ABC/Donna Svennevik(NEW YORK) — Sen. Marco Rubio brushed off recent attacks by his GOP rivals, saying he must be "doing something right," and expressing confidence despite what he called the "unusual set up" in Tuesday’s New Hampshire primary.
"It's great to be targeted because that means you're doing something right," the Florida Republican told ABC’s Good Morning America.
"People don't waste time or money attacking someone who isn't doing something well."
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie repeatedly challenged Rubio at Saturday's debate, hosted by ABC News, saying Rubio "memorized 25-second speech."
Despite Christie's attacks, Rubio believes he had "a very strong debate," and doubts it will affect people’s opinion.
Rubio admitted Tuesday morning he is uncertain where he will place in the Granite State, but he believes he will "finish strong."
"I know Trump is a clear front-runner, he's been in first place since June,” he said. "We've got some people that haven't campaigned anywhere else but here, their whole campaign is built here. So it's a pretty unusual set up."
The GOP hopeful went on to say he gives the Republican Party the best chance to do three things: "To unify, to grow and to win.”
ABC News(MANCHESTER, N.H.) — Regardless of who wins, there’s a reason for Granite Staters to celebrate: Tuesday marks the 100th anniversary of the New Hampshire primary. Here’s your primer on the details.
Who can vote? Any registered voter can cast a ballot, and yes, voters may register on the day of the primary. “Undeclared” voters may temporarily register with either party, vote, and drop their party affiliation before leaving. They’re a valuable block: of registered New Hampshire voters, 44 percent are independent.
Record turnout? Secretary of State William Gardner is predicting a record surge in Republican ballots cast. Democrats are not expected to show up to the polls in the record numbers they did eight years ago. Even so, overall turnout is expected to shatter the mark set in 2008.
When do polls open? Three precincts will open their polls as early as midnight. Hart’s Location, Millsfield, and the famous Dixville Notch (pop. 9) are small enough to open and close their polls, with 100 percent turnout, in a matter of minutes.
Across the rest of the state, polls in larger cities like Manchester and Nashua open at 6 a.m., though most precincts don’t open until 7 or 8 a.m.
Poll closures Besides the quirky midnight votes, polls begin closing at 7 p.m., though in some areas voting will continue until 8 p.m.
Weather report New Hampshire received a few inches of snow Monday, but a mostly dry day is expected as voters head to the polls. Secretary of State Gardner says he does not expect the weather to have an impact on the primary.
How predictive is this primary, anyway? New Hampshire’s record at picking nominees is…spotty. On the Republican side, it’s a better indicator than Iowa: in the last seven nominating contests dating back to 1976, the New Hampshire winner has gone on to win the nomination five times. On the Democratic side, Iowa has the edge: over the last eight competitive contests, Iowa voters have chosen six eventual nominees; New Hampshirites have chosen five.
Many would argue that the states’ most valuable role is paring down the choices, not picking a winner. But in 40 years, no Republican has secured the nomination without winning one of those two early states.
Polling places to watch: Not all wards are created equal -- some polling places are especially telling. University of New Hampshire polling director Andy Smith tells ABC News “for the GOP, I like to look at Derry as it has both a blue collar core and suburban parts.” On the Democratic side, Smith says, “Keene is key." He predicts a 60 percent finish for Bernie Sanders might spell statewide disaster for Hillary Clinton -- not a far-fetched scenario, as the heavily Democratic town is less than 20 miles from the Vermont border.
Frontrunner Donald Trump might have his eye on working class towns like Rochester, Somersworth or perhaps nearby Farmington, which his state staff calls “Trump country.”
What about fraud? The state’s famously inclusive rules allow college students from other states to vote, as long as they don’t vote anywhere else. And every four years, voter fraud watchdogs are on the lookout for votes from New Hampshire’s many vacation property owners, and the political volunteers who spend long stretches in the state.
