New Hampshire voters could make Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney's nomination a near-certainty on Tuesday, when the state holds the first primary of the 2012 election.
Every presidential candidate in modern history who has won both Iowa and New Hampshire has gone on to win the party's nomination. (Romney narrowly won the Iowa caucuses last week). Since 1920, New Hampshire has been the first state to hold a presidential primary, and Granite State voters guard that status fiercely.
During this final sprint toward Tuesday's New Hampshire primary, candidate stops will be full of local diners and doughnut shops where the presidential hopefuls can chat up "real" voters — locals who stop in for a meal or a coffee.
But customers in one New Hampshire restaurant are over it. In response, a Portsmouth breakfast spot has banned candidates completely, reports Seacoast Online:
At last, the rivals who were supposed to savage front-runner Mitt Romney in the final weekend before Tuesday's primary in New Hampshire got down to business.
In the opening minutes of their debate Sunday on NBC's Meet the Press, several of those chasing Romney in the polls let fly the roundhouse punches they'd been pulling through weeks and months of TV debates.
(SOUNDBITE OF MONTAGE OF PEOPLE SAYING "DEAR TUCSON")
RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:
It's been a year since a gunman opened fire at a Tucson grocery store. Six people were killed and 13 injured, including Representative Gabrielle Giffords. NPR's State of the Re:Union asked people who were present that day at the shooting to write letters to Tucson, reflecting on their city and the year since the tragedy.
RON BARBER: Unlike most places, Tucson is green in the dead of winter.
In Afghanistan, President Hamid Karzai is demanding that the United States hand over control of a prison facility that houses about 3,000 inmates. An Afghan commission has alleged abuse of prisoners there, and says that conditions violate the Afghan constitution. The demands may have more to do with a growing animosity between President Karzai and Washington, however, as NPR's Kabul bureau chief Quil Lawrence tells host Rachel Martin.
In the days leading up to Tuesday's primary, with so much political activity compressed into such a small state, New Hampshire is pretty much nirvana for anyone fascinated by politics. Yes, all the candidates are there. But so are reporters, pundits, researchers, and as NPR's Greg Allen discovered, political tourists.
New Hampshire Republican Congressman Frank Guinta is a veteran of New Hampshire politics. The former state representative and mayor of Manchester gives host Rachel Martin a sense of the state's mood just two days before the primary.
This is WEEKEND EDITION from NPR News. I'm Rachel Martin.
The Republican candidates for president faced off in their second debate of the weekend this morning in New Hampshire. Last night, front-runner Mitt Romney was able to stay above the fray, as his opponents attacked each other in the fight for second place. But this morning, they turned their fire on Romney.
The NFL postseason is under way. Saturday night's games included a record-setting performance by the New Orleans Saints, and Sunday's matchups feature two Super Bowl-winning quarterbacks, plus a third who still manages to grab headlines: Tim Tebow. Host Rachel Martin talks with NPR's Mike Pesca about the first weekend in the NFL playoffs.
One year ago Sunday a gunman opened fire while Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords was holding a "Congress on Your Corner" event at a shopping center. She was shot in the head, one of 13 who were wounded. Six others were killed. Tucson is remembering the day with memorials, a candle-light vigil and dozens of other events. Host Rachel Martin talks with NPR's Ted Robbins about the day's services.