Headline English: N.H. Vote Seen as Gauge as Rivals Try to Slow Romney

In today’s post, I’ll look at a newspaper story from today’s New York Times, explaining what the words in the headline mean, and what the story is all about.

N.H. Vote Seen as Gauge as Rivals Try to Slow Romney

N.H. is an abbreviation for “New Hampshire,” a state located in the northeastern part of the U.S. New Hampshire is in the news today because there is an election there to help decide who the Republican candidate for president will be this year, the person who will try to defeat Barack Obama in our presidential election in November. (For an explanation of our presidential election system, see here.)

You probably know there are two main political groups or parties in the U.S.: the Democrats (generally more liberal) and the Republicans (typically more conservative). The Democratic candidate for the presidency in 2012 will be President Obama. The Republicans are choosing their candidate from among several people.  The person with the most popularity right now is the former businessman and governor of Massachusetts, Mitt Romney.

The New Hampshire vote (election) is seen as or is being interpreted as a gauge.  A gauge is a tool or instrument you use to measure something.  Here it means an indicator, a sign of something. The election is a sign of whether Romney’s rivals will be able to slow him down.  A rival is a person who is competing with you for some prize or in some competition, a person who wants to defeat you. To slow someone or to slow someone down means to make him go less fast. In this headline, “to slow Romney” means to prevent him from winning the Republican nomination (the right to represent the Republican party in the presidential election) too quickly, before any of his rivals have a chance to win it themselves.

If Romney wins the first several state elections for the Republican nomination (he won the first one last week in the state of Iowa), it is likely that he will be able to beat (defeat) all of his rivals and become the Republican candidate. Of course, getting the nomination is just the first step. To become president, Romney will have to defeat President Obama in the November election. Right now it is too early to tell (to know) if he will be able to do that.


Photo credit: Mitt Romeny, Wikipedia PD

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25 Responses to Headline English: N.H. Vote Seen as Gauge as Rivals Try to Slow Romney

  1. Peter says:

    Jeff nice article,
    When I read your stuff,it is easy. So ,how come ,I can’t write like you.
    I mean at the level you are instructing us u never use fancy words,I know you know like tons of fancy,sophisticated words.
    You know what, what I like about you is : you try to keep your writing at the level Ealpod calls for still your writing and lucy’s writing is smooth not to mention the floats and consistency.how do you do that.
    I read your stuff and say to myself “it is easy” then I go around pick a topic and write about it and it never turns out as yours.
    You one of my pipe dreams has always been to be a good English writer,to write a famouse novel.
    Ur writing style negates the theory that a verbose ,wordy piece is a good piece. No, reading your stuff ,I realized smother writing is the key.
    I always enjoy the way you talk and write.
    I mean I like Lucy’s and Warren’s
    But,yours ,you know what there is sth to it. I can not point finger to anything. But it is different , good different.
    Don’t gang on me folks
    I love lucy’s and Warren’s but Jeff writing sits very well.
    Thank Doc,
    I always enjoy listening and reading the genious of your words.
    You have a higher class of brain than me ,for sure.
    Jeff, the highest IQ ever recorded is 250 . Is it yours?
    Man ,you are sth,
    I respect you a lot ,man
    Indeed ,you are my guru

  2. Joe says:

    I told my wife I feel confused about the “New Hampshire” thing. After reading the article, I know what the whole thing about now.

    Thanks! Jeff

  3. tania says:

    Hi! Santorius is more charming. But he is still young.
    I am watching on TV the primary presidential election. Thank you for your clear explanation showing us the difference between the Democrats and the Republicans.
    Thank you.

  4. tania says:

    Hi! Thank you for the explanation of the phrase “I work for the City of Washington”.

  5. tania says:

    Hi! Interesting these words “compliment” and “complement” as I use the same words with the same meaning and in my language. For “complement” we say “complementar”.
    I cannot remember if you have told us about them but it is useful to repeat us.

  6. tania says:

    Hi! In the most modern country with the most advanced high.-tech. is Darwin species evolution controversial and today?
    Two days ago I read that a new link , a new human skeleton was discovered in the human evolution.

