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Primary Day In New Hampshire

January 8, 2008, 7:14 AM

Primary Day In New Hampshire
Hillary Rodham Clinton and Mitt Romney are trying to avoid back-to-back losses, and are turning the heat on the front-runners as primary day arrives in New Hampshire.

Both are trailing sitting senators, but their criticisms are hitting opposite ends of the spectrum. Clinton has been hammering Barack Obama's lack of experience, while Romney has been saying that John McCain is too experienced, too steeped in Washington.

Clinton's campaign had long been viewing New Hampshire as a reliable fallback in case she lost in Iowa, which she did. But caucus-winner Obama is surging in New Hampshire and Clinton's lead there has disappeared.

Obama has told supporters they're "the wave" and he's "riding it."

After first declining to make a prediction, Romney says he's convinced he's going to win today. He made the boast at a rally for his staff at campaign headquarters. He attributes the change of heart to 100,000 telephone calls made by his staff, and his performance in back-to-back nationally televised debates over the weekend.

McCain has said flatly that he's not going to lose. 

Residents of two tiny New Hampshire towns stayed up late to give Barack Obama and John McCain early victories in the first presidential primary of 2008.

Voters in the villages of Dixville Notch and Hart's Location cast the initial ballots just after midnight.

In Hart's Location, Democrat Obama received nine votes, Hillary Rodham Clinton received three and John Edwards received one. On the Republican side, McCain received six, Mike Huckabee received five, Ron Paul received four and Mitt Romney one.

In Dixville Notch, on the Republican side, McCain received four votes, Mitt Romney two and Rudy Giuliani one. On the Democratic side, Obama received seven votes, John Edwards two votes and Bill Richardson one vote. Hillary Clinton got none.

State law allows towns with fewer than 100 people to open at midnight and to close as soon as all registered voters have cast ballots.

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