January 7th, 2008
05:10 PM ET
14 years ago

Tiny New Hampshire town first to weigh in

The CNN Ticker

Dixville Notch is steeped in campaign lore.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - The outcome of the New Hampshire primary won't be clear until late Tuesday night, but the results in one tiny Granite State town will be known much sooner – just a few minutes after the stroke of midnight.

Dixville Notch, an isolated village located in New Hampshire's northeast corner, will begin voting at the stroke of 12 a.m. Tuesday. The ballots won’t take long to tally: according to the Boston Globe, Dixville Notch has just 17 registered voters this year - three Republicans, two Democrats, and 12 independent voters.

The town, home to around 75 residents, has opened its polls shortly after midnight each election day since 1960, drawing national media attention for being the first place in this first-in-the-nation primary state to make its presidential preferences known. (Although since 1996, another small New Hampshire town - Hart's Location – reinstated its practice from the 1940's and also opened its polls at midnight.)

But the result in Dixville Notch is hardly a reliable bellwether for statewide results. The town’s Democrats picked Wesley Clark in 2004, Bill Bradley in 2000, and Bill Clinton in 1992. (John Kerry, Al Gore, and Paul Tsongas were the actual statewide winners those years.) On the Republican side, Dixville voters backed George Bush in 2000 (actual winner: John McCain) and Bob Dole in 1996 (actual winner: Bob Dole).

CNN's Tom Foreman and the Election Express are headed up to Dixville and will report the results soon as they are known.

- CNN Ticker Producer Alexander Mooney

Filed under: New Hampshire
soundoff (119 Responses)
  1. erin

    i can't believe that a town of 75 only has 17 registered voters.
    there is no way that of those 75, only 17 are of legal voting age.
    what does that say of our country as a whole?
    people are worried about the canidates... what about the voters...what about all those people who can vote, but won't?

    it just seems to me the real story about that town is the unacceptable number of registered voters in it.

    people are always ready to blame the 18-25 age group for not voting.
    its not just the young people, this town is the perfect example of that.

    January 7, 2008 07:18 pm at 7:18 pm |
  2. Ian

    The power to motivate the young and historically disengaged voters of Iowa, not to mention the indepedent voters of that state clearly points Obama's power to inspire and motivate. The culture of fear that our current administration cultivates can be dissovled and replaced with moderate and rational thought of Barack. He was very, very effective state senator in Illionois and wrote and passed more bills than any legislator in Illinois history. He took his Havard law degree (can you say starting $200,000 salary at a big firm) and went to the South side of Chicago to work as a community organizer for 1/100th of the money. That is inspiring! That is the civic engagement! Hilary sat on Wal Mart's board of directors. Tell me who you want fighting for you?

    January 7, 2008 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  3. UnNorth

    Hillary? Her lack of ANY real experience, or for that matter, any accomplishments whatever, the great (and secret member) Health Care Debacle, billing records sought for years, but mysteriously appear at the very end of the investigation, ties to Sandy Berger our Security Head who has the gall to STEAL and ALTER or even DESTROY documents soudght by the 911 Commission. On the other hand, did her brother not reap financial rewards – or Mark Rich the felon – benefit from Clinton pardons? Oh yes,, Hillary, go for it . If IT is course in humility

    January 7, 2008 07:19 pm at 7:19 pm |
  4. Sandra Hadaway-Reaney

    If we do not elect Hillary as Presidet we are in a lot of trouble! She is the only person running who can get the job done. She can start to work on Day 1. That's very important. We do not need a president-in-training. We have 48 states in addition to Iowa and New Hampshire. Why do so many people want these two states to rule the rest of us? When my turn comes, I'll be voting for Hillary.

    January 7, 2008 07:20 pm at 7:20 pm |
  5. James B. Free

    The Rebublican vs. Democrat Soap Opera is on!! Watch the silver tongued butchers hack it up amongst each other. Stock up on your Pepto B and endure the blathering. Is there one honest politician amongst them. The only one who knows a lick about fixing anything is Paul ... the guy does have integrity too. It's too bad the rest are bought and paid for ... couldn't possibly think for themselves or voice the truth. God Save America!!!