    In my country all is very simple. Everybody studies the Darwin species evolution at school.
    Only since 2000 we have studied the Religion at school but without no influence on our Biology classes.

    I have never heard about the Scopes Trial. Very, very interesting topic.

    Thank you.

    All the best to you all,


  7. sara says:

    Dear Jeff,thanks too much for it.to be honest,I have to confess that headlines are the most difficult part for me to understand.I don’t leave in the U.S, but I like Barack Obama too much and I hope he win the next election.I think he has had a great impact on improving U.S international perspective.

  8. emiliano says:

    Hi Jeff, happy new year.

    There is something that use to be the rule but I can´t understand properly if politicians would be honest “that would be an absolute ideal (Greek myth) chimera”.
    Why the person who is now in the power, Obama or Zapatero in his second legislature in Spain or Sarkozy in France and so forth, is always the candidate designed by their parties to repeat.
    Is it impossible to find another better man or woman to assume the charge?
    First legislature of Mr. Zapatero in Spain was enough sample of what this man was going to do if he would be elected, and he was for our disgrace.
    Now in France, EE.UU. or other countries it is happening the same.
    If Mr. President has been good for the country or his/her party that´s right but why is the reason to be the candidate to a second period if is there another better?. Is it always the best they have?.
    Is it too expensive to look for another one?. Is it the power of this man or woman so heavy
    that forbid to find or propose a better candidate?.

    Do you know Jeff some occasion in EE.UU. when the candidate has been a different person of the President that have been for his first mandate against his will of repeating a second turn?.
    It could have happen a lot of years before but in the last century?
    Of course, I don´t know but as long as I can remember it is always the same rule just to repeat the candidate who is in power for the second legislature.

    To me this is an absolute incredible mistake just to make credible that the person who is in power now is the best to repeat.
    No, thanks.
    Usually the big mistakes has been always with people who are repeating his/her second or third (in other countries) mandates.
    Bush, Gonzalez. Aznar, Zapatero, Berlusconi, Chirac, Mitterrand, Tony Blair, Angela Merkel she is going to do just the same…….and so forth.

    Well, to me it is something I would like to understand but may be the reason is that once we touch the big power it is like an impossible task to be voluntary separate from it.

    “The Lord of the Rings”……..one we have the “RING OF POWER” it is absolutely impossible to throw it off from us.
    The nice hobbit Frodo could not threw the Ring of Power to the fire being so good prepared to do this supreme act.
    As much Power people possess more difficult is to trow it out from them.
    Voluntary? Some time it is impossible, Libya, Cuba, Spain, Egypt, North Korea, Venezuela….and so on.

    Even in democracies the same rule, just impossible to have a different candidate for the second turn.
    ….what a pity.

    Be Happy.


  9. Betty says:

    Thank you very much indeed, Jeff, for once again explaining about elections in the U.S. to us.

    I am not interested in politics. But since Jeff wants us to learn about it, I should be patient and read his article. At least it is a way to learn English.

    I have learned the word “vulture” from the New York Times article. I should have seen this word before but I did not remember what it was until I looked up the dictionary again.

    I also followed Jeff’s link to read his article almost four years ago (Tuesday, February 5th, 2008). My goodness! It is nearly four years since Jeff you wrote the other article in the blog. Do you feel it was yesterday when you wrote that article?

    I bet President Obama enjoyed the election events four years ago more than today. He had nothing to lose four years ago. But now he must fight hard to keep his position.

    Thanks again, Jeff, but very sorry I am still not interested in politics. Politics is for boys, isn’t it?

    Betty 🙂

  10. Peter says:

    JANUARY 10TH, 2012 AT 9:14 PM
    Do you know what they say: if there were not clouds , we wouldn’t enjoy the sun(proverb)
    Never take Ealpod for granted.

