while, at least until he started saying how he would never relinquish his guns, and how law was not made by man, but by God. That pretty much got everyone going again. And for the record, I only got asked twice if I wanted to volunteer.

We’re going back this weekend…if anyone really wants to hear about it, let me know.

Very interesting! I’d love to hear more.

Me too.


I was a volunteer and then a natl. field staffer for Mike Dukakis in Nashua, New Hampshire in 1987-88, and it did have its exciting moments.

Here’s a story from NPR about people who traveled to New Hampshire for the primary season. The people interviewed include a family from Dallas so the kids could learn about the process and a group of students from Minnesota who were spending the winter break in New Hampshire. Mostly they were political science students who were interning with campaigns.

It’s an interesting idea. I’ve always lived in states with much later primaries so I’ve never experienced the intensity of the NH primary or the Iowa caucuses.