Who’s running? This isn’t a dumb question. All it takes is $1,000 and a signature to participate in the first-in-the-nation primary. Twenty-eight Democrats and 30 Republicans have taken the plunge. Names like O’Malley and Paul are still on the ballots, and could garner votes from staunch supporters. Lesser-known candidates like Vermin Supreme, a Democrat who campaigns wearing a boot on his head, are there as well. While some may be more optimistic than others, they’ll all learn their fates Tuesday night.
Matthew Cavanaugh/Getty Images(MANCHESTER, N.H.) — Ohio Gov. John Kasich, whose campaign has maintained a laser-like focus on performing well in Tuesday’s New Hampshire primary, declined to predict exactly how he would place once all the votes are counted here, but sounded a note of confidence in an interview today on Good Morning America.
"We’re going to finish very strong," he told ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos. "I’m not like Muhammad Ali; I can’t predict, you know, exactly what round or whatever."
Kasich noted that he has already dispatched his campaign bus to South Carolina and on Monday his campaign released a schedule of events the Republican Ohio governor is expected to attend in that state. Tuesday morning, he also dismissed the notion that his campaign lacks the financial or organizational heft to plow ahead to the next round of primaries.
"People have counted me out all of my career," he said. "I hope they keep underestimating me because there was another guy they underestimated all the time. His name was Reagan."
Kasich was also relishing his performance in the tiny town of Dixville Notch, New Hampshire, which traditionally votes at midnight on Primary Day. Kasich received three votes compared to two for rival Donald Trump. (Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders received four votes out of the total nine cast).
Kasich said he called every voter in the northern New Hampshire enclave.
The latest polls have showed him on the rise. A University of Massachusetts-Lowell New Hampshire tracking poll released Monday had Kasich at 10 percent, tied with former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and behind rivals Trump, Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz.
Kasich, who said he has held more than 100 town hall meetings in the state, said he is seeing enthusiasm.
"Last night, we were out there in a driving snowstorm, probably three, four hundred people standing out there cheering,” he said. “It was like a movie set.”
US Congress(NEW YORK) — In politics, there is one downside to front-runner status; you have to win and, depending on your perceived lead at the time votes are cast, it helps to win big.
Sen. Bernie Sanders might be the underdog nationwide, but he has been leading in the polls in New Hampshire for months.
A poll from UMass-Lowell, also out Monday, had Sanders at 56 percent and Clinton at 40 percent. While the numbers would be exciting for any campaign, they have also set the bar high for Sanders as voting in the state begins.
Sanders' campaign confirms that their internal polling numbers are strong, but argues, as does the senator, that nothing can be taken for granted and that any win would be momentous for them.
“Obviously, there are these polls out there that have him 20, 23 points ahead that can't be true. It’s got to be tighter than that,” Sanders’ national spokesman Michael Briggs told ABC News.
While the Clinton campaign declined to comment formally for this story, aides have told reporters they will be happy with any outcome that puts Clinton within a closer margin to Sanders than recent polls. That is to say, the Clinton campaign seems to be hoping to get within at least single digits.
Pushing back against this idea that only a resounding win would be noteworthy, Sanders' New Hampshire Communications Director Karthik Ganapathy told ABC News, “A win means 50 percent plus 1 vote. Any votes beyond that are pure rocket fuel for momentum heading into Super Tuesday.”
Briggs, too, pointed out that the Clinton campaign adopted a “win is a win” philosophy when it came to Iowa, where she only beat Sanders by 0.25 percent, but declared herself the victor the night of the caucuses before the final results were announced.
Back in New Hampshire, Sanders' supporters seem less concerned with expectations; most are confident. Amanda Hayes, a veterinary technician from Manchester, said she feels in her gut that Sanders is going to win by a landslide.
“I just think he’s got it. I do,” she told ABC News while waiting to hear the senator speak in Manchester. “I have seen a slow progression and now his campaign is just snowballing. Now he’s a force to be reckoned with. Hillary is scared.”
