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Bernie Sanders, Pete Buttigieg hold polling ground

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

WASHINGTON – 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%.

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