  11. Peter says:

    I was a half-wotted ,jerk
    I am willing to take a moment here and strip Eslpod of the accusation I made a couple of posts back.
    Guys ,a couple of posts back I made one groundless comment in regards to eslpod don’t learn us Proverbs.
    Sorry for the allegation that I made
    I was totally wrong
    As I was reviewing some lessons in the Ealpod realm yesterday,I ran into some awfully common proverbs on Lucy scripts.
    I solemnly declare that I was fool proclaiming the accusation.
    Eslpod ,indeed ,teaching English language is your strong suit and it is very becoming.
    Lucy ,
    You are one stormy-ocean walker 🙂
    Hope we are cool ,Eslpod

  12. emiliano says:

    Hi Betty, how about this new year for us but not for you?
    What do you hope for the next Chinese new year?

    It seems so short period of time when we were talking about Obama hoping he could be
    the next democratic candidate and he had Mrs. Hilary Clinton as her opponent.
    Betty, Hilary is a woman, isn´t she?

    Here, in Madrid our City Mayor of the City is a woman for the first time in the story
    of the city.
    Ana Botella is her name, but also the President of the first community of Spain, Madrid
    of course, is a woman.
    Esperanza Aguirre is her name, and she has been reelected recently for a huge
    majority of madrileño´s votes.

    Think about that Betty, may be politic is a better place for women than for men.

    P.D. Madrid after being rule by a woman is the first community of Spain where the
    not employers are less and economy is going better than other lands of this country.

    My best dear Betty.


  13. Dan says:

    Hello to everyone.


    Have you heard that Republican candidate who speaks fluent Chinese?
    He’s Jon Huntsman. He was U.S. ambassador to Beijing.

    I would like to know from you, how good is he at speaking Chinese?
    Does he have a particular accent or what?

    You can find many video of him on Youtube

    Many thanks.

  14. Joe says:

    Hi Dan

    I tried to listen the Jon Huntsman’s speech when I saw your request to Betty.

    As a native Chinese, I surpose his Chinese is okay honestly. It’s very easy to distinguish him from native speaker. His pronounciation was not right sometimes. And it’s not so fluent in my view. If I hear his Chinese 10 years ago, I would say his Chinese is good as a Western. But, now I saw a lot of American, European and African in television who speak very very good Chinese. Their Mandarin are even better than mine.

    Conclusion: Jon Huntsan’s Chinese is not fluent. He has a definite accent which let me know it’s an English-fisrt fellow who speaks Chinese. But as a politician, his Chinese is good.

    Do I make sense? Dan.

  15. Nele says:

    Oh, I didn’t understand this headline first, puh.
    Jeff, you are realy a good translator. You give good explanations in a understandable english. Then it sounds so easy. Thanks!


  16. Betty says:

    Dear Emiliano

    Thank you for asking me about my wishes for the Chinese New Year which is on the 23rd of January this year. I wish for all the peace and harmony in everyone’s home, between all members in every family. I also wish for all the peace and harmony in the whole country of China. Finally, I wish for all the peace and harmony in the whole world.

    It is a very interest point that you have made. Yes, I know, Hilary is a woman in politics. However, she should be better than her husband (I mean cleverer) but he was the one who became a president last time. She probably worked much harder than Mr Obama, yet she lost to him in competing for the presidential post.

    Women have to be very extraordinary to be successful in politics. There are lots of sacrifices, truly “great” and yet it is very hard for them to win full support from all of their subordinates.

    As a successful and prominent politician, one has to travel a lot. It is natural for Mrs Obama to accompany Mr Obama to all the official state visits, but I doubt it that it will look nice if Mrs Obama were the President of U.S. and her husband Mr Obama has to follow her around.

    When Jeff posted his article “Super Tuesday” almost four years ago, the first comment was posted by our male contributor – Emiliano.

    I can tell Thomas is a boy’s name, but I cannot tell whether the other four names are boy’s names. I have a feeling that most of them are boy’s names.

    I am not sure if it is correct for me to say that it is Jeff rather than Lucy who talks more about politics in this website.

    Nice topic, politics are not too bad, after all.

    Best Regards

    Betty 🙂

  17. Betty says:

    Dear Dan

    I truly admire your attention to details.

    I want to listen to Jon Huntsman’s Chinese. But because I cannot understand Putonghua – the official Chinese speaking language in China, it will be fruitless for me to comment on his fluency in Chinese.

