CONCORD, N.H. – The first votes in the “first-in-the-nation” primary have been cast by nine registered voters in Dixville Notch, New Hampshire.
Sen. Bernie Sanders received four votes, Ohio Gov. John Kasich got three, while Donald Trump pulled in two.
But the majority of the state’s population won’t start voting until later Tuesday morning, and many of them still don’t know who they will vote for.
“It probably won’t be until the very last minute when I’m in that voting booth,” said Saphaedra Miller, from Sanbornton, New Hampshire. “Actually deciding then and there.”
Yet, after nearly a week of the presidential hopefuls making their case to New Hampshire voters, Miller is like so many. It has been said that every one in five people in this state won’t decide on a candidate until they fill out their ballot.
“I’m a last minute, undecided voter,” said Nancy Malo, as she attended Chris Christie’s final town hall before primary Tuesday.
Malo explained how she was leaning towards Sen. Marco Rubio, but after the Republican debate on Saturday, she’s now leaning towards the New Jersey governor.
But even after Christie’s strong performance, he still trails in the polls. According to the latest 7 News Boston/UMASS Lowell poll, Christie is in fourth at 5 percent. Donald Trump has a significant lead, still in first among several polls.
Second and third places, as it stands, are very close. Rubio and Sen. Ted Cruz are tied in second at 13 percent, followed by former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and Ohio Gov. John Kasich at 10 percent. When you factor in the margin of error, the ranking of these four candidates is really a toss up.
That’s why the candidates spent all day giving it their all. From luncheons and town halls to meet and greets, every candidate was out shaking hands, taking pictures and answering last minute questions by voters.
Arguably, some need this state, while others are already looking forward to South Carolina and Super Tuesday.
Cruz is one of them. He came to New Hampshire with a lot of momentum off his win in Iowa. But his campaign staff is trying to get rid of high expectations explaining they have a strong team in the southern states.
On the Democratic side, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton falls behind Sen. Bernie Sanders in the polls in New Hampshire. That’s why, she, too, is looking forward to South Carolina. Her campaign staff noted a productive ground force in that state will lead to a good result for Clinton.
Still, they all must get past New Hampshire first.
“New Hampshire is very serious about its politics,” Malo said as she claimed she still wasn’t sold on voting for Christie. “We’ll push the candidates through the filter over and over again.”
And it’s clear that many will be filtering their decision up until it’s time to make one, throwing much of the speculation out, while making the rest of the nation wait until results start to roll in.