More than geography separates early voting states

More than geography separates early voting states

MANCHESTER, N.H. (AP) - There are more than just geographic differences between Iowa, the first caucus state, and New Hampshire, the first primary state.

The electorate is also different, and so are the issues.

Maybe that's why Mike Huckabee's made-for-Iowa television ad tagline, "Christian leader," hasn't been a major slogan in New England. There, he's known as a conservative leader.

And why libertarian Ron Paul may yet prove to be a Republican spoiler in a state whose motto is "Live Free or Die."

In a recent poll by The Associated Press and the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press, Democrats in both states picked the Iraq war as the top issue in the race. But in New Hampshire, they care a little less about health care as an issue than Iowans, and more about the economy.

New Hampshire Democrats are also more likely to be in union households and far less likely to attend church regularly than their Iowa brethren.

For their part, New Hampshire Republicans are more moderate politically than those in Iowa, and more likely to support gay marriage, abortion rights and stricter environmental laws.

Even the method for sorting out the candidates is different between the two states. As opposed to the more public Iowa caucuses, New Hampshire has a straight-forward, daylong secret ballot election.