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.
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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.
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.