Dartmouth’s strategic location has given generations of students a chance to engage in New Hampshire’s famous “retail politics” on behalf of presidential primary candidates, from Democrat Gene McCarthy in 1968 to Republican Ronald Reagan in 1980. The College has hosted six presidential debates on campus over the years, including the first-ever presidential “talk show” debate in 1984, co-moderated by television host Phil Donahue. Dartmouth also presented a 2008 Democratic presidential debate and a 2012 Republican presidential debate.
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View Rauner Library's 2016 exhibit, "Up for Grabs: Campaigning, Debating and the New Hampshire Primary", which explores the history of the primaries and campus activity surrounding them.