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New Hampshire primary, 2008

New Hampshire primary, 2008

Overview
The New Hampshire primary of 2008 was held on January 8, 2008 to determine the allocation of New Hampshire
New Hampshire
New Hampshire is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States of America. The state was named after the southern English county of Hampshire. It is bordered by Massachusetts to the south, Vermont to the west, Maine and the Atlantic Ocean to the east, and the Canadian...

's delegate
Delegate
A delegate is a person who speaks or acts on behalf of an organization at a meeting or conference between organizations of the same level A delegate is a person who speaks or acts on behalf of an organization (e.g., a government, a charity, an NGO, or a trade union) at a meeting or conference...

s to the national presidential nominating conventions
United States presidential nominating convention
A United States presidential nominating convention is a political convention held every four years in the United States by most of the political parties who will be fielding nominees in the upcoming U.S. presidential election...

, to be held later in the year. As one of the first electoral events in the 2008 U.S. presidential election campaign
Political campaign
A political campaign is an organized effort which seeks to influence the decision making process within a specific group. In democracies, political campaigns often refer to electoral campaigns, wherein representatives are chosen or referendums are decided...

 (having been preceded by the Iowa caucuses), it provides an early indication of the likely party nominees for the United States presidential election of 2008
United States presidential election, 2008
The United States presidential election of 2008 was the 56th quadrennial presidential election. It was held on November 4, 2008. Democrat Barack Obama, then the junior United States Senator from Illinois, defeated Republican John McCain, the senior U.S. Senator from Arizona. Obama received 365...

.

Featuring contested races in both major parties, it drew a record 529,542 votes, breaking the previous record by more than 25 percent.

Following the 2004 presidential election, some elements in the Democratic Party
Democratic Party (United States)
The Democratic Party is one of two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Republican Party. The party's socially liberal and progressive platform is largely considered center-left in the U.S. political spectrum. The party has the lengthiest record of continuous...

 proposed new primary calendars that would end the New Hampshire primary
New Hampshire primary
The New Hampshire primary is the first in a series of nationwide political party primary elections held in the United States every four years , as part of the process of choosing the Democratic and Republican nominees for the presidential elections to be held the subsequent November.Although only a...

's first-in-the-nation status.
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Encyclopedia
The New Hampshire primary of 2008 was held on January 8, 2008 to determine the allocation of New Hampshire
New Hampshire
New Hampshire is a state in the New England region of the northeastern United States of America. The state was named after the southern English county of Hampshire. It is bordered by Massachusetts to the south, Vermont to the west, Maine and the Atlantic Ocean to the east, and the Canadian...

's delegate
Delegate
A delegate is a person who speaks or acts on behalf of an organization at a meeting or conference between organizations of the same level A delegate is a person who speaks or acts on behalf of an organization (e.g., a government, a charity, an NGO, or a trade union) at a meeting or conference...

s to the national presidential nominating conventions
United States presidential nominating convention
A United States presidential nominating convention is a political convention held every four years in the United States by most of the political parties who will be fielding nominees in the upcoming U.S. presidential election...

, to be held later in the year. As one of the first electoral events in the 2008 U.S. presidential election campaign
Political campaign
A political campaign is an organized effort which seeks to influence the decision making process within a specific group. In democracies, political campaigns often refer to electoral campaigns, wherein representatives are chosen or referendums are decided...

 (having been preceded by the Iowa caucuses), it provides an early indication of the likely party nominees for the United States presidential election of 2008
United States presidential election, 2008
The United States presidential election of 2008 was the 56th quadrennial presidential election. It was held on November 4, 2008. Democrat Barack Obama, then the junior United States Senator from Illinois, defeated Republican John McCain, the senior U.S. Senator from Arizona. Obama received 365...

.

Featuring contested races in both major parties, it drew a record 529,542 votes, breaking the previous record by more than 25 percent.

Scheduling


Following the 2004 presidential election, some elements in the Democratic Party
Democratic Party (United States)
The Democratic Party is one of two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Republican Party. The party's socially liberal and progressive platform is largely considered center-left in the U.S. political spectrum. The party has the lengthiest record of continuous...

 proposed new primary calendars that would end the New Hampshire primary
New Hampshire primary
The New Hampshire primary is the first in a series of nationwide political party primary elections held in the United States every four years , as part of the process of choosing the Democratic and Republican nominees for the presidential elections to be held the subsequent November.Although only a...

's first-in-the-nation status. The Commission on Presidential Nomination Timing and Scheduling issued a report at the end of 2005, recommending adding several caucuses ahead of New Hampshire's primary. The recommendations were approved by the full Democratic National Committee
Democratic National Committee
The Democratic National Committee is the principal organization governing the United States Democratic Party on a day to day basis. While it is responsible for overseeing the process of writing a platform every four years, the DNC's central focus is on campaign and political activity in support...

