New Hampshire has an oddity buried in its elections rules: Towns with fewer than 100 people can start voting at midnight on November 8 and then close again when everyone leaves to presumably go to bed. Shortly after midnight, people in New Hampshire did, indeed, begin voting.
Guess who’s winning the earliest returns of the 2016 general election?
Before Trump supporters get excited (and Hillary Clinton supporters pass out), though, the write-ins were also interesting, and the tally quite small. The overall vote totals from the three towns:
Yes, you read that right. According to USA Today, as of 3 a.m. Eastern Standard Time, Donald Trump was winning the 2016 presidential election.
By 7 votes.
Obviously, the ridiculously small returns don’t mean anything when it comes to predicting the election, even though New Hampshire is an important battleground state for both candidates because polls there are in a dead heat.
Or do they tell us something? Maybe they do, in a small way, when you consider the write-in votes. Despite the small sample, it’s interesting that Bernie Sanders picked up votes on the Democratic side, and Mitt Romney and John Kasich picked up votes on the Republican side.
Of course, they kind of cancelled each other out. When more people vote, it will matter whether dissatisfaction with the candidates causes their bases to erode at the ballot box. Is Never Trumpism determinative? Are there more people still Feeling the Bern?
Time will tell.
As a further predictor of what’s to come November 8: Some people were already claiming media bias. Seriously.
This guy had a retort:
According to USA Today, the towns that voted are Dixville Notch, Hart’s Location, and Millsfield.
The returns are:
Dixville Notch: Clinton 4, Trump 2, Gary Johnson 1, Mitt Romney (write-in)
Hart’s Location general election: Clinton 17, Trump 14, Johnson 3, Bernie Sanders (write-in), John Kasich (write-in)
Millsfield general election, Trump 16, Clinton 4, Bernie Sanders (write-in)
(In contrast, Cruz prevailed in the Millsfield GOP primary, and Hart’s Location gave most votes to Kasich (while splitting them among other candidates). Bernie won the primary in Hart’s Location and Clinton won in Millfield (2-1), according to NPR. Doesn’t sound like a very liberal place.)
NPR said that Dixville Notch’s primary predictive powers are much heralded, noting that the town “has the distinction of correctly predicting the eventual Republican nominee in every election since 1968.” Until this year – because the town went for John Kasich in the primary.
Kasich and Sanders won the primaries in Dixville Notch – sounds like someone couldn’t stand to switch allegiance.
Overall, in the GOP primary, Trump, Kasich and Cruz tied, and Sanders defeated Clinton, said NPR.
Others spotted patterns in the returns.
CNN said there were almost as many reporters in Dixville Notch as voters.