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"The West Wing" Hartsfield's Landing (TV Episode 2002) Poster

(TV Series)

(2002)

Trivia

The fictional town in the episode is based on Dixville Notch, an unincorporated small village in the Dixville township of Coos County, New Hampshire, USA. Dixville Notch is best known in connection with its longstanding middle-of-the-night vote in the U.S. Presidential Election, including during the New Hampshire primary. Since 1960, voters cast their ballots at midnight and polls officially close one minute later. Ever since 1968, the candidate who comes out on top in Republican Primary has been the eventual Republican nominee for President. Twenty-six voters took part in the 2004 elections.
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While Josh is giving Donna instructions for how to convince the Flenders to vote for Bartlet, Donna walks by her desk and behind her is a map of the world. This appears to be a Peters projection map, mentioned during "Big Block of Cheese Day" in The West Wing: Somebody's Going to Emergency, Somebody's Going to Jail (2001).
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In the scene with Toby (Richard Schiff) and the President (Martin Sheen) playing chess in the Oval Office. Toby opens with 1. e4, while 1. e4 could be part of many chess openings, the Evans Gambit is a real opening and is actually played out by the two actors in this scene.
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The story line involving Hartsfield's Landing is misplaced in the timeline. It is supposed to be the first primary, but everything in the storyline indicates the November election.
  • First of all, there is no democratic primary because the President has the nomination already. Therefore, the only primary is the Republican primary, in which only registered republicans can vote. So, when Josh (Bradley Whitford) says that news channels will have nothing but Hartsfield's Landing to report for hours and he wants them to be reporting that 'we won' - he cannot possibly be talking about the primary that should be occuring.
  • Toby (Richard Schiff) and President Barlet (Martin Sheen) predict that Richie will be the republican candidate, but it is not yet certain because the primaries are still going on. Yet, the Fletchers are going to vote for Richie as opposed to the President, not as opposed to other republican candidates. In addition, it is implied that they are democrats because they have supported the President in the past, so it is unlikely that they are registered republican. Thus, they should not be voting in this election at all and Donna (Janel Moloney) should not have to stand out in the cold at night. She has a few months before the Fletchers will be voting for a President.
  • CJ (Allison Janney) gives the number of total voters in the town and says that they will all cast their ballot at 12:01. Incorrect; as stated above, only registered republicans will be voting. If the town has accurately predicted the next president in every election, it cannot be all republicans.
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Toby (Richard Schiff) refers to the King of Sweden as "King Gustav", which is wrong. His full name is Karl XVI Gustav, and would be properly referred to as "King Karl" - or, even more proper, "King Karl Gustav", since that is his name.
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The vote taking place at Hartsfield's Landing is ambiguous. Chronologically, the episode occurs during the primaries and not on the day of the general election. Yet Donna (Janel Moloney)'s conversations indicate that the voters are choosing between a Republican and the President as if they were voting in the general election. This could be because in New Hampshire, as of the episode's release date, those not registered with any party are free to vote in any party's primary election.
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"Previously on the West Wing" spoken by Leo (John Spencer).
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New Hampshire does allow voters to switch party affiliation on voting day, and undeclared voters can vote in either party's primary. So while the primaries are separate--there's no overall winner--voters like the Flenders could indeed vote in the Republican primary if they so desired. It should also be noted that sitting presidents can still receive votes in the primary even though the nomination is assured. Finally, it is possible that the media would report on the candidate receiving the most votes, even though that candidate was really only competing against other potential nominees in his or her own party.
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Some DVD versions misspell the episode name as "HEARTSFIELD'S LANDING" on the insert.
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The community of Hartsfield's Landing is the fictional equivalent of Dixville Notch, a small town in New Hampshire that always casts the first votes in a presidential election.
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In one scene near the end, President Bartlet (Martin Sheen) predicts that Sam (Rob Lowe) would run for President. Years later, Rob Lowe would go on to play President John F. Kennedy, a real life President that Martin Sheen previously portrayed in the 80s.
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As Josh (Bradley Whitford) is telling Donna (Janel Moloney) what to reply to the Flenders to convince them of voting for Bartlet (Martin Sheen), a map of the world can be seen taped to her partition in the bullpen. It is a Peters projection, about which CJ (Allison Janney) got briefed by the Organization of Cartographers for Social Equality during a "Big Block of Cheese Day" in The West Wing: Somebody's Going to Emergency, Somebody's Going to Jail (2001).
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In this episode while Sam and the President play chess, the President tells Sam he will run for President someday. Rob Lowe will go on to play President. Kennedy in the TV movie Killing Kennedy.
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