. However, New Hampshire state law requires the primary to take place seven days before any other "similar contest," which state officials have always interpreted to mean any contest other than Iowa's caucus. The Republican Party
Republican Party (United States)
The Republican Party is one of the two major contemporary political parties in the United States, along with the Democratic Party. Founded by anti-slavery expansion activists in 1854, it is often called the GOP . The party's platform generally reflects American conservatism in the U.S...

, meanwhile, has maintained its support of the current primary calendar. New Hampshire officials did not indicate they will force candidates who want to campaign in the state to follow New Hampshire rules and skip any primary that is "too close" in time. It is unlikely that a serious candidate could risk skipping New Hampshire with its vast media attention.

Despite many questions surrounding the 2008 primary calendar, New Hampshire still held the earliest primary on January 8, five days after the Iowa caucus
Iowa caucus
The Iowa caucuses are an electoral event in which residents of the U.S. state of Iowa meet in precinct caucuses in all of Iowa's 1784 precincts and elect delegates to the corresponding county conventions. There are 99 counties in Iowa and thus 99 conventions...

es. Michigan
Michigan
Michigan is a U.S. state located in the Great Lakes Region of the United States of America. The name Michigan is the French form of the Ojibwa word mishigamaa, meaning "large water" or "large lake"....

 held the following primary on January 15, seven days after New Hampshire's, with South Carolina
South Carolina
South Carolina is a state in the Deep South of the United States that borders Georgia to the south, North Carolina to the north, and the Atlantic Ocean to the east. Originally part of the Province of Carolina, the Province of South Carolina was one of the 13 colonies that declared independence...

 and Nevada
Nevada
Nevada is a state in the western, mountain west, and southwestern regions of the United States. With an area of and a population of about 2.7 million, it is the 7th-largest and 35th-most populous state. Over two-thirds of Nevada's people live in the Las Vegas metropolitan area, which contains its...

 following shortly afterward.

Process


New Hampshire uses a modified closed primary, where affiliated voters must vote their party's primary, but unaffiliated voters may choose to declare a party when signing in, and then fill out a card to revert back to undeclared before leaving. Failure to do so means that a voter has changed party affiliation. In addition, New Hampshire allows same day registration for new voters. Filing deadline for candidates was November 2, 2007.

Early voting


The two early voting districts, Dixville Notch
Dixville Notch, New Hampshire
Dixville Notch is an unincorporated village, with a population of approximately 75, in the Dixville township of Coos County, New Hampshire, USA. The town is known for being one of the first places to declare its results during United States presidential elections and the New Hampshire primary...

 and Hart's Location
Hart's Location, New Hampshire
Hart's Location is a town in Carroll County, New Hampshire, United States. Since 1948, the town has been one of the first places to declare its results for the New Hampshire Presidential primary and U.S. Presidential elections....

, opened their polls at midnight on election day. Polls closed shortly after when all registered voters had finished. These districts were the first in the nation to release their results.

Dixville Notch
Dem. primary:
(10 votes)
Rep. primary:
(7 votes)
Barack Obama
Barack Obama
Barack Hussein Obama II is the 44th and current President of the United States. He is the first African American to hold the office. Obama previously served as a United States Senator from Illinois, from January 2005 until he resigned following his victory in the 2008 presidential election.Born in...

 - 7
John McCain
John McCain
John Sidney McCain III is the senior United States Senator from Arizona. He was the Republican nominee for president in the 2008 United States election....

 - 4
John Edwards
John Edwards
Johnny Reid "John" Edwards is an American politician, who served as a U.S. Senator from North Carolina. He was the Democratic nominee for Vice President in 2004, and was a candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2004 and 2008.He defeated incumbent Republican Lauch Faircloth in...

 - 2
Mitt Romney
Mitt Romney
Willard Mitt Romney is an American businessman and politician. He was the 70th Governor of Massachusetts from 2003 to 2007 and is a candidate for the 2012 Republican Party presidential nomination.The son of George W...

 - 2
Bill Richardson - 1 Rudy Giuliani
Rudy Giuliani
Rudolph William Louis "Rudy" Giuliani KBE is an American lawyer, businessman, and politician from New York. He served as Mayor of New York City from 1994 to 2001....

 - 1


Hart's Location
Dem. primary:
(13 votes)
Rep. primary:
(16 votes)
Barack Obama
Barack Obama
Barack Hussein Obama II is the 44th and current President of the United States. He is the first African American to hold the office. Obama previously served as a United States Senator from Illinois, from January 2005 until he resigned following his victory in the 2008 presidential election.Born in...