    January 7, 2008 07:27 pm at 7:27 pm |
  6. ayz

    Forget the fact that the Clintons are old news and lets focus on Hilary as a candidate V Obama, in all the debate and especially the NBC N.H debate over the weekend Hilary does not eve come across as having half the pose and intellectual disposition as Obama.

    I am not voting for brand name, i am voting on who i think is bext qualified for the job and hands down, Obama wins.

    January 7, 2008 07:32 pm at 7:32 pm |
  7. Teresa, Kansas

    Seems like Hilary's '35 years of EXPERIENCE" would have taught her not to cry in front of camera's while running for president!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



    January 7, 2008 07:35 pm at 7:35 pm |
  8. Katie

    Vote for ron paul. He has my full support, even though I'm normally a democrat. Google him!

    January 7, 2008 07:41 pm at 7:41 pm |
  9. Sal Gaglio

    I think NH is a great place to start mainly because there are more independents than either Democrats or Republicans. Because of this non-partisan mix it is as close to a purple state as you'll get

    January 7, 2008 07:53 pm at 7:53 pm |
  10. Florida4Hillary

    I'm voting for Hillary, even though my vote "won't count," maybe overwhelming support for Hillary here will show Democrats who they need to put up to win this key swing state.

    Sorry Obamabots, but the guy just doesn't excite me. He's for "chaaaaange" and "hope"? WOW. Is that somehow supposed to be a "fresh" message? Last I checked, that's pretty much the message that all out-of-power-party candidates run on!

    It's incredibly sad that the Democratic electorate is going to pick its candidate on the same criteria they do "American Idol." We'll deserve every ounce of pounding we're going to take from the Republicans if we do!

    January 7, 2008 07:55 pm at 7:55 pm |
  11. jhon smith


    January 7, 2008 08:07 pm at 8:07 pm |
  12. Hans

    were bots because he doesnt excite you? harsh...and i didnt know paula abdul and simon chose the next president

    Hillary just plays off John's Passion and Barack's need for change in washington


    January 7, 2008 08:15 pm at 8:15 pm |
  13. Fran

    Be brave everyone. There are 48 other states to be heard from. Hillary will NOT win the election. She keeps talking about experience. What experience does she really have? I personally am not ready for a woman (particulary this woman). How many of you who are yelling for Hillary would stay married to Bill? Only if you are in politics. Let's hear from you in November.

    January 7, 2008 08:21 pm at 8:21 pm |
  14. reabeinmass

    It's obvious this site is being dominated by the Clinton "machine", and make no mistake about it, it is just that. I am a moderate Republican in Massachusetts, which essentially makes my vote meaningless in the general election, but given the choice between the two, I'd vote Obama in a NY minute.....

    January 7, 2008 08:26 pm at 8:26 pm |
  15. Flagstaffer

    If we really want this country to go in the RIGHT direction, I suggest you look at John McCain more favorably. He is the only candidate who understands issues on BOTH sides of the aisle.

    Thank You

    January 7, 2008 08:42 pm at 8:42 pm |
  16. Florida4Hillary

    The only thing that will "change" if Obama gets to Washington will be the song he's singing and the lowering of expectations once he gets there.

    We have no record he CAN get anything "changed" because he's been a senator for one term, most of that on the road, and something like 80%+ absent from voting. Stellar record, that. Something we can really get behind. He hasn't had enough time in the Washington machine.

    He WILL get chewed up and spit out. Haven't we had enough "training wheels presidents" with George Bush? Hope and Change will get you a good pretzel in Central Park. I need a candidate that has unmatched respect on the world stage (where a president's most important work is done), AND the experience to know "what will work" and "what will fail." Hillary has been through the wringer. Hillary is respected, well-liked, and friends with many of the leaders of the world. Hillary is my candidate. Barack is a smooth talking rock star.... big on flash, but where's the substance?

