With one day before the New Hampshire primary, each party’s front-runner has a large lead in all the polls. But there’s also a sense on the ground that anything can happen.
While that may sound like a cop-out, especially in the famously unpredictable New Hampshire primary, there will be clues that show us which way the race is headed tomorrow. Here is what to watch in the final hours:
1. Young female Democratic primary voters
Former US secretary of state Hillary Clinton still has a lead over US Senator Bernie Sanders among women. But Sanders has a lead over Clinton among younger voters.
The battleground appears to be young women, especially on the Seacoast. It’s not an accident that both Clinton and Sanders have have major events there in the closing days. If Clinton is able to make inroads on the Seacoast, she could begin to close the gap.
2. Young Democratic primary voters in western New Hampshire
The key for Sanders is to run up the score in the western part of the state along the border with Vermont — especially among younger voters there. Sanders has put in time campaigning in this part of the state, while Clinton has focused more on the eastern part of the state.
3. Who (in both parties) will win Rochester?
The blue-collar city is ideologically diverse and often a bellwether area in recent New Hampshire elections.
Both Sanders and Clinton have held events there in recent weeks. On the Republican side, Rochester is home to the state’s largest tea party group and rank-and-file moderate voters. The area’s Democrats are equally diverse, including moderates and former US representative Carol Shea-Porter, who is probably the most progressive person who has recently held higher office in the state.
4. Who in the establishment lane will win Rockingham County?
Nearly half of the state’s Republican voters live in this county, which is filled with residents who commute to Massachusetts to work. From Salem to Derry to Portsmouth, this was Mitt Romney country in both 2008 and 2012.
And on Tuesday, it’s where the establishment lane candidates and campaigns will be tracking results the most closely.
James Pindell can be reached at email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @jamespindell. Click here to subscribe to his daily e-mail update on the 2016 campaign.