ABC News(DIXVILLE NOTCH, N.H.) — The nine voters of Dixville Notch, New Hampshire, became some of the first in the state — and consequently, first in the nation — to cast their ballots in the presidential primary in the early hours of Tuesday.
New Hampshire has held the "First in the Nation" presidential primary since 1920, and since 1960, Dixville Notch residents have gathered to cast their votes at the stroke of midnight.
All nine ballots were cast within seconds, and quickly tallied.
ABC News(MANCHESTER, N.H.) -- Donald Trump referred to fellow Republican presidential contender Ted Cruz by a crude word during a rally Monday night, repeating the words of an audience member.
Trump made the remarks during a rally in Manchester, New Hampshire, just hours before the polls opened in the state's primary.
Trump had been discussing Cruz's remarks about waterboarding during last Saturday's ABC News debate (Trump wants "something beyond waterboarding").
"You heard the other night at the debate, they asked Ted Cruz, serious question: 'Well what do you think of waterboarding? Is it okay?' And honestly I thought he’d say absolutely and he didn’t," Trump told the audience.
After that a woman shouted a crude word.
"Okay you’re not allowed to say and I never expect to hear that again," Trump said in response. "I never expect to hear that from you again."
But then Trump repeated the woman's remarks.
"She said he's a [crude word] that's terrible," he said, before throwing his hands up.
ABC News(MANCHESTER, N.H.) -- Tuesday will be a critical moment on the road to the White House as residents of the Granite State cast their votes in the first-in-the-nation primary.
With independents making up more than 40 percent of the electorate, the New Hampshire primary can often surprise, and that may be the case Tuesday.
Here are the five things to watch for when New Hampshire votes:
1. The Sanders-Clinton Expectations Game
Sen. Bernie Sanders seems poised to win the Democratic primary. The latest University of Massachusetts-Lowell tracking poll out Monday shows the Vermont independent up 16 points, 56 to 40.
But other surveys have showed Clinton narrowing the gap. A surprise win here for the former secretary of state would be huge news, but even a closer-than-expected, second-place finish would be significant.
That said, a Sanders win would surely keep the “Bern” alive going into the next primary contests.
2. Could Kasich Be the 2016 ‘Comeback Kid?'
John Kasich seems to be getting some late-stage momentum, and he has been campaigning as hard as anyone in the Granite State. The Ohio governor finished in eighth place in Iowa with about 2 percent of the vote, but he had already decamped to New Hampshire well before Iowans caucused.
“Three separate campaign entities, not all of which are aligned with Kasich, say that according to internal polls, he has risen to a strong second place behind Donald Trump,” according to a report over the weekend by the Huffington Post’s Howard Fineman and Scott Conroy.
Jeb Bush’s campaign released a video hitting Kasich this morning, apparently recognizing the growing threat.
And in a sign of confidence, the Kasich campaign already put out his South Carolina campaign schedule for the rest of the week.
3. Has Rubio’s Rise Slowed?
A widely panned weekend debate performance, coupled with relentless attacks from Chris Christie, appears to have left Marco Rubio trying to regain his footing.
Despite his strong finish in Iowa, the big question on Tuesday is whether the Florida senator has hit a plateau.
In the University of Massachusetts-Lowell tracking poll released Monday, Rubio is in a dead-heat with Texas Sen. Ted Cruz at 13 percent.
4. Moment of Truth for Trump
It’s do-or-die for the Donald.
The Republican front-runner was expected to win in Iowa, but instead snagged second place, falling to Texas Sen. Ted Cruz.
The New Hampshire polls have long showed the real estate mogul ahead by a big margin in the state. And there’s no doubt Trump needs to deliver a strong ground game in the Granite State.
If he doesn’t, look for pundits to employ the old saying: The emperor has no clothes.
5. Governors’ Game of 'Survivor'
Until recently, conventional wisdom held that there was probably only one ticket out of New Hampshire for the three governors in the race: former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, and Ohio Gov. John Kasich. Now it seems like there may be at least two.