 - 9
John McCain
John McCain
John Sidney McCain III is the senior United States Senator from Arizona. He was the Republican nominee for president in the 2008 United States election....

 - 6
Hillary Clinton - 3 Mike Huckabee
Mike Huckabee
Michael "Mike" Dale Huckabee is an American politician who served as the 44th Governor of Arkansas from 1996 to 2007. He was a candidate in the 2008 United States Republican presidential primaries, finishing second in delegate count and third in both popular vote and number of states won . He won...

 - 5
John Edwards
John Edwards
Johnny Reid "John" Edwards is an American politician, who served as a U.S. Senator from North Carolina. He was the Democratic nominee for Vice President in 2004, and was a candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2004 and 2008.He defeated incumbent Republican Lauch Faircloth in...

 - 1
Ron Paul
Ron Paul
Ronald Ernest "Ron" Paul is an American physician, author and United States Congressman who is seeking to be the Republican Party candidate in the 2012 presidential election. Paul represents Texas's 14th congressional district, which covers an area south and southwest of Houston that includes...

 - 4
Mitt Romney
Mitt Romney
Willard Mitt Romney is an American businessman and politician. He was the 70th Governor of Massachusetts from 2003 to 2007 and is a candidate for the 2012 Republican Party presidential nomination.The son of George W...

 - 1


All polls in New Hampshire closed on January 8, 2008 at 8:00 pm EST. Results are certified by the NH Secretary of State the day following the vote. The record turnout of 527,373 was unprecedented and many towns ran out of ballots. A total of 850,836 registered voters were reported - 26% Democratic, 30% Republican, and 44% Independent.

Republicans




Mitt Romney declared roughly 45 minutes after the polls closed at 8:00 pm EST that he won "another silver."

As of 11:28 am EDT on January 9, 99% of all precincts had reported. The votes were as follows:
  • John McCain
    John McCain
    John Sidney McCain III is the senior United States Senator from Arizona. He was the Republican nominee for president in the 2008 United States election....

     with 37% of the vote and an estimated 7 delegates;
  • Mitt Romney
    Mitt Romney
    Willard Mitt Romney is an American businessman and politician. He was the 70th Governor of Massachusetts from 2003 to 2007 and is a candidate for the 2012 Republican Party presidential nomination.The son of George W...

     with 31% of the vote and an estimated 4 delegates;
  • Mike Huckabee
    Mike Huckabee
    Michael "Mike" Dale Huckabee is an American politician who served as the 44th Governor of Arkansas from 1996 to 2007. He was a candidate in the 2008 United States Republican presidential primaries, finishing second in delegate count and third in both popular vote and number of states won . He won...

     with 11% of the vote and an estimated 1 delegates;
  • Rudy Giuliani
    Rudy Giuliani
    Rudolph William Louis "Rudy" Giuliani KBE is an American lawyer, businessman, and politician from New York. He served as Mayor of New York City from 1994 to 2001....

     with 9% of the vote and an estimated 0 delegates.
  • Ron Paul
    Ron Paul
    Ronald Ernest "Ron" Paul is an American physician, author and United States Congressman who is seeking to be the Republican Party candidate in the 2012 presidential election. Paul represents Texas's 14th congressional district, which covers an area south and southwest of Houston that includes...

     with 8% of the vote and an estimated 0 delegates.
  • Fred Thompson with 1% of the vote and an estimated 0 delegates.
  • Duncan Hunter
    Duncan Hunter
    Duncan Lee Hunter is an American politician. He was a Republican member of the House of Representatives from California's 52nd, 45th and 42nd districts from 1981 to 2009....

     with 1% of the vote and an estimated 0 delegates.

Democrats



As of 11:28 am EST, 99% of all precincts had reported. The votes were as follows:
  • Hillary Clinton with 39% of the vote and an estimated 9 delegates
  • Barack Obama
    Barack Obama
    Barack Hussein Obama II is the 44th and current President of the United States. He is the first African American to hold the office. Obama previously served as a United States Senator from Illinois, from January 2005 until he resigned following his victory in the 2008 presidential election.Born in...

     with 36% of the vote and an estimated 9 delegates
  • John Edwards
    John Edwards
    Johnny Reid "John" Edwards is an American politician, who served as a U.S. Senator from North Carolina. He was the Democratic nominee for Vice President in 2004, and was a candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2004 and 2008.He defeated incumbent Republican Lauch Faircloth in...

     with 17% of the vote and an estimated 4 delegates
  • Bill Richardson with 5% of the vote and an estimated 0 delegates

Recount


Because of concerns raised by Democratic candidate Dennis Kucinich
Dennis Kucinich
Dennis John Kucinich is the U.S. Representative for , serving since 1997. He was furthermore a candidate for the Democratic nomination for President of the United States in the 2004 and 2008 presidential elections....

 and Republican candidate Albert Howard
Albert Howard
Sir Albert Howard was an English botanist, an organic farming pioneer, and a principal figure in the early organic movement. He is considered by many in the English-speaking world as the father of modern organic agriculture....

