As the bell tolled midnight earlier this morning in Dixville Notch, a tiny hamlet in the picturesque valley between Dixville Peak and Sanguinary Mountain, the first 17 votes of the 2008 Presidential Election were cast in New Hampshire’s First-In-The-Nation Presidential Primary. These first 17 voters cast their ballots from the confines of the quaint ballroom of the very famous Balsams Grand Resort Hotel, known for its skiing, golfing, and its hosting of the casting of the first ballots every four years in Presidential Elections.
Less than 15 minutes after midnight the following 2008 Presidential Primary results were made official by election officers in Dixville Notch:
Republican Primary Democratic Primary
Senator John McCain – 4 votes Senator Barack Obama -7 votes
Governor Mitt Romney – 2 votes Senator John Edwards – 2 votes
Mayor Rudy Giuliani – 1 vote Governor Bill Richardson – 1 vote
No that isn’t a misprint – Senator Hillary Clinton failed to receive a single vote in Dixville Notch and is tied with Congressman Dennis Kucinich with zero votes after the first New Hampshire votes were tallied.
The question on the minds of candidates, pollsters, pundits, and voters this morning is how representative of the state of New Hampshire are the voters of Dixville Notch? Later this evening we should get a better idea of just which campaigns will “Live Free” and which might “Die” as they leave the Granite State.
On the Democratic side a win by Obama is sure to leave the Clinton campaign in a tailspin that might be impossible to pull out of. Can Edwards generate a showing in New Hampshire that will allow him to see another day? If Clinton can pull off a victory, which now seems unlikely, how does that impact the race heading into Super Tuesday?
On the Republican side a loss by either McCain or Romney leaves a lot of questions as to the viability of their campaigns in the days and weeks to come. A win probably catapults them into the frontrunner status and for Romney probably means a win in Michigan. How important is it for Huckabee to finish no lower than a strong third if he hopes to keep his momentum heading into Michigan next week? Can Ron Paul beat out Giuliani in the fight for fourth? Does Thompson become irrelevant if he barely registers or can he pull an upset and finish higher than sixth and take that momentum to South Carolina?
We’ll try to answer these questions and others as the day progresses and the results start coming in. I’ll post updates throughout the day as news, buzz, and scoop comes in. If you have any questions or hear anything interesting today, please add it below!