The Bush campaign is feeling good enough here that it’s already looking ahead to South Carolina. Christie is projecting confidence, declaring on Good Morning America Monday that “the race is now wide open.”
If all three governors have strong showings in New Hampshire, perhaps bunched together in the final vote tally, it’s possible they could all move on to the next contests. Then again, one or more of them may not be so lucky.
Win McNamee/Getty Images(MANCHESTER, N.H.) -- Bernie Sanders’ campaign took on Hillary Clinton's newest line of attack just one day before the New Hampshire primary -- calling the claim that the senator received campaign donations from Wall Street several years ago “absurd” and “false.”
“It is very disturbing that, as the Clinton campaign struggles through Iowa and New Hampshire, they have become increasingly negative and dishonest,” Sanders’ campaign manager Jeff Weaver said in a statement.
“Today’s attack from Secretary Clinton, [whose] super PAC received $15 million from Wall Street, is even more absurd. Bernie Sanders, who has never accepted corporate PAC money in his life,” said the statement Monday.
Earlier this week, CNN reported that Sanders attended fundraisers on behalf of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC) along with other senators, which were attended by lobbyists from the financial industry.
Clinton accused Sanders on Monday of taking money from Wall Street, through that committee. However, when asked to provide documentation to back up the former Secretary of State’s claims, the campaign said Wall Street firms such as Morgan Stanley and Goldman Sachs gave to the DSCC and that the DSCC had in turn given to Sanders 2006 Senatorial race as well as the Vermont Democratic Party.
The DSCC’s primary function is to provide grassroots organization and fundraising support for Democratic senators up election.
“Senator Sanders took about $200,000 from Wall Street firms, not directly but through the democratic senate campaign committee. You know, there is nothing wrong with that. It hasn’t changed his view, well it didn’t change my view or my vote either,” Clinton said while campaigning in New Hampshire on the eve of the primary in the state.
The Sanders campaign was quick to fire back, arguing that the committee solicits donations from many entities and that Sanders, unlike Clinton, does not have a super PAC for his presidential campaign.
“Bernie appreciates the help he has gotten from the DSCC, whose funds come from millions of Americans’ individual contributions, labor organizations, environmental groups, women’s organizations and others. To say that every nickel that Bernie received came from Wall Street is beyond preposterous,” Weaver said.
ABC News(MANCHESTER, N.H.) -- A large chunk of the New Hampshire electorate says they're still willing to change their allegiances -- just a day before the primary.
More than four in 10 likely Republican primary voters in New Hampshire say they still could change their minds before Tuesday's primary, according to new polls out Sunday and Monday. A CNN/WMUR/UNH poll shows that less than half of likely Republican voters say they have “definitely decided” who they're going to vote for.
The GOP electorate is more fluid than the Democratic side. Roughly eight in 10 Democrats say that they have a firm choice in recent polling, with both candidates about equally firm in their support.
Donald Trump supporters also seem to be more firm in their choice. Even though 44 percent of likely Republican voters in New Hampshire say they could still change their choice in a UMass-Lowell poll out Monday morning, the same poll shows that three-quarters of Trump supporters have locked in their votes.
The real estate mogul still holds a commanding lead in most polls, leading the splintered field of other Republican candidates by up to 20 percentage points. Iowa caucus winner Ted Cruz and more moderate governors like Chris Christie, Jeb Bush and John Kasich trail in a race for second. Marco Rubio, who showed signs of a post-Iowa bounce earlier this week but has plateaued in recent days, is also battling for second place.
And on the Democratic side, opinions have shifted over the last week, according to UMass-Lowell polling in the state. Sanders led by as many as 33 percentage points earlier in the week, but that lead has dwindled to 16 points this morning.
But this isn’t unprecedented fluidity. In the 2012 election, 46 percent of GOP voters made their picks in the final three days – and two in 10 GOP voters didn’t actually make a final decision until Election Day. The votes of late deciders were more likely to boost Santorum and Huntsman than support Romney, as did earlier deciders.
