Associated Press photo Having paid his $1,000 filing fee, Vermin Supreme, left, was one of 13 candidates who joined President Barack Obama on the Democratic primary ballot in New Hampshire.

A newscaster yesterday referred to former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney "and his five opponents."

But, as any New Hampshire voter who went to the polls yesterday knows, there were a lot more names — on both ballots.

In addition to being known for its first-in-the-nation primary status, the Granite State is famous for its low-entry threshold for would-be presidential nominees.

As Lyndon B. Johnson once said, anyone can run for president in New Hampshire. There's no requirement for a petition signed by registered voters, nor any need for a political resume. Anyone who's a U.S. citizen, at least 35 years old, and a registered Republican or Democrat can sign up — once they pay the $1,000 filing fee.

And plenty of people did this year.

That includes Democrat Vermin Supreme, a Rockport, Mass., resident known for wearing a wader on his head and promising ponies for all Americans. He didn't register in the voting results, nor did other Democratic candidates, including Craig "Tax Freeze" Freis of California, John Wolfe Jr. of Chattanooga or Ed Cowan of neighboring Vermont.

Romney, Ron Paul, Jon Huntsman, Newt Gingrich, Rick Santorum and Rick Perry grabbed the most headlines. They were joined earlier in the campaign season by Michele Bachmann and Herman Cain, Gary Johnson and Fred Karger.

Former Louisiana Gov. Buddy Roemer had a real presence in the New Hampshire Twitter world, but could never get invited to a debate.

But there were a whopping 30 names on the Republican ballot yesterday, including some pretty local contenders.

Jeff Lawman of Derry was there, as were Benjamin Linn of Milford and Joe Robinson of Newton, Mass.

But candidates with little national — or even regional — notoriety generally don't attract much attention in New Hampshire, during the campaign season nor from voters at the polls.

One notable exception might be Jimmy Carter. He campaigned hard in New Hampshire in advance of the 1976 primary, driving around the state in a car and introducing himself to voters who had never heard of him.

He was up against Sen. Morris Udall and Sen. Birch Bayh. Good old-fashioned campaigning and lots of it worked for Carter.

He won the New Hampshire Democratic presidential primary in 1976 with just 28.4 percent of the vote.

The rest, as they say, is history.

• • •

Join the discussion. To comment on stories and see what others are saying, log on to eagletribune.com.

Past N.H. primary winners


1952Dwight D, Eisenhower*Estes Kefauver

1956Dwight D. Eisenhower*Estes Kefauver

1960Richard M. Nixon*John F. Kennedy*

1964Henry Cabot LodgeLyndon Johnson*

1968Richard M. Nixon*Lyndon Johnson*

1972Richard M. Nixon*Edmund Muskie

1976Gerald R. Ford*Jimmy Carter*

1980Ronald Reagan*Jimmy Carter*

1984Ronald Reagan*Gary Hart

1988George Bush*Michael Dukakis*

1992George Bush*Paul E. Tsongas

1996Pat BuchananBill Clinton*

2000John McCainAl Gore*

2004George W. Bush*John Kerry*

2008John McCain*Hilary Rodham Clinton

*Candidate was eventual party nominee