New Hampshire Turnout ‘Huge,’ Breaking Democratic
Voting in New Hampshire is at unusually high levels and breaking 3-to-2 for Democrats, ABC News’ Karen Travers reports.
New Hampshire Deputy Secretary of State Dave Scanlan told ABC News that turnout among primary voters today is “absolutely huge” — and there are concerns about running out of ballots in towns like Portsmouth, Keene, Hudson and Pelham.
“Turnout is absolutely huge and towns are starting to get concerned that they may not have enough ballots,” Scanlan said. “We are working on those issues. Everything else seems to be going smoothly.”
Scanlan said that the Secretary of State’s office is sending additional ballots to Portsmouth and Keene (traditionally Democratic strongholds), Hudson (Republican leaning with significant numbers of independents) and Pelham (large number of independents).
According to Scanlan, the ballot strain seems to be on Democratic ballots, which suggests that the undeclared voters are breaking for the Democratic primary. New Hampshire Secretary of State William Gardner predicted that 90,000 undeclared voters would vote in the Democratic primary compared to 60,000 voting in the Republican primary.
Presumably, this is especially good news for Barack Obama, who one would expect would be the beneficiary of “new” voters. Conversely, it would seem bad for John McCain, who is expected to draw especially well among “independents.”
Whether the high Democratic turnout is an indication primarily of Obama’s lure or the excitement of finally having a truly competitive race won’t be known until we see the exit polls. I would have expected independents to swing towards the Republican contest, given that the polls show Obama winning comfortably while McCain and Romney are neck-and-neck.