The people of New Hampshire are headed to the polls for their 2016 primary election Tuesday. Here’s what you need to know.
The New Hampshire primary is semi-closed, meaning that voters registered as Democrats can only vote for Democrats and voters registered as Republicans can only vote for Republicans. Independent voters may vote, but they must pick to either vote in the Democratic or Republican primary; an independent voter cannot vote in both. People in New Hampshire may register to vote on the day of the election.
Voters in New Hampshire are required to show photo identification at the polls.
Hours of operation vary by polling location, but generally the polls are open from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m.
24 pledged and eight unpledged delegates are up for grabs in the democratic election. Pledged delegates are bound to reflect the outcomes of the race based on the proportion of votes each candidate receives in the state at the Democratic National Convention; unpledged delegates may support any candidate they wish.
One candidate, Martin O’Malley, has dropped out of the Democratic race since last week’s Iowa caucus.
Clinton currently leads the Democratic race with 23 delegates*. The former U.S. Secretary of State is still regarded as the favorite in the overall Democratic race but is viewed as an underdog in New Hampshire. On Sunday, she left New Hampshire to visit Flint, Mich. Some observers have interpreted this move as an acknowledgement that Bernie Sanders will win New Hampshire and an attempt to strengthen her campaign in other states.
Sanders is currently second in the Democratic race with 21 delegates. The U.S. Senator from Vermont will look to get a boost from a near-home state advantage in New Hampshire. Sanders should also benefit from the fact that New Hampshire is one of the whitest states in the nation; this should mask his struggle to connect with minority voters. According to FiveThirtyEight’s latest forecast, Sanders has a 99 percent chance of winning New Hampshire.
20 pledged and three unpledged delegates are up for grabs in the Republican election. Like the Democratic race, the pledged candidates are bound to reflect the outcomes of New Hampshire based on the proportion of votes each candidate receives in the state at the Republican National Convention; unpledged delegates may support any candidate they wish.
Three candidates — Rand Paul, Rick Santorum and Mike Huckabee — have dropped out of the Republican race since last week’s Iowa caucus.
Cruz currently leads the GOP race with eight delegates. The Texas senator is coming off of a win in the Iowa caucus, but he will have a hard time finding similar success in New Hampshire. In Iowa, Cruz did well to carry voters who identified as “very conservative.” Voters in New Hampshire tend to identify more as independent.
Trump is currently tied for second in the GOP race with seven delegates. The real estate mogul has consistently registered a double-digit lead in New Hampshire polls over the past few months. FiveThirtyEight’s latest forecast gives Trump a 70 percent chance to win New Hampshire.
Rubio is currently tied for second in the GOP race with seven delegates. The Florida senator appears to be the favored candidate of establishment Republicans at this point; he’ll look to build on the momentum he picked up in Iowa after a strong third-place finish. Rubio has stumbled recently, however, after a lackluster performance in the final Republican debate before the New Hampshire primary. He has since become a target for Chris Christie and John Kasich, two candidates looking to chip into Rubio’s establishment voter base.
Carson is currently fourth in the GOP race with three delegates. The retired neurosurgeon relies on strong support from evangelical voters. He finished fourth in Iowa but will likely face a tougher time in New Hampshire, a state with a smaller evangelical base.
Bush is currently tied for fifth in the GOP race with one delegate. The former governor of Florida has struggled to maintain momentum in his campaign. His troubles were displayed almost poetically at a speech in Hanover, N.H., when he asked the audience to “please clap.”
Fiorina is currently tied for fifth in the GOP race with one delegate. The former CEO of Hewlett-Packard was left out of the latest Republican debate and is not expected to poll well in New Hampshire.
Kasich is currently tied for fifth in the GOP race with one delegate. The governor of Ohio has run a campaign presenting, arguably, the most moderate platform of all the Republicans. He is expected to do well in New Hampshire in large part because of his moderate stances.
Christie is currently tied for eighth in the GOP race with no delegates. The governor of New Jersey has surged a little following a strong performance at the last Republican debate and a strategy to win over the voters that make up Rubio’s base. Christie recently picked up an endorsement from Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker.
Gilmore is currently tied for eighth in the GOP race with no delegates. The former governor of Virginia received twelve votes in the Iowa caucus.
*These delegates numbers used to order the candidates reflect the amount of pledged delegates each candidate has won and do not include unpledged or superdelegate estimates as these are not committed and can change at anytime before a party’s convention.