Hundreds of thousands of New Hampshire voters are expected to flock to the polls today. Secretary of State William M. Gardner predicts that 282,000 Republican ballots will be cast, along with 268,000 Democratic votes. There are also over 389,000 Independent voters who can vote in either primary (via CBS Boston):
New Hampshire Secretary of State Bill Gardner said he never expected to see anything like the 2008 voter turnout for the state’s first-in-the-nation primary for a long time–but this year, he says, there may be even more activity.
“I expect that we’ll exceed 500,000,” Gardner told WBZ NewsRadio 1030. “I think we’ll get up into even 550,000.”
Independent voters, officially known as “undeclared,” make up 44 percent of registered voters. They can vote in either primary, making them a key group on Tuesday.
Besides Independent voters, USA Today also mentioned that out-of-state college students could declare residency in New Hampshire, which should boost Sen. Bernie Sanders’ (D-VT) numbers, given that young voters are overwhelmingly backing him in this primary.
The publication added that there would be something of a “political earthquake” if either Sanders or Trump should lose. The chances of that, albeit very slim, is more on the Republican side, though that still doesn’t mean that people will be watching who will be the runner-up in the GOP contest. The historic high turnout could also help the anti-establishment wings of both parties, and if Christie, Fiorina, Carson, Kasich, and Bush do poorly tonight, they should all consider doing something else than running for president.