NH shift brings new dynamic to GOP contest

By Steve Peoples

Associated Press

Published: Sunday, Jan. 1 2012 11:31 a.m. MST

Scott Lynch, of Thornton, left, sprinkles salt on the icy walkway as people head in to hear Republican 2012 presidential candidate, former Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman speak at a town hall meeting in Thornton, N.H., Saturday, Dec. 31, 2011.

Cheryl Senter, Associated Press

MERRIMACK, N.H. — The political world will shift 1,300 miles to the east later this coming week.

The end of Tuesday's Iowa caucuses means the beginning of a very different contest in New Hampshire.

The conservative activists who dominate the Iowa caucus will give way to a New Hampshire electorate that includes tea partyers, moderates and left-leaning independents alike. That means who you see and what they say on the campaign trail will likely change.

Abortion will give way to taxes. Ethanol will be consumed by budget deficits. There's also the curse of the front-runner to consider.

Regardless of the outcome in Iowa, New Hampshire voters delight in upsetting the conventional wisdom.

An Iowa Republican caucus winner has never won a New Hampshire primary in the modern era.

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