For seven decades, New Hampshire voters have taken very seriously their role in vetting presidential candidates. Every candidate must crisscross the state – the first in the nation to hold a primary – meeting voters face to face. This is America’s tried-and-tested forge of retail politics. . . .
So if any state is going to probe whether Mr. O’Rourke has the chops to back up his charm, it’s probably New Hampshire. . . .
“As he’s in New Hampshire, he’s going to see that this is a little bit different territory. You’ve got to come with a little more substance,” says Tyler Sweeney, the New Hampshire director for The Concord Coalition, a bipartisan group that advocates for a balanced federal budget. “And I think this is where he is going to shape his policy."