About the Project

Washington, D.C., April 12 – More than three months ago we stepped off the plane, ready to take on New Hampshire. Thirty-four graduate and undergraduate students – experts in politics, journalism and film – had an opportunity to see how campaigns operate in a battleground state. Together, we covered and analyzed rallies and debates, interviewed supporters and shared ideas with the media elites. When we started this project there were five candidates still seriously vying for the Republican presidential nomination. Now that former Sen. Rick Santorum has suspended his campaign, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney will surely take the nomination at the convention in August.

Once in New Hampshire, our class split up into groups to tackle larger assignments of our choosing. Some focused on the impact of race on voting habits, while others focused on the voting patterns of different socio-economic classes and each candidates’ media exposure and campaign strategies. In addition to our long-term projects, we covered the day-to day meet-and-greets, debates and rallies of the New Hampshire primary.

Our group’s final project, ‘Cashing in on the Candidates: 2012 GOP Election,’ is a multimedia effort to explain how the election cycle affects local economies. Our work in New Hampshire focused specifically on the downtown Manchester economy during its primary season, and how small businesses received a much-needed boost to their bottom lines during a typically slow time. After returning to Washington, D.C., we expanded our reporting to see how the rest of the country was faring as the 2012 Republican primary season geared up. We found that Manchester’s local economy is not unique, and towns across the country were having similar experiences. This project is a culmination of our work in New Hampshire and the District, with stories, photo essays and mini-documentaries that explain the economic power of elections.

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