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PRESENTING YOUR NEW HAMPSHIRE FIELD GUIDE
GOFFSTOWN, N.H. -- Why does a sliver of a state on the coast of New England have so much say about who leads the United States of America? Ask anybody here and they’ll tell you: because they’re darned good at it.

Since 1952, New Hampshire has selected the eventual nominee of the Republican Party 14 out of 17 times. Democrats do a little worse, but have still only missed the mark six times in 66 years.

In part, that’s because of the influence of being the first-in-the-nation primary but it is also a function of being good judges of horseflesh. The simplest explanation for New Hampshire voters’ acumen is that they take this very seriously. It really matters to them.

So since Granite Staters know so much about who is likely to be your next president, perhaps you should get to know them a little bit better and how they’re likely to vote.

With famously flakey New Hampshire pre-election polls made flakier by tumultuous races for both parties, the only way to know how the Granite State will go is to break it into five pieces.

[New Hampshire Union Leader Executive Editor Trent Spiner tells Chris Stirewalt that this is the largest amount of undecided voters he’s ever seen this close to the primary. Which way will they break? WATCH HERE.]

NORTH COUNTRY
In the beautiful but remote northern region of the state, life can be pretty hard. The major industries in the counties are tourism in the White Mountains and forestry. The paper industry once provided thousands of jobs and stable incomes but left long ago.

This should be the best part of the state for both parties’ frontrunners. The voters here, especially in Coos County (pronounced “CO-as”) match the demographic profile of both Donald Trump and Bernie Sander’s supporters. Sanders especially should thrive just across the border from his home state of Vermont.

Grafton County may be somewhat of an exception, as it has a slightly higher population and higher median incomes because of Dartmouth College and Plymouth State University.

Coos County
· Population: 31,653
· Median household income: $41,985
· Adults with bachelor’s degrees: 17 percent
· 2012 general election: Obama 58 percent
· Residents age 65 and older: 22 percent
· Home to the tallest mountain in the Northeast, Mt. Washington

2012 Republican Primary result: Ron Paul, 30 percent; Mitt Romney, 28 percent; Jon Huntsman, 15 percent; Newt Gingrich, 13 percent; Rick Santorum, 11 percent

2008 Democratic Primary result: Hillary Clinton, 42 percent; Barack Obama, 29 percent; John Edwards, 22 percent

Grafton County
·        Population: 89,658
·        Median household income: $54,912
·        Adults with bachelor’s degrees 38 percent
·        2012 general election: Obama 61 percent
·        Residents age 65 or older: 18 percent
·        Home of Dartmouth College

2012 Republican Primary result: Mitt Romney, 30 percent; Ron Paul 25 percent; Jon Huntsman, 22 percent; Newt Gingrich, 11 percent; Rick Santorum, 9 percent

2008 Democratic Primary result: Barack Obama, 45 percent; Hillary Clinton 32 percent; John Edwards, 16 percent

Carroll County
·        Population: 47,339
·        Median household income: $50,866
·        Adults with bachelor’s degrees:
·        2012 general election results
·        Residents 65 or older
·        In 2008, then-Sen. Barack Obama was the first Democratic presidential nominee to win this county since 1912, and the first to win an absolute majority since 1888.

2012 Republican Primary result: Mitt Romney 41 percent; Ron Paul 23 percent; Jon Huntsman 16 percent; Newt Gingrich 11 percent.

2008 Democratic Primary result: Barack Obama 40 percent; Hillary Clinton 34 percent; John Edwards 17 percent.

CAPITAL CORRIDOR
A Democratic stronghold in general elections, the region around the state capital of Concord also happens to be the best bellwether for Republican primaries.

Concord and its surrounding regions will be a powerhouse for Bernie Sanders, especially closer to the Vermont state line, and in liberal enclaves will turn up the Bern.

While there are not a lot of Republicans in this region, watch the returns in these counties closely, especially Belknap County north of Concord. Belknap is one of the most reliably Republican parts of the Granite State.

The county, which includes parts of Lake Winnipesauke and other scenic spots, has picked the overall winner on the GOP side in every race since 2000, sometimes almost to the percentage point.