    Nevertheless, following your question, I googled: “Jon Huntsman, Chinese Speech”, and I found two very interesting articles.

    The first one is entitled “Is Jon Huntsman’s Chinese “fluency” wack or legit?”
    The second one is entitled “I Really Want You To Do My Vice-America President.”.

    I think you can find the answer to your question in these two articles.

    Good articles to read. Have fun reading them. 😉

    Thanks again for your question, Dan, you really have the mind to explore the world, I am very impressed.

    Best Regards

    Betty 🙂

  18. tania says:

    Hi! I think Darlene must go immediately to Las Vegas. For our fans of gadgets – see the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) from Las Vegas –
    with the newest and the most trendy gadgets.
    Very nice lesson “Rejecting Newer Technology”. Thank you.

  19. tania says:

    Hi! Reading on CES – I have a desire not a resolution in 2012: to have access at some gadgets displayed at CES in Las Vegas.
    Or, is it a lost cause? Maybe.
    Another desire would be to improve my English and understand the news on CNN channel. A lost cause? Who knows?

  20. tania says:

    Hi! In all countries around my country it is snowing and snowing. Unfortunately the snow avoids my country with obstinacy.
    A very terrible drought.

  21. tania says:

    Hi! The coming 2012 year of the water Dragon was celebrated and at the Chinese Embassy from my country.
    “The water Dragon has enough courage to face challenges and easily finds weak points that stand on his way to success.”
    I watched and the wonderful fireworks from China.


  22. emiliano says:

    Dear Betty,
    last year I told you there was a lot of chinese people living here in Madrid.
    In fact there are many families here in my own neighborhood and it is they
    are going to celebrate the new year in the capital centre on the 23rd of
    Of course you are right, usually it is a subject that likes more to talk
    by men than for women.
    It is just the same with soccer (football) or baseball.

    Since a short time Spain has a new government different from the
    other we have before.
    The vicepresident and right-hand of the president is a nice good
    looking woman with the age of my own daughter.
    By this reason a call her a girl and she looks like a little girl as she
    is absolute little and petite.
    Yes, she needs to have a brilliant, very brilliant mind, to be where
    she is now.
    In the other party, the socialist, now are fighting also a young woman
    and an old /like me/ man. I beg for the woman despite she is not
    as cute as the first vice-president I have former mentioned.

    I hope that all your wishes will turn to be true.
    The first who made a comment, a year ago, was emiliano?
    I can not believe you Betty, you are joking.

    As Tania said….HAPPY NEW YEAR TO ALL CHINESE PEOPLE and specially for
    our blog´s friends.

  23. emiliano says:

    Sorry, I miss a word……..”in my own neighborhood and it is (for sure) they
    are going to celebrate”

    Friends do not be so sure writing English or your own language…it is necessary
    to read the text after you have finished it, don´t do like me a lazy quite lazy and
    too fast man.

    Tania, we have not any rain.
    The mountains close near to Madrid have not any snow also, like yours….
    We need water for the fields and for the people.
    Please, rain comes soon.
    The sky is always blue but it is necessary some clouds for at least
    seven or eight days.
    Have a good nice snowy winter Tania, I know you like your mountains
    and forest so much….but be careful not to meet the one I told you
    years before when you are walking through the forest.


  24. YONGHO CHUN says:

    It seems very interesting to me..although Im not a US citizen.
    Actually, i have read the articles about Romney’s election in NH, and there were a lot of prediction going on whether he will win or lose.
    I guess Mr. Romney has gotten himself in trouble by saying some words that might upset voters, so there were a lot of thoughts among people that Romney probably obtain less votes regardless of the fact that he has been a huge favor of NH people. I’m not sure exactly which word that Romney spat out ticked some people off though…

  25. meme says:

    Hi Jeff,
    Nice topic, really it’s SO GOOD I like i it and I learned much expression that U explained…
    PETER…. I’m with U Doc Jeff a Brilliant in writing and when he want to show us the meaning of that expressin

    Doc Jeff U R my ROLL MODEL and I Learn many things from U …..

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