While Americans slept restlessly awaiting election day, Republican Donald Trump took an early lead in midnight voting in New Hampshire.
The overnight polls in rural New Hampshire got a jump on the nation due to state laws. Trump jumped to a 32-25 lead in the three towns with less than 100 people in each.
It was a positive way for the GOP candidate to start a long election day awaiting voting results.
In Dixville Notch, Hillary Clinton beat Donald Trump 4-2. Libertarian Gary Johnson received one vote, and the 2012 Republican candidate, Mitt Romney received a surprise write-in ballot. In the slightly larger burg of Hart’s Location, Clinton won with 17 votes to Trump’s 14. Johnson got three votes, while write-ins Bernie Sanders and John Kasich each got one. And in Millsfield, Trump won decisively, 16-4, with one write-in for Bernie Sanders.
So, in the three New Hampshire towns with midnight voting, Trump came out ahead 32-25.
New Hampshire law allows communities with less than 100 voters to open polls at midnight before election day and close when all registered voters have tallied their ballots. It’s a tradition dating back decades.
The best known of these three towns, Dixville Notch, has been voting at midnight every election since 1960. Neil Tillotson, the former owner of the Balsams Grant Resort Hotel, which closed in 2011, started midnight voting in Dixville in 1960 to stir up publicity for the resort. Almost all of the Dixville voters are employees of the resort.
Trump supporters shouldn’t take much from these early numbers except that Trump can win against Democrats where others haven’t. Almost all the midnight voting communities favored then candidate Barak Obama in each of his presidential tilts.
Trump has an early positive outcome on the East Coast. If it holds for all of New Hampshire Trump may have a better path to victory.