(Cheryl Senter / AP)
The polls opened shortly after midnight in the tiny, isolated village in northeastern New Hampshire that has cast the first presidential ballots in every election since 1960. A few minutes later, the voting was done. In the end, fifteen locals had chosen for Barack Obama--and six had sided with John McCain.
Dixville Notch isn't a bellwether--nationally or statewide. But the results may have some significance. The town had consistently leaned Republican, with President Bush capturing 80 percent of the vote in 2000 (21 to five) and 73 percent four years later (19 to six). All told, Obama made a small bit of history this morning, becoming the first Democrat since 1968 to triumph in the eager Granite State hamlet. A sign that he'll win the White House? Perhaps. Then again, the last Dem who took Dixville Notch was Hubert Humphrey. And we all know how that turned out.
Either way, welcome to Election Day 2008. What a long, strange trip it's been.