New Hampshire Set for Key US Primary

New Hampshire Set for Key US PrimaryNew Hampshire Set for Key US Primary

People in the US state of New Hampshire are to vote in the contests between candidates seeking the Republican and the Democratic Party nominations.

On the Republican side, frontrunner Donald Trump is hoping for a better performance than in last week’s Iowa caucuses, won by Senator Ted Cruz.

The main Democratic race is between Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton, BBC reported.

The tiny town of Dixville Notch cast the first votes at midnight, favoring Bernie Sanders and John Kasich.

Sanders, a senator from neighboring Vermont and a self-proclaimed “Democratic socialist”, is hoping for a victory in New Hampshire over former secretary of state Hillary Clinton.

Clinton, who is backed by the Democratic establishment, narrowly won in Iowa.

A winter storm threatened to complicate Tuesday’s voting, bringing sub-zero temperatures and a heavy fall of snow.

The Republican race has been particularly fractious. Several candidates tore into Florida Senator Marco Rubio, who came a strong third in Iowa, during a televised debate at the weekend.

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie accused Rubio of being inexperienced and scripted.

“You have not been involved in a consequential decision,” he said.

Rubio was also assailed by billionaire Donald Trump and former Florida Governor Jeb Bush.

On Monday, Trump repeated his pledge to strengthen harsh interrogation technique to terrorism suspects, vowing to bring back waterboarding and “a hell of a lot worse”.

Cruz, an evangelical conservative from Texas who like Trump is running on an anti-establishment platform, has called his win in the Iowa caucuses a “victory for the grassroots”.

Several of the seven Republicans on stage have staked much on New Hampshire, analysts say.

Despite its small size, the state’s place in the primary season gives it special importance as candidates try to build an early momentum.

Over the coming months each US state will pick delegates who pledge to endorse a candidate at their party’s convention in July. The victor on each side will compete in the November presidential election.