Obama halts 40-year Republican dominance of remote US town

November 4th, 2008 - 4:07 pm ICT by IANS  

Barack Obama Washington, Nov 4 (DPA) In a departure from 40 years of Republican loyalty, 21 voters in remote northern New Hampshire gave a resounding “yes” to Democrat Barack Obama early Tuesday.With 15 votes for Obama and six for McCain reported by broadcasters, the opening of the Dixville Notch polling station Tuesday just after midnight marked the opening of US elections that could put produce the first-ever African-American president.

By tradition since 1960, voters in Dixville Notch near the Canadian border cast the first votes in presidential elections. The only Democrat who took the precinct since then was Hubert Humphrey, who lost the 1968 national election to Richard Nixon.

Voters in nearby Hart’s Location were also to have voted soon after midnight, a tradition the town started in the 1990s.

Other polls around New Hampshire will open at 6 a.m. (1100 GMT) Tuesday, as will polls in Connecticut, Kentucky, New Jersey, New York, Virginia, Maine and Vermont. The last polls will close in Alaska at 0500 Wednesday.

Obama is favoured to win Tuesday’s vote. An aggregate of major national polls compiled by realclearpolitics.com gave Obama 51.2 percent to Republican Senator John McCain’s 44.2 percent on Monday.

Dixville voters assembled in the historic ballot room of the Balsams Grand Resort Hotel, an old-fashioned establishment where men must wear suits and ties to dine.

The voting room, just next to the billiard room, is a panorama of presidential history that includes photos of most presidents since Dwight Eisenhower, 1953-61, began visiting the hotel.

Tally boards dating back to the 1960 contest between Democrat John Kennedy and Republican Nixon are on display.

In January’s intra-party votes, Democrats in Dixville chose Obama and Republicans chose McCain. New Hampshire is considered a swing state on Tuesday.

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