This has been a changing dynamic over the past several election cycles in the state. In 2008, about four in 10 Republican voters made up their minds in the last three days, compared with only 26 percent in the 2000 primary in the Granite State.
These late-deciders also made a difference in Iowa, where a Quinnipiac poll found fewer – but still 28 percent – of Republican likely voters were willing to change their minds in the eleventh hour and give Ted Cruz a final boost to the top.
Andrew Burton/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Former New York City Mayor and billionaire Michael Bloomberg confirmed Monday that he is weighing the option of launching a presidential bid.
Bloomberg told the Financial Times he is looking at "all options" regarding a possible bid. He strongly condemned the 2016 campaign rhetoric, calling the discussions "distressingly banal and an outrage and an insult to voters."
The New York Times reported last month that Bloomberg, concerned by Donald Trump's dominance and Hillary Clinton slipping in polls, had instructed advisers to look into the possibility of an independent run. Bloomberg himself declined to comment for that article.
If Bloomberg were to launch an independent run, he would need to get his name on the ballot in all 50 states to have a viable chance of victory. (In order to have their names appear on the ballots across the country in the general election, independent candidates have to obtain a certain number of signatures). Bloomberg told the Financial Times he would need to start putting his name on ballots in March.
Richard Winger, the editor of Ballot Access News, has previously told ABC News that, by his estimates, obtaining signatures to get on the ballot in all 50 states could cost between $2.5 and $3 million.
Financials should not be a problem for Bloomberg, who, according to Forbes, has a net worth of over $40 million.
Bloomberg served as Mayor of New York City from 2002 through 2013.
Official White House Photo by Pete Souza(WASHINGTON) — President Obama will welcome the King of Jordan to the White House this month.
The Feb. 24 meeting is set to take place at the White House, where the two leaders will discuss the fight against ISIS, the Syrian war and the refugee crisis.
“The United States greatly values its enduring and strategic partnership with the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan, as well as our shared initiatives on a broad range of diplomatic and security challenges,” reads a White House statement.
It’s not the first meeting between President Obama and Jordan’s King Abdullah — the two met briefly at Joint Base Andrews in January.
ABC News(MANCHESTER, N.H.) -- In the closing days before Tuesday’s New Hampshire primary, Hillary Clinton has been leaning heavily on feminism to make a case against her opponent Bernie Sanders.
On Sunday, her husband, former President Bill Clinton, unleashed a tirade aimed at people who he alleges are Sanders supporters who he said are making “vicious” and “sexist” comments to Hillary Clinton supporters online.
“People who have gone online to explain, just explain why they support her have been subject to vicious trolling and attacks that are literally too profane often, not to mention sexist, to repeat,” Bill Clinton explained at a campaign event in Milford, New Hampshire.
He referred to an editorial in the Nation, in which Joan Walsh wrote that “social-media trolls have had several fascinating and stunningly sexist reactions” to her daughter’s support of Hillary Clinton.
Although Bill Clinton did not mention the group by name, it seemed he was referring to the so-called “Bernie Bros” -- a term used by some Clinton allies to disparage some male Sanders supporters who allegedly write sexist comments to Clinton supporters online.
According to examples of these comments provided by the pro-Clinton opposition research group, Correct the Record, one user on Reddit wrote: “When it comes to political behavior, Hillary has always just been Richard Nixon in a dress.” Another wrote: “Hillary without her makeup would be frightening.”
It is unclear how widespread such commentary is online, and Sanders repudiated it.
"It's disgusting. We don't want that crap,” Sanders said during an interview on CNN on Sunday when asked about the so-called “Bernie Bros.” "Look, anybody who is supporting me who is doing sexist things ... we don't want them. I don't want them. That is not what this campaign is about.”
Even so, Hillary Clinton’s surrogates hit the talking point hard over the weekend as Clinton campaigned in New Hampshire with a star-studded squad of female politicians and activists.
