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.
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.”
Mark Wilson/Getty Images(WASHINGTON) -- President Obama and first lady Michelle Obama dished on how the first family hosts a Super Bowl Sunday party in the White House.
"We have a regular group of friends that we've been having now, the last four or five years," President Obama said in the CBS interview Sunday, the couple's first live joint interview. "We all go upstairs to the residence, sort of in the Treaty Room, which is my office. We clear everything out, and it's you know your basic wings, pizza, nachos, guac."
But, according to the first lady, the party is actually divided into separate rooms based on the level of interest in the actual game.
"Basically we have sort of three ways that we do the Super Bowl," Michelle Obama said, adding two other options in addition to the "serious watchers" in the Treaty Room. "Then there's the outside room where the kids are, where they're kind of fooling around there by the food."
"We keep them away," President Obama joked.
"There's what I call the Champagne Room," the first lady said. "That's where my mother sits, where you really don't know what's going on but you're close to the champagne."
As for the experience watching the game, President Obama said it's not much different from what you'd find anywhere else.
"We're like everybody else, folks rate the commercials," he said.
Michelle Obama said she was especially looking forward to the halftime show, which features Coldplay, Bruno Mars and Beyonce.
"I care deeply about the halftime show. Deeply," she said. "I got dressed for the halftime show, I hope Beyonce likes what I have on."
Ida Mae Astute/ABC via Getty Images(MANCHESTER, N.H.) -- After his bludgeoning of rival presidential candidate Marco Rubio in Saturday night’s debate, Chris Christie declared on Sunday that the "anointment" of Rubio is over.
"That anointment is now over," Christie told reporters after a stop at a local pub in New Hampshire. "I think it changes the entire race."
Christie repeatedly challenged Rubio at the debate, hosted by ABC News, and the Florida senator's performance was met with more than a few poor reviews.
"The anointed one last night didn't look like he was ready for the game," Christie said, making the case that his late strike on Rubio was all part of his strategy. "I told all of you ... I would do it in a time and a place of my choosing and I did it in a time and a place of my choosing, and when I did it, I did it well."
On the campaign trail in New Hampshire on Sunday, Rubio passed up the opportunity to take a swing at Christie, instead doubling down on a talking point he repeated at last night's debate, which ended up sparking a heated exchange with the New Jersey governor.
"I'm gonna say it again," Rubio told a crowd in Londonderry Sunday morning, again arguing that President Obama wants to change America.
A few hours later, the Florida senator repeated it once more at a Super Bowl watch party in Manchester.
"I don't care how much it annoys people in the media," he said. "We are going to keep saying it: Barrack Obama is trying to change America."
Even with Rubio rising in the latest polls, Christie said he is confident -- though not cocky -- heading into Tuesday’s primary with his plane tickets purchased to head to South Carolina, one of the next early nominating states.
"I am ready to roll to South Carolina," he said. "My reservations are made."
ABC News(NEW YORK) -- Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton defended her voting record Sunday in an interview on ABC's "This Week with George Stephanopoulos," saying she has never been influenced to vote one way or another by a donor.
“I have never, ever been influenced in a view or a vote by anyone who has given me any kind of funding,” she said.
The defense came in the wake of criticism over Clinton’s alleged ties to Wall Street from her rival for the nomination, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders.
“I'm happy to set this record straight and I really want to, once again, call out the Sanders campaign, which claims they like to run a positive campaign, but they have been quite artful in raising questions and trying to cast doubts about my record,” she said. “I really am not going to sit and take it anymore.”
This was not Clinton’s first call to the Sanders campaign to stop its “insinuation” attacks against her. During Thursday's debate, Clinton called them “an artful smear,” telling Sanders, "if you've got something to say, say it directly."
"I really don't think these kinds of attacks by insinuation are worthy of you and enough is enough,” she said.
Sanders didn't respond to the comment.
On Sunday, Clinton also responded to a comment made by Elizabeth Warren before she was elected to the U.S. Senate in Massachusetts.
In an interview on PBS in 2004, Warren accused Clinton of protecting banks while serving as a New York senator. Clinton dismissed the accusation as “one of these innuendo-insinuation charges" and said she and Warren had been “allies” in stopping a 2000 version of the bankruptcy bill Warren had referred to in the interview.
Clinton added that she had “the greatest respect” for Warren.
ABC News(MANCHESTER, N.H.) -- Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump said the United States needs to authorize "something beyond waterboarding" in order to better fight terror groups.
Trump justified the use of waterboarding and other unnamed advanced interrogation techniques because terror groups use greater measures to inflict fear and harm. He added that groups like ISIS go well beyond waterboarding.
"I would absolutely authorize something beyond waterboarding and believe me, it will be effective," he said Sunday on ABC's "This Week With George Stephanopoulos." "You have our enemy cutting heads off of Christians and plenty of others, by the hundreds, by the thousands."
"Do we win by being more like them?" asked Stephanopoulos.
"Yes," replied Trump. "I'm sorry. You have to do it that way."
Trump also advocated waterboarding during Saturday's debate.
"I would bring back waterboarding and I would bring back a hell of a lot worse than waterboarding," he said Saturday.
