Dispatches from the New Hampshire primary – Part 1

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“Nine ballots were cast in New Hampshire’s Dixville Notch just after midnight,” the Associated Press reports. “Romney and Huntsman received two votes each. Coming in second with one vote apiece were Newt Gingrich and Ron Paul. For the Democrats, President Barack Obama received three votes. The nine residents who cast their ballots include three registered Republicans and two registered Democrats. Four other voters haven’t declared a party. Dixville Notch is an unincorporated village in northern New Hampshire just below the Canadian border.”

Jon Huntsman’s campaign is emailing supporters a 90-second video with the candidate’s answer to John DiStaso’s question at Sunday’s debate: “What does our state motto, ‘Live Free or Die,’ mean to you personally? And how would it guide you in the White House?” A campaign official emails: “We feel like it’s a nice contrast to the Romney closing message: ‘I like being able to fire people.'” Watch: here.

An estimated 40 percent of those who vote today will be independent. This is what allows both Huntsman and Ron Paul to be so competitive. A report being published by Third Way later today reports that in the last four months of 2011 in New Hampshire, the number of independents went up 3,468 while Democrats lost 1,658 voters and Republicans shed 406 voters. In the 8 battleground states with partisan voter registration, voters continue leaving parties. Since 2008: the number of independents increased by 320,657 or 3.4%; Democrats lost 834,197 voters, or 5.55%; and Republicans lost 334,608, or 2.85%.

Mark Halperin says 38% tonight would give Mitt Romney his full bounce. “Morning” Joe Scarborough: “I think 29, 28 is a nightmare. … I think all of us sense SOME movement toward Huntsman.”

Via Politico.

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including SaintPetersBlog.com, FloridaPolitics.com, ContextFlorida.com, and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. SaintPetersBlog has for three years running been ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.