The two candidates won the first votes of the day in Dixville Notch, New Hampshire, when nine votes were cast at midnight

By Andrea Park
Updated February 09, 2016 04:40 PM
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The New Hampshire Primary is off to a strong start for Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders and Ohio Gov. John Kasich.

Sanders and Kasich won the vote in the tiny New Hampshire hamlet of Dixville Notch, which traditionally hosts the first vote of the election season’s first primary. Of the nine total votes cast at midnight on Tuesday, Sanders beat Hillary Clinton 4-0, while Kasich scored a 3-2 win over Donald Trump, who, along with Sanders, is currently leading in the New Hampshire polls.

Tom Tillotson, the longtime moderator for Dixville Notch’s tiny primary, told CNN that “it’s fun” to continue the tradition of the midnight vote, which dates back to the 1960s.

“This is an example of American democracy where 100 percent of the voters come out and vote,” Tillotson said. “It’s also a part of a primary process where it’s sort of an endangered species where the candidates actually go out and talk to the voters, and anything we can do to keep that alive helps our political process.”

More substantial results of the New Hampshire primary will be revealed Tuesday evening as votes from the rest of the state’s districts are counted.

In the most recent statewide polls, according to RealClearPolitics, Trump leads the GOP candidates with 31.2 percent of the vote, a far cry ahead of Marco Rubio, who is in second place with 14 percent. Sanders, too, has a double-digit lead: Polls show that he has 54.5 percent of the vote to Clinton’s 41.2 percent.