"Just remember, there’s a special place in hell for women who don’t help each other,” former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright said at a campaign event on Saturday, using her famous line to pressure young women into voting for Clinton.
"You've heard of Bernie's bros? We are Hillary's sisters," New Hampshire Sen. Jeanne Shaheen said on Friday, standing alongside equal-pay activist Lilly Ledbetter, Emily’s List President Stephanie Shriock, New Hampshire Gov. Maggie Hassan and U.S. Sens. Kirsten Gillibrand, Amy Klobuchar and Debbie Stabenow.
Gloria Steinem also got in on the action, suggesting on Facebook that young women are only supporting Sanders to meet "boys." (She later apologized for this remark and said it was "misinterpreted.”) As did the first female governor of Vermont, who wrote an op-ed in the Boston Globe accusing Sanders of sexism when she ran against him 30 years ago and saying Clinton has it harder because she’s a woman.
Hillary Clinton, herself, weighed in, too.
“There is still a huge double standard,” Clinton told a voter in a town hall at the New England College about running for president as a woman.
She mentioned a blog post a friend sent to her about a Sanders supporter who likes the Vermont senator because he yells a lot and has messy hair.
"My friend said, ‘Boy that would really work for any woman running,’” Clinton retorted sarcastically.
ABC/Randy Sager(HUDSON, N.H.) -- You would have thought he was asking for her hand in marriage.
But when a woman at Chris Christie’s first town hall Monday morning in Hudson, New Hampshire, introduced herself as an undecided voter who was leaning toward supporting him but wasn’t quite convinced, the New Jersey governor knelt down on his knee, proposal-style, to ask for her vote.
"I hope she votes for me. I’ve got dirt all over my pants,” Christie said after listening to her.
She said she needed convincing on the issue of Social Security, and when the woman eventually said he had won her over, the audience cheered.
Another voter -- a young woman -- said she wanted to know why she should vote for Christie and expressed irritation at former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright’s comment in support of Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton that there’s a "special place in hell” for women who don’t support other women.
Christie said he knows a thing about strong women -- referring to his wife, Mary Pat -- and suggested it might be time for Albright to go back to studying books. The woman promptly announced her decision to vote for him too.
"I’m two for two. I’m leaving, everybody,” Christie joked jubilantly.
As the New Jersey governor ended the town hall, a third woman interrupted Christie to ask if she could have his mic to make a comment. He handed it over.
“I’ve come to see you five times, I’m voting for you, I’ve told everyone I know that they have to come to your side,” the woman said.
Then, referencing Albright’s comments, the woman went on to say that there is a “special place in hell for women who vote for women just because they are a woman.”
ABC News(NEW YORK) — A day before voters go to the polls in the first-in-the-nation primary in New Hampshire, Chris Christie said he believes “the race is now wide open” and pointed to Bill Clinton as evidence.
“No one knows what's going on in this race at all,” the New Jersey governor and Republican presidential candidate said on Good Morning America Monday.
“We sense real momentum on the ground for us. We're looking to run right through the tape on Tuesday,” Christie told ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos.
Christie continued to hammer Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, whose momentum Christie sought to upset in Saturday night’s debate by attacking the Florida senator on stage for repeating the same talking point several times.
“The fact is, he's never accomplished anything of any note in the United States Senate,” Christie said of Rubio.
Since the debate, Rubio has only doubled down on his original talking point. "I'm going to say it, again," Rubio told a crowd in Londonderry, New Hampshire, Sunday morning, again arguing that President Obama wants to change America.
Though the polls show Christie languishing in the single-digits in New Hampshire a day before voting, Christie has made the case that his performance in this weekend’s debate shook up the field and harked back to Bill Clinton’s 1992 comeback in the Granite State.
“Everybody told him the night before New Hampshire primary, he was going to be in single-digits and was finished,” Christie recalled. “He came in second place and his campaign went on to win the nomination. So, let's remember a little history.”