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This one fact explains one of the fundamental elements of the American presidential election that enters a new phase now that we have entered a new year: The time between today and the first primary, here in New Hampshire, is the same number of days as last year’s entire Canadian federal election.

And now that the actual election year has begun, the stakes are higher, the passions are greater and the voters are hungrier for campaigning here in New Hampshire, where the primary will be held Feb. 11, and in Iowa, where the very different caucus procedures will be held Feb. 3.

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Indeed, for this week alone – a short campaign week, given that Wednesday is New Year’s Day and political activity will be curtailed – Democratic candidates will hold 39 political events in this state. In a four-hour period, both entrepreneur Andrew Yang and former vice-president Joe Biden scheduled separate events in the town of Exeter (population 14,306). Senator Cory Booker of New Jersey will be there Friday. And Mr. Biden, who has met with world leaders around the globe, nonetheless scheduled a session with voters in Peterborough (population 6,284), which is a veritable metropolis compared to Gorham (population 2,610), where Senator Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota scheduled a campaign stop at the community’s tiny town hall.

That does not count private events such as fundraisers and meetings with editorial boards of papers as small as The Conway Daily Sun, with a circulation about 5 per cent the size of the print reach of this newspaper. This week three candidates – perhaps four if Mr. Biden shows up, and the staff thinks he might – are visiting the office of the Sun, which has a newsroom of seven reporters and editors. No one was surprised four years ago when 10 candidates, including former secretary of state Hillary Clinton, turned up on the second floor of the paper’s Seavey Street offices.

In the next six weeks – a period long enough for Canadians to discover that Prime Minister Justin Trudeau had appeared in brownface and blackface, that Andrew Scheer would not raise the issue of abortion and that Jagmeet Singh had surprising appeal – several vital aspects of the U.S. presidential campaign will be clarified.

By the morning after the Iowa caucuses – conducted on a Monday night in church basements, school libraries and community halls – often on one of the coldest, most forbidding nights of the year – the field of 15 remaining Democratic candidates surely will shrink. Fewer than a dozen of them likely will decamp here in New Hampshire, where the winner in Iowa – perhaps the current leader, Mayor Pete Buttigieg of South Bend, Ind., or the next most-popular figures, Mr. Biden and Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont – will face new challenges.

That is because the Iowa winner almost never triumphs here in New Hampshire. (The only modern exceptions in years in which there was no incumbent running for re-election in their party were the Democrats, then vice-president Al Gore in 2000 and Senator John F. Kerry of Massachusetts in 2004.) Senator Ted Cruz of Texas won the GOP caucuses four years ago and Ms. Clinton prevailed in the Democratic race, but Donald Trump won among Republicans here eight days later while Mr. Sanders won the Democratic primary.

But by the end of the primary in a state with only 0.41 per cent of the country’s population, several questions will have been answered:

Will the Democrats winnow their field to a manageable number of candidates, such as five? (Probably, or else they face a messy spring and perhaps a brokered convention in the summer to select the eventual nominee.)

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What will the choices made by New Hampshire’s Independent voters, who comprise 42 per cent of the New Hampshire electorate and thus are the biggest voting group, say about the prospects of Mr. Trump? (The state’s rules allowing Independents to vote in the Democratic primary present an interesting test.)

What is the effect of the impeachment and perhaps the Senate trial of Mr. Trump on his re-election campaign? (His camp believes impeachment is a boon to him, and if his trial comes while Democrats are campaigning here, he will prove his disruptive power such as by distracting voters and – perhaps overlooked – by forcing six of the candidates who are members of the Senate to remain in Washington six days a week, depriving them of valuable campaign time.)

How important is money in the battle for the White House, an essential question for wealthy candidates such as Mr. Yang, entrepreneur Tom Steyer and former mayor Michael Bloomberg of New York, all financing their own efforts? (The campaigning will come while, in mid January, the country marks the 10th anniversary of the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in the Citizens United case essentially affirming unlimited outside campaign spending.)

These questions beckon. They may be answered by the second week in February. Only one thing is apparent now: The eighth smallest state in the country continues to have outsized power in the battle for political power in the United States.

Editor’s note: An earlier version of this article incorrectly said Andrew Yang is a billionaire.

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