New Hampshire holds first Primary
New Hampshire in the north-eastern corner of the United States holds the first primary of the presidential election season today (Iowa’s vote last week was a caucus).
The primary will decide on the balance of 12 delegates to go to the Republican National Convention in August. Any candidate getting more than 10% of the vote will get delegates depending upon their percentage of the vote.
The main candidates still in the running are Mitt Romney whose commanding lead of around 50% last year has slipped to around 35% in the most recent opinion poll. He is still way ahead of second placed Ron Paul who stand on 18% in the polls and John Huntsman who is on 16%. Huntsman has indicated that he has to do well in New Hampshire to stay in the race.
Newt Gingrich is on 12% and the second placed candidate in last week’s Iowa caucus, Rick Santorum, is on 11%.
Polling stations open at various time, but most are open between 7 a.m. and 8 p.m. local time. There are 231,611 Republican voters and 312,621 undeclared based upon statistics from 14th December.
Three of the last five winners of the New Hampshire Republican primary have gone on to win the Republican nomination.