Belknap County
·        Population: 60,305
·        Median household income: $58,654
·        Adults with bachelor’s degree: 28 percent
·        2012 general election: Romney 52 percent
·        Residents age 65 or older: 20 percent
·        The town of Wolfeboro has been a summer resort for centuries.

2012 Republican Primary result: Mitt Romney, 40 percent; Ron Paul, 24 percent; Jon Huntsman, 15 percent; Rick Santorum, 10 percent; Newt Gingrich, 10 percent

2008 Democratic Primary result: Hillary Clinton, 37 percent; Barack Obama, 37 percent; John Edwards, 19 percent

Merrimack County
·        Population: 147,171
·        Median household income: $65,353
·        Adults with bachelor’s degree: 33 percent
·        2012 general election results: Obama 56 percent
·        Residents age 65 or older: 16 percent
·        The state capital, Concord, resides here

2012 Republican Primary result: Mitt Romney, 33 percent; Ron Paul, 24 percent; Jon Huntsman, 21 percent; Rick Santorum, 10 percent; Newt Gingrich, 10 percent

2008 Democratic Primary result: Barack Obama 38 percent; Hillary Clinton, 36 percent; John Edwards, 17 percent

Sullivan County
·        Population: 43,103
·        Median household income: $54,463
·        Adults with bachelor’s degrees: 26 percent
·        2012 General Election: Obama 56 percent
·        Residents age 65 and older: 19 percent
·         Site of the battle that triggered the French and Indian war

2012 Republican Primary results: Mitt Romney, 29 percent; Ron Paul, 24 percent; Jon Huntsman, 15 percent; Newt Gingrich, 11 percent; Rick Santorum, 11 percent

2008 Democratic Primary results: Barack Obama, 39 percent; Hillary Clinton, 36 percent; John Edwards, 17 percent

BOSTON BURBS/SEACOAST
The ever expanding footprint of Boston to the south has changed Southern New Hampshire from an industrial region into bedroom communities for the big city. While the new arrivals made the state more Democratic overall they also brought with them a strong aversion to the high taxes that led them to flee the Bay State.

This should be Hillary Clinton’s breadbasket based on polls and Iowa caucus results that show her doing better with big city and more affluent voters. To cut into Sanders lead she will need to perform well in these more densely populated areas.

It’s hard to say which Republican will do best here. But we can know that this should be the weakest part of the state for frontrunner Donald Trump. This is Mitt Romney country, especially heading out towards the seacoast. The knife fight among traditional GOP candidates for voters in these counties has been intense. If anyone can pull away here is likely to run at least a strong second in the state.

Strafford County
·        Population: 125,604
·        Median household income: $58,825
·        Adults with bachelor’s degree: 32 percent
·        2012 general election results: Obama 56 percent
·        Residents age 65 or older: 14 percent
·        Home to University of New Hampshire

2012 Republican Primary results: Mitt Romney, 35 percent; Ron Paul, 25 percent; Jon Huntsman, 16 percent; Rick Santorum, 12 percent; Newt Gingrich, 9 percent

2008 Democratic Primary result: Hillary Clinton, 40 percent; Barack Obama, 34 percent; John Edwards, 18 percent

Cheshire County
·        Population: 76,115
·        Median household income: $55,155
·        Adults with bachelor’s degree: 30 percent
·        2012 general election results: Obama 61 percent
·        Residents age 65 or older: 17 percent
·        Keene, N.H. is located here and hosted the great pumpkin competition for over 20 years…before an evening of debauchery forced the town to end it.

2012 Republican Primary results: Mitt Romney, 31 percent; Ron Paul, 26 percent; Jon Huntsman, 21 percent; Rick Santorum, 12 percent; Newt Gingrich 8 percent.

