NEW HAMPSHIRE — A winter storm struck the Granite State this afternoon and will continue through the evening and into the night, dropping 3-6 inches of snow before the morning of primary day.
The big question with any storm on or around the day of a primary is whether it will affect turnout — but New Hampshirites are accustomed to the snow, with robust road-plowing efforts and sand and salt distribution.
Roads were still passable Monday afternoon and the snow is expected to let up by 6 a.m. Tuesday. So it appears that most of the storm’s effects will be felt Monday afternoon and evening as the 2016 candidates are making their final pitches to voters.
Ohio Gov. John Kasich did a press conference in the snow without a hat on, picking up a light dusting of snow on his hair.
The Salem (New Hampshire) Patch site reported that the heaviest part of the storm is being felt south of the Manchester area and along the seacoast.
WMUR-TV reported that the nor’easter is “way, way out to sea,” but the back edge of it is touching New Hampshire, dropping bands of snow. The roads are “certainly sloppy out there,” meteorologist Mike Hadded said, and travel will be affected through early Tuesday morning.
“Having said that, this is not going to be a blockbuster storm,” he added. “This will not be a paralyzing storm, but what it will do is create trouble on area roadways.”
The Boston Globe said that Tuesday’s weather will be “decidedly New Hampshire” — cold and cloudy with a chance of snow. New Hampshire’s secretary of state predicted a record turnout tomorrow in the state, despite the weather.
Former state Attorney General Thomas Rath told the Globe that the “first-in-the-nation primary” is one of the state’s “most prized political possessions,” so he didn’t expect turnout to be affected. “It has snowed here before. We are a hardy lot. Snow is not going to keep us away,” Rath said.
“It has snowed here before. We are a hardy lot. Snow is not going to keep us away.” -Thomas Rath, former N.H. attorney general
Voters still packed rallies for GOP candidates Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and businessman Donald Trump, as well as for Democratic hopefuls Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Monday afternoon despite the storm reports.
Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush tossed a snowball at a reporter filming him disembarking from his campaign bus Monday.
And supporters of the various candidates posted on social media about how the storm wasn’t deterring them from their primary eve duties.
— Running 4 President (@4presidentsite) February 8, 2016
— Sean Morton (@SeanMortonUK) February 8, 2016
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