Electoral Votes: 4
2008 Result (%): Obama 54.1-44.5
Voting Pattern Summary
New Hampshire’s status as a swing state probably derives from the fact that this historically libertarian state is caught in an ever more liberal New England region.
New Hampshire only has 60% of its residents living in urban areas and its largest city Manchester is the only city in the state with a population over 100,000. Consequently the urban/rural divide is not pronounced here. In 2004 when John Kerry carried the state, the city of Manchester barely voted for George W. Bush. Consequently the urban centres of New Hampshire are notable for their weight in votes on election night but not necessarily for any left leaning characteristics.
The lack of difference between large and small centres was exhibited again in 2008 when Barack Obama carried all 10 counties in New Hampshire even though he only won the state by 9.6%.
Unlike other states, votes are reported in New Hampshire on a sub-county level by town or city. These are the primary units of local government in this state. Many towns and cities outside of the major centres only have one polling booth and hence early returns from these units can have instant meaning if read against previous results.
The second table below is a list of 24 towns which only had one polling booth in 2008 and had a margin within +/- 2% of the state margin. If any candidate sweeps these towns there is a good chance that they will win the state.
The tables of the key cities and towns are below, please click to enlarge.
In New Hampshire, paper ballots are used with counting done by optical scanning or by hand.
A full summary of New Hampshire recount laws can be found here.
As at 5 November, no statistics about early voting were available. In 2008 the early vote share of all votes was 10%.