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Secret to Winning New Hampshire? Doing the Voters' Dishes

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PORTSMOUTH, N.H. (AdAge.com) -- The real reason New Hampshire voters treasure their first-in-the-nation presidential primary and seem willing to fight to the death efforts of other states to lessen its impact has finally been revealed.

It occurred Tuesday evening at a town hall forum sponsored by John Edwards, the former North Carolina senator and Democratic presidential candidate in the historic 1825 era South Church.

No it didn't come from Sen. Edwards, although he made a good try. "Most of America will see us -- the presidential candidates -- in 30 second sound bites on television," he said. "It's very hard to judge them from it. You are in a much better place to judge them. We actually have to come in front of you for an hour or an hour and a half and answer your questions. You see us up close and personal. You are in many ways the guardians on what kind of human beings are going to become president."

The ultimate explanation came from Arlene Iverson, a teacher, who attended the event to check out Sen. Edwards personally.

"They all show up here doing our dishes, cleaning our bathrooms and peaking in our windows. So we like them all," she said.