Voting has started in the New Hampshire primary as Democrats get one step closer to a nominee




  • In Politics
  • 2020-02-11 14:45:33Z
  • By USA TODAY
Voting has started in the New Hampshire primary as Democrats get one step closer to a nominee
Voting has started in the New Hampshire primary as Democrats get one step closer to a nominee  

Check back for updates throughout the day ahead of the New Hampshire primary.

WASHINGTON - The first votes in the first-in-the-nation primary were cast just after midnight in three small New Hampshire towns on Tuesday.

In Dixville Notch, where midnight voting became a tradition in 1960, the town's remaining five residents delivered a surprise victory for former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg with three write-in votes (one from a registered Republican). The town's other two votes were split by Sen. Bernie Sanders and former South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg.

In the nearby town of Millsfield, WMUR reported that most of the residents cast their ballots in the Republican primary, with 16 voting for the incumbent, President Donald Trump, and one for former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld. Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota received two votes, doubling the totals of Buttigieg, Sanders and former Vice President Joe Biden, who got one vote each.

'I'll probably take a hit here': Biden faces big test in New Hampshire, where he's struggling in polls

Klobuchar also dominated in the town of Hart's Location with six votes, while Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts got four, entrepreneur Andrew Yang three and Sanders two. Biden, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii and billionaire Tom Steyer each got one vote, according to the town's website. On the Republican side, Trump got 15 votes while Weld got four and self-described "states' rights maniac" Mary Maxwell got one.

According to New Hampshire law, the polls in those three towns can close as soon as every registered resident has voted. The website for Hart's Landing boasted that the polls there opened at midnight and closed at 12:04 a.m., with the results posted by 12:33.

"We're off to a great start in New Hampshire today!" Klobuchar tweeted, touting her success in the small sample from the midnight votes.

- William Cummings

What to know about today's New Hampshire primary

New Hampshire's first-in-the-nation primaries are finally upon us - just eight days after chaos surrounding the release of Iowa's Democratic caucus results.

The primaries began at midnight - a tradition in the township of Dixville Notch - and will stay open in most places until 7 p.m. ET.

On the Democratic side, Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont heads into Tuesday's primary as a frontrunner after leading several recent state polls. The momentum follows his finish in the Iowa caucuses, were he earned the most raw vote support and was in the top two in state delegate equivalents.

'Stakes are incredibly high': New Hampshire voters feel the pressure as primary looms

Sanders also has a home-field advantage in New Hampshire: his home state of Vermont is a neighbor, and neighbors have fared well in previous Granite State primaries. Plus, he's won New Hampshire before. In 2016, Sanders took 60% of the vote in the Democratic primary, compared to his rival Hillary Clinton at 37%.

Former South Bend, Indiana, mayor Pete Buttigieg also heads into Tuesday with momentum from the Hawkeye State. He leads Iowa in state delegate equivalents (the marker traditionally used to declare a winner) and the party has stated he received the most national delegates, though no winner has officially been declared. He has shot to second place in several New Hampshire polls, and could pick up undecided voters, of which there are still many.

Sen. Elizabeth Warren, who finished third in Iowa and is from the neighboring state of Massachusetts, has fallen slightly in polling ahead of Tuesday. Once seen as a frontrunner in some early states, some recently polling has seen her fall out of the top 3. She will be looking for a surge of enthusiasm in New Hampshire.

More: Bernie Sanders takes lead for the first time in national Quinnipiac poll ahead of New Hampshire primary

Sen. Amy Klobuchar is seeing a late surge in the state, coming in at third in several of the most recent state polls. She also could benefit from the number undecided New Hampshire voters.

Former Vice President Joe Biden, however, has been lowering expectations in the state, after his fourth-place finish in Iowa. Biden on Friday during the Democratic primary debate in New Hampshire said, "I'll probably take a hit here." His campaign is pointing to the upcoming elections in Nevada and South Carolina, where he holds a lead in polling.

On the Republican side, President Donald Trump is expected to win handily over challenger former Gov. Bill Weld. Polling has show Trump with a substantial margin of support, and he overwhelming won the Iowa Republican caucus.

The New Hampshire primary is only the second voting contest in the election of a party nominee, but it holds an outsize influence: No Democrat since the 1970s has places lower than second in New Hampshire and become the nominee. In addition, those who finish at top in the state will likely benefit from media attention and fundraising before the Nevada caucuses and South Carolina primaries.

Check back for updates throughout the day.

This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: New Hampshire primary: Bernie Sanders, Pete Buttigieg hold polling ground

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