    He speaks well, is young, good looking (to some), and he makes good canned speeches. If his performance in stammering and stuttering during debates before spitting out a semi-baked, "hope and change" laden answers, however, this man is VERY wet behind those prominent ears! I will SERIOUSLY think about voting for an experienced "centrist" or "liberal" Republican before I vote for Obama.

    January 7, 2008 08:53 pm at 8:53 pm |
  17. Just can't do it

    I just can't vote for a person who may or may not have been brought up with the same lessons and morals as the people we are fighting across the ocean. I've got to stick with Hillary – she is tested, tried and true.

    January 7, 2008 09:14 pm at 9:14 pm |
  18. Tom Davie

    I really wanted Hillary to win this.

    However, as the media SPIN MACHINE HYPES Obama more and more, its going to become a landslide.


    I am going to vote republican. If you vote a guy in on HYPE with no real experience, then Democrats dont DESERVE a president.

    January 7, 2008 09:27 pm at 9:27 pm |
  19. Frank Rizzo

    I vote for Ron Paul is a vote to re-charge the America I love! Don't think for one second that an underdog can't win. It's attitudes like that hurts democracy!

    January 7, 2008 09:38 pm at 9:38 pm |
  20. MaryS

    Ron Paul has my vote. Give me back my Constitutional freedoms! I am sick of the government deciding what is in my best interest. I am perfectly capable of determining what I chose to eat, drink, drive, watch, attend etc... and really don't need a government "sin" tax, regulation or mandate to protect me. Government employment grows while the national economy suffers. It takes vast numbers of government employees to enforce an ever growing number of government rules and regulations. Has anyone stopped to consider that when the government is waging a "war" on domestic issues like drugs, gun violence, and poverty, that the government is waging a war against its own citizens? It is time to stop supporting this dangerous self perpetuating government growth. Our Homeland Security measures scare me more than the threat of terrorist violence. Ron Paul is the only candidate who proposes significant changes that may result in a return to a less invasive more effective government.

    January 7, 2008 09:44 pm at 9:44 pm |
  21. Hyde Parker

    I've made my way to the bottom of this long column of hopes and rants. What strikes me is how many of you who have attacked Barack Obama verge on illiteracy in your comments. What kind of advertisement is that for your points of view?

    Sen. Obama has represented me since 1997, first in the Illinois Senate and now in the US Senate. [Note that Hillary, she of the great experience, has been in office since 2001.] I'm proud of my previous votes for him and will vote for him again on Feb 5 and Nov. 4. He is real.

    January 7, 2008 10:04 pm at 10:04 pm |
  22. nicole thomas

    Hill-a-ry! Hill-a-ry! Hill-a-ry! We can't afford to take chances with our country. She's a sure thing.

    January 7, 2008 10:13 pm at 10:13 pm |
  23. Deanna from New Jersey

    I am annoyed with the inconsistencies in our political process and these small states and town that believe they are more important than the majority by creating their unique process to gain undue media attention. Each uses a different tactic, caucus, no caucus, independents free to vote for either party in one state while not in others, midnight voting hours and my ultimate irritation, moving the primary date to increase a state’s influence over the general outcome. A small town like Dixville Notch with 17 registered voters should not receive any air-time, instead I watched media coverage implying the outcome of this small town’s primary is predictive Republican candidate.

    January 7, 2008 11:30 pm at 11:30 pm |
  24. John

    Hillary is the best hope for a Republican win. She is a polarizing figure. The Republicans would be out in droves to make sure she doesn't get in while a lot of Democrats would be apathetic. I'm personally hoping for a 3-way split so that Gore could be drafted at the Democratic convention, which means I would probably vote for Edwards in the primary, except that I live in Michigan where only Hillary is on the ballot, so I'll probably stay home instead.

    January 7, 2008 11:31 pm at 11:31 pm |
  25. Amy

    Hold on, the President wields the sword, not the pen. Congress wields the real pen. Watch who you are nominating! I say Hillary.

    January 8, 2008 12:00 am at 12:00 am |
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