2008 Democratic Primary result: Barack Obama, 39 percent; Hillary Clinton, 34 percent; John Edwards, 17 percent

Rockingham County
·        Population: 300,621
·        Median household income: $77,384
·        Adults with bachelor’s degree: 37 percent
·        2012 general election results: Romney 52 percent
·        Residents age 65 or older: 15 percent
·        Named for Charles Watson-Wentworth, 2nd Marquess of Rockingham, a two-time Prime Minister of Great Britain

2012 Republican Primary results: Mitt Romney, 46 percent; Ron Paul, 20 percent; Jon Huntsman, 15 percent; Newt Gingrich, 9 percent; Rick Santorum, 8 percent

2008 Democratic Primary result: Hillary Clinton, 42 percent; Barack Obama, 35 percent; John Edwards, 17 percent

MANCH-VEGAS
While Manchester and Nashua, the two biggest cities in Hillsborough County and the state, are part of the Boston bubble, they have a character of their own. This is the single largest pool of votes of any county, and the absolute key to victory for both parties. If you get blown out here you are not coming back.

There’s little question that this should be favorable terrirtory for Hillary Clinton on the Democratic side. It is the only major urban area of the state, and the only part of the state with a significant concentration of non-white voters. Bernie Sanders will do just fine, but this is the key to Hillary Clinton’s effort to cut into his New Hampshire advantage.

The big question is how Donald Trump will fair. This was one of best parts of the state for Ron Paul in 2012 and there is reason to believe those voters will swing to Trump. But this has been traditionally a stronghold for candidates on the Republican side who do well with more affluent and better educated voters.

In order to dominate the state in the way polls have suggested, Trump will need to turn out his coalition of lower-income Republicans and Democratic-leaning independents. This is where Trump’s candidacy will meet its existential question: can he get out the vote among traditionally unlikely voters?

Hillsborough County
·        Population: 405,184
·        Median household income: $69,829
·        Adults with bachelor’s degree: 35 percent
·        2012 general election results: Obama 50 percent
·        Residents age 65 or older: 14 percent
·        Nashua is home to homegrown Sen. Kelly Ayotte.

2012 Republican Primary result: Mitt Romney, 41 percent; Ron Paul, 23 percent; Jon Huntsman, 16 percent; Newt Gingrich, 9 percent; Rick Santorum, 9 percent

2008 Democratic Primary result: Hillary Clinton, 42 percent; Barack Obama, 35 percent; John Edwards, 16 percent

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POLL CHECK
Real Clear Politics Averages
National GOP nomination
: Trump 29.5 percent; Cruz 21.0 percent; Rubio 17.8 percent; Carson 7.8 percent
New Hampshire GOP Primary: Trump 31.6 percent; Rubio 14.6 percent; Cruz 13 percent; Kasich 12.4 percent; Bush 9.8 percent
National Dem nomination: Clinton 49.3 percent; Sanders 36 percent
New Hampshire Dem Primary: Sanders 53.3; Clinton 40.5 percent
General Election Clinton vs. Trump: Clinton +4 points
Generic Congressional Vote: Republicans +0.5
General Election Clinton vs. Trump: Clinton +2.7 points
Generic Congressional Vote: Republicans +0.5

ANOTHER FIRST IN THE NATION
New Hampshire is a state of book lovers, especially as the home to what claims to be America’s first free public library. WaPo’s Niraj Chokshi describes: “Maybe there’s a reason J.D. Salinger lived out his final years there and Robert Frost chose it as the subject of his first Pulitzer Prize-winning poetry collection. If a love of the written word can be quantified, nowhere is it stronger than in independent-minded New Hampshire. There is no other state that claims more librarians or library visits per capita, according to the latest Public Libraries Survey, conducted by the Institute of Museum and Library Services. Perhaps the reason is rooted in history: New Hampshire claims to be home not only to the world’s first free, tax-supported public library (the Peterborough Town Library, founded in 1833) but also the nation’s oldest state library (founded in 1717). Or maybe its love of reading is rooted in law: ‘There is a statute that says that we cherish learning and that public libraries are a part of that,’ says State Librarian Michael York.”

Chris Stirewalt is digital politics editor for Fox News. Want FOX News First in your inbox every day? Sign up here.

Chris Stirewalt joined Fox News Channel (FNC) in July of 2010 and serves as digital politics editor based in Washington, D.C.  Additionally, he authors the daily "Fox News First" political news note and hosts "Power Play," a feature video series, on FoxNews.com. Stirewalt makes frequent appearances on the network, including "The Kelly File," "Special Report with Bret Baier," and "Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace."  He also provides expert political analysis for Fox News coverage of state, congressional and presidential elections.