voters go to the polls; Midnight votes tallied
February 1, 2000 -- In an election year tradition, the two tiny
New Hampshire towns of Dixville Notch and Hart's Location rang in
primary day by casting their ballots at midnight.
Although Sen. John McCain has jumped out to an early two-vote lead
in the first 40 votes cast, election folklore may be on Texas Gov.
George W. Bush's side.
The Republican chosen by Dixville Notch's voters -- all 29 of them
this year -- has gone on the win the party's nomination in every
presidential election since 1968. And this year, Bush pulled off
the victory in Dixville Notch, garnering 12 votes to McCain's 10.
Bush's lead evaporated quickly though as Hart's Location, the other
community that votes at 12:01 on primary morning, chose McCain over
The combined vote currently has McCain with 19, Bush 17 and publisher
Steve Forbes with one.
In Hart's Location, two voters also wrote in Elizabeth Dole's name
for vice president. She dropped out of the presidential race in
On the Democratic side, and there are even fewer of them in the
small communities, former Senator Bill Bradley jumped out to a commanding
lead over Vice President Al Gore - 13 votes to five.
"I think Senator Bradley has a better chance of working with
Congress," said Democrat David Nesbitt, 48, a cross-country
skiing director. "He's been a team player all his life."
McCain supporter Sharon Pearson, 31, supervisor of the checklist
in Dixville Notch and a registered independent, said the Arizona
senator got her vote because of his record in the military and the
"I feel I have a lot of faith in him," Pearson said.
"He has had to address a broader range of issues."
At polling places in the daylight hours, candidates began giving
their final pitches to voters.
George W. Bush predicted "I'm going to win," while rival
John McCain joked about a landslide victory in the tight GOP race.
McCain also appeared on the "Imus in the Morning" syndicated
radio program, where he also joked: "The landslide has started.
Bradley, who once led in the state's polls, asked voters for support
in the early hours.
"I'm ready for the verdict," Democrat Bill Bradley declared
at a school in Merrimack, where he shook voters' hands, telling
each: "I need your help."
Bradley paused to chat with Republican hopeful Gary Bauer, who
showed up at the same school. "How does it look?" Bauer
"It looks good," Bradley said.
But Gore's wife, Tipper, predicted a victory during a morning television
interview, saying "We feel like the energy is moving definitely
to our campaign."