New Hampshire: First in the presidential primaries, it sets the stage and affects candidates' odds of success or failure. Every four years, this small, proudly distinctive state is the center of America's political universe. Candidates' performances, especially in comparison to expectations, influence the competition for the country's highest office. Scala explains the importance and peculiarities of New Hampshire, providing both historical context and insights, based on extensive interviews, into the tensions between local politics and the national agendas of candidates. New Hampshire's sympathy for reformist candidates has the paradoxical effect of jumpstarting the campaigns of those candidates least representative of voters nationally, and Scala explores the tremendous implications for presidential politics. Scala explains what it takes for candidates to make the Granite State a launching pad rather than a crash landing.