Washington— New Hampshire will host the first primary election of the season on Tuesday for the Republican and Democratic presidential nominees, though the Democratic battle may merely be for bragging rights. The Republican primary will test former President Donald Trump's front-runner status in a state he won easily in 2016 but has a more moderate electorate than the Iowa caucuses.
Former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley, who aspires to be Trump's top opponent, will also face a test. In Iowa, Ron DeSantis beat Haley for second place, stopped his candidacy Sunday and backed Trump. Trump has maintained a poll advantage, with former South Carolina governor Haley in the strongest position among his opponents.
President Joe Biden won't be on the Democratic primary ballot because it violates national party rules he campaigned for, but supporters have started a write-in campaign. The Biden campaign has not backed the write-in. The Democratic ballot will include Minnesota Rep. Dean Phillips and 2020 contender Marianne Williamson.
New Hampshire's presidential primaries are Tuesday. The last polls in the state shut at 8 p.m. ET, although most close at 7 and others at 7:30. In tiny Dixville Notch, with only a few people, polls open at midnight ET and conclude a few minutes later once all voters have voted.
Democratic and Republican presidential primaries will be covered by AP. DeSantis, Haley, and Trump will be among 24 Republican primary candidates. The ballot also lists abandoned candidates including Chris Christie, Asa Hutchinson, and Vivek Ramaswamy. Phillips and Williamson will be among 21 Democratic candidates on the ballot. The ballot won't include Biden.
Registered party members can only vote in their primary. Thus, registered Democrats can only vote in the Democratic primary and Republicans in the Republican primary. Independents can vote in any primary. New voters can register at a voting station on primary day, but registered voters have until October to alter party allegiance. Seventeen-year-olds who will be 18 by November can vote in the primary.
Republican delegates in New Hampshire will be determined by statewide primary results. Candidates earn delegates in proportion to their statewide vote, but they must receive at least 10%. Statewide winners receive unallocated delegates. Some states assign Republican delegates by congressional district, but not New Hampshire.
The Democratic National Committee, which oversees nominations, said primary results will not determine delegates for Democrats.