, New Hampshire conducted a recount of Democratic ballots, starting January 16, 2008. The process was expected to take several weeks.

Kucinich asked for the recount due to "unexplained disparities between hand-counted ballots and machine-counted ballots."

The New Hampshire Department of State has made available recount results from Hillsborough county.

Discrepancy between pre-election polls and results


In a USA Today/Gallup poll taken on January 7, Obama had a 13 point lead over Clinton. In a CNN poll on the same day, Obama had a 9 point lead. Clinton's internal polling showed that Obama had an 11 point lead, whereas Obama's internal polling showed that he had a 14 point lead. Gary Langer, director of polling for ABC News
ABC News
ABC News is the news gathering and broadcasting division of American broadcast television network ABC, a subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company...

, claims that "It is simply unprecedented for so many polls to have been so wrong." Columnist Robert C. Koehler writes that "considering the notorious unreliability, not to mention hackability, of Diebold machines — the media might have hoisted a few red flags in the coverage." On January 9 Chris Matthews
Chris Matthews
Christopher John "Chris" Matthews is an American news anchor and political commentator, known for his nightly hour-long talk show, Hardball with Chris Matthews, which is televised on the American cable television channel MSNBC...

 said on Hardball
Hardball with Chris Matthews
Hardball with Chris Matthews is a talk show on MSNBC, broadcast weekdays at 5 and 7 PM hosted by Chris Matthews. It originally aired on now-defunct America's Talking and later CNBC. The current title was derived from a book Matthews wrote in 1988, Hardball: How Politics Is Played Told by One Who...

 that the MSNBC exit polls showed Obama 8 points ahead of Clinton. Early Fox News exit polls showed Obama 7 points ahead, but the final results had Clinton a winner by 2.25 points.

Professor Jon A. Krosnick of Stanford University shows that Clinton appeared before Obama in every ballot, rather than in random order. He estimates that this may constitute 3% of the difference between Obama and Clinton. Other possible explanations of the discrepancy include the emotional interview of Hillary Clinton the day before the primary (similar to the "Dean Scream"). Also, it could be that Independent voters, expecting an easy victory for Obama, instead switched to the Republican ballot and voted for McCain over Romney. The Associated Press
Associated Press
The Associated Press is an American news agency. The AP is a cooperative owned by its contributing newspapers, radio and television stations in the United States, which both contribute stories to the AP and use material written by its staff journalists...

 reported that "six in 10 independents opted for the Democratic contest and Obama led among them." Additionally, some pundits claim that the Bradley effect
Bradley effect
The Bradley effect, less commonly called the Wilder effect, is a theory proposed to explain observed discrepancies between voter opinion polls and election outcomes in some United States government elections where a white candidate and a non-white candidate run against each other...

 led to the unexpected turnout. However, it is unclear why it would affect New Hampshire but not Iowa
Iowa Democratic caucuses, 2008
The Iowa Democratic Presidential Caucus occurred on January 3, 2008, and was the state caucuses of the Iowa Democratic Party. It was the first election for the Democrats of the 2008 presidential election. Also referred to as "the First in the Nation Caucus," it was the first election of the primary...

, as Obama did several points better in Iowa than he did in the final polls. It is also unclear why the Bradley effect would affect precincts with machine counts and not those with hand counts. Some pundits have also argued that residents of the larger towns (which are the ones with voting machines) favored Clinton.

Discrepancy between hand-counted and Diebold votes


Several blogs have analyzed the votes by precinct, made available by Black Box Voting, The Boston Globe
The Boston Globe
The Boston Globe is an American daily newspaper based in Boston, Massachusetts. The Boston Globe has been owned by The New York Times Company since 1993...

, the New Hampshire Department of State, and The Politico
The Politico
The Politico is an American political journalism organization based in Arlington, Virginia, that distributes its content via television, the Internet, newspaper, and radio. Its coverage of Washington, D.C., includes the U.S. Congress, lobbying, media and the Presidency...

, and noted that Obama led Clinton in both rural and urban precincts that used hand counting, but Clinton led Obama in precincts that used machine counting. However, since few urban precincts use hand counting, which is generally done only in the smallest of towns, the samples are not evently weighted.