ABC News(NEW YORK) -- A super PAC supporting former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush in his bid for the Republican presidential nomination has crowdfunded an ad in New Hampshire for Sunday's Super Bowl.
Right to Rise said it raised $320,000 -- enough to buy the 30-second spot. The organization said 506 donors contributed.
Right to Rise began running an ad this weekend in South Carolina featuring former President George W. Bush. The group wouldn't say whether the same ad would play in New Hampshire during the Super Bowl.
ABC News(NEW YORK) -- A super PAC supporting Texas Sen. Ted Cruz in his bid for the Republican presidential nomination is expanding its efforts in South Carolina with an ad airing during Super Bowl 50 that jabs at one of his rivals, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio.
"Keep The Promise" I said it paid $465,500 to air two television ads in South Carolina in the run-up to the state’s primary on Feb. 20. During Sunday's Super Bowl, an ad called “Leadership” will air in the state.
The ad references the world's need for leadership as the United States faces various problems -- showing footage of ISIS and Russian President Vladimir Putin -- before it questions Rubio's leadership abilities and shows a clip of him saying, “I know I have a debate but I got to get this fantasy football thing right.” The ad ends with text reading, “Tell Marco Rubio: America can't afford to gamble with its safety.”
“Sen. Rubio continues to fumble the ball on the goal line, doubling down on his support of illegal immigrants who have broken the law,” Kellyanne Conway, the president of Keep the Promise I, said in a news release announcing the ad buys. "Voters don’t want a candidate advocating for college tuition discounts for children of illegal immigrants when they themselves are struggling to save money to put their own kids through college."
A second ad aimed at Rubio, who placed third in the Iowa caucus behind Cruz and Donald Trump, will air in the next few weeks.
“We believe South Carolina is prime real estate for voters looking for a solid leader with experience and grit, who isn’t afraid to stand up for his principles, answer the tough questions, and has a conservative playbook ready to deploy from Day one,” Conway said.
Rubio and Cruz have increasingly taken steps to distinguish themselves from one another leading up to the New Hampshire primary.
A super PAC supporting Rubio released an ad late last month depicting Cruz as fickle. His campaign has also handed out calculators at Cruz's campaign stops in New Hampshire in an attempt to describe him as calculated.
"He's willing to do anything to win this election," Rubio said of Cruz last week.
Cruz has said that Rubio's third place finish in Iowa has been treated as a victory by the media.
"That's an odd collection of words. 'Impressive 3rd place finish.' Usually those don’t go together, but yet in the media’s telling, bronze is the new gold," said Cruz at a town hall in Nashua, N.H., last week.
ABC/Donna Svennevik(MANCHESTER, N.H.) -- Florida Sen. Marco Rubio defended repeating an attack he made against President Obama during Saturday's Republican presidential debate, in which he said on four separate occasions that he wanted to dispel the notion the president doesn't know what he's doing.
“It's what I believe and it's what I'm going to continue to say, because it happens to be one of the main reasons why I am running,” Rubio said in an exclusive interview on ABC's "This Week With George Stephanopoulos” the morning after the debate.
At Saturday’s debate hosted by ABC News, Rubio said, "And let's dispel once and for all with this fiction that Barack Obama doesn't know what he's doing. He knows exactly what he's doing.”
“Let's dispel with this fiction that Barack Obama doesn't know what he's doing. He knows exactly what he's doing,” Rubio said a second time.
The line drew the ire of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who called it the "memorized, 25-second speech" as Rubio began the remark a third time. Rubio later made a similar remark a fourth time during the debate.
Shown a video of his repeated remarks produced by the Clinton super PAC "Correct the Record," Rubio said he “would pay them to keep running that clip."
“That’s what I believe passionately,” he said. “It's one of the reasons why I'm not running for re-election to the Senate and I'm running for president. This notion and this idea that somehow all this is an accident -- Obamacare was not an accident, Dodd Frank was not an accident, the deal with Iran was not an accident.”
Rubio added his campaign raised more money in the first hour of the debate than he has at previous debates.
Brendan Hoffman/Getty Images(NEW YORK) -- Ben Carson is here to stay, despite the ups and downs of his campaign.
"For many months, the political class, pundits, the media have tried to ignore or bury me," Carson said in his closing statements during Saturday night's Republican debate hosted by ABC News. "They say that politics is too complex and too sleazy. You can't survive.
"Well, guess what? I'm still here. And I'm not going any place, either."
Before voting began on the night of the Iowa caucuses, Carson's campaign made known that the former neurosurgeon will be returning to his home in Florida to get new clothes.
This led to rumors that Carson would be dropping out, which Carson made clear was not the case.
“Well I’m gonna go on with the campaign no matter what happens on Tuesday," Carson told ABC News contributors Matthew Dowd and LZ Granderson on "Strait Talk" moments after the debate.
Carson said he wouldn't end his campaign unless his supporters felt otherwise.
“The breaking point for me will be when the millions of people who are still pushing me forward, who are still donating, if they say we’ve had enough, I’m out of there in two seconds," Carson said.
And how will Carson know his supporters feel that he should end his campaign?
“We have a tremendous social media contact and also with their money," Carson explained.