Sanders sighting sparks campaign frenzy at Concord polls - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

Sanders sighting sparks campaign frenzy at Concord polls

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It's primary day 2016 in New Hampshire and 23 Republican delegates, 24 Democratic delegates and eight super delegates are up for grabs.

The secretary of state predicts a high turnout in the first-in-the-nation primary. Some towns are reporting record-breaking crowds despite snowy weather in the eastern part of the state. Voting began early in our region when three tiny towns opened their polls at midnight at Dixville Notch, Hart's Location and Millsfield.

During the nation's first primary, voters enjoyed short lines and old friendships for most of the morning at a polling place in the shadow of the state capitol.

Those casting Democratic ballots expressed fundamentally different reasons for backing their choice.

Dan Lane voted for Bernie Sanders, while Erin Corcoran went with Hillary Clinton.

"I think he represents just what I want to see in the country even if I think a lot of the things he says are not realistic," said Lane. 

"Her experience, her hard work, dedication, I think she'll serve the country really well, I think she'll get things done," said Corcoran.

The two candidates took different approaches to the final day on New Hampshire's campaign trail, as well.

"If there is a large voter turnout, if a lot of folks come out to vote, we're going to do just fine," said Sanders. 

Sanders stayed out of the public eye for much of the day with turnout expected to break 2008's record. But, the mere rumor of his visit about two hours before he arrived turned the quiet Concord polling place into a frenzied battle between campaigns to dominate the background of national footage.

First came Sanders signs, then a wave for Clinton with taller signs before another Sanders bunch reinforced the first batch.

And as soon as Sanders left, supporters of both candidates quickly disappeared.

Sanders' campaign manager Jeff Weaver stuck around long enough to take questions from the press. He says their team is not comfortable despite a double-digit lead in polling averages here.

"Single vote win here is a win," said Weaver. "More is always better."

Clinton spent her final day in the Granite State taking selfies and stumping, looking to make up ground on front-running Sanders. 

When Clinton was asked if a single-digit loss was a win, she said, "You know what, I am just looking for a great Election Day. As many people who can turn out, express their opinions, be part of this process. And for me, that's a big reason why it's so important. Thank you, thank you all!"

Sanders' campaign manager says in some respects they're already looking beyond New Hampshire with staff on the ground in Nevada, South Carolina and Super Tuesday states like Vermont.

The turnout was expected to break records and it certainly appeared that way though New Hampshire. Folks at the Concord polling facility said they were seeing stronger than usual numbers, but like Vermont, there are hundreds of small districts so it's almost impossible to tell until after votes have been collected.

Click here for more from Bernie Sanders' campaign manager. 

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