Concord (New Hampshire), Feb 9: The first primary of the 2016 US presidential election will be held on Tuesday in the state of New Hampshire.
Known as a 'semi-closed' primary, the New Hampshire election is run by the office of its secretary of state and not by the political parties. In a semi-closed primary, besides the registered members of the parties, independents can also cast their ballots. Any person registered as an undeclared in the New Hampshire can affiliate with a party at the polling booth and then vote in that primary.
These 'undecided' voters constitute the biggest bloc in New Hampshire and hence makes the primary all the more unpredictable. In this primary, a candidate is required to pay just $1,000 to the state's treasury and needs no party approval or petitions for placement on ballot.
About New Hampshire:
The state of New Hampshire is located in New England region of northeastern US and borders Canada's Quebec province to the north, Massachusetts to the south, Maine and the Atlantic Ocean to the east and Vermont to the west. The capital is Concord. It ranks 46 among 50 states of the US in terms of area and 41 in terms of population. The state is known as Granite State for its huge granite formations and quarries.
Facts to know about New Hampshire Primary 2016:
100 YEARS: The primary in New Hampshire will mark its 100th anniversary this year. A moment of pride indeed for the small state.
TIMING: Most polls are open from 7 am to 7 pm ET (5.30 pm to 5.30 am (Feb 10) IST). However, each town and city decides on its own hours. Most conduct the polling between 8 am and 7 pm (local time) with some starting as early as 6 am. The three small towns of Hart's Location (41 people), Millsfield (23) and Dixville (12) and can open their polls at midnight and close them moments after everyone has voted.
DELEGATES: Thirty-two delegates are in play on the Democratic camp, including eight "superdelegates" who are not affected by the primary's results. On the republican side, the number of delegates at stake is 23.
SMALL STATE BUT HIGH PARTICIPATION: The fact that New Hampshire is a small state (in size and population) with a local feel and one may feel this makes it easier for the candidates to get on with the ballot test but one also needs to keep in mind that New Hampshire is a state with a high voter turnout. The state's governor has the shortest tenure (two years) which means its people are accustomed to the practice of frequently turning out to vote. The small state with less people and even lesser media focus perhaps makes New Hampshire one of the last remaining centres where the democracy is more 'realistic'.
SECOND-HIGHEST PRIMARY TURNOUT IN 2012: According to the US Elections Project report, the New Hampshire primary saw the joint second-highest turnout (31.1%) with Montana while North Carolina with 31.5 per cent was the highest.
HIGH EXPECTATION THIS TIME: The turnout in the first-in-the-nation primary is expected to better the best this year. The Granite State's Secretary of State Bill Gardner has predicted a turnout of over 60 per cent (which will be a record) this year and more Republican turnout than Democrats which would .
NEW HAMPSHIRE'S SUCCESS RATE IN PICKING PRESIDENTS: Not really great. After Jimmy Carter in 1976, no Democrat who has won the New Hampshire primary has gone on to win the presidency. For the Republicans, George HW Bush was the last president who had won this primary (in 1988).
PRESIDENT WHO WON MOST NUMBER OF NEW HAMPSHIRE PRIMARIES: Richard Nixon (three)