Snowstorm looms over NH primary
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A snowstorm expected to blow through Tuesday's voting in New Hampshire threatens to dampen turnout and scramble an already turbulent presidential contest.  

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Granite State station WMUR reported the coastal region of the state could see up to 8 inches of snow by the end of the day Monday, with 3 to 5 inches forecast in other parts of the state. “The storm is expected to linger into primary Tuesday,” it said. 

While Democratic candidate Bernie SandersBernard (Bernie) SandersChris Murphy’s profile rises with gun tragedies Clip shows Larry David and Bernie Sanders reacting after discovering they're related For now, Trump dossier creates more questions than answers MORE likely has a large enough lead over rival Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonChris Murphy’s profile rises with gun tragedies DNC, RNC step up cyber protections Gun proposal picks up GOP support MORE to secure a win whatever the weather — the latest polls show him ahead by 10 and 23 percentage points in New Hampshire — a depressed turnout could have a more significant effect on the Republican side. 

Polls still tip toward Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpIvanka Trump pens op-ed on kindergartners learning tech Bharara, Yates tamp down expectations Mueller will bring criminal charges Overnight Cybersecurity: Equifax security employee left after breach | Lawmakers float bill to reform warrantless surveillance | Intel leaders keeping collusion probe open MORE winning the Republican primary; his lead remains around 20 points

The race for second place in New Hampshire is tight, with Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioOvernight Defense: Tillerson, Trump deny report of rift | Tillerson says he never considered resigning | Trump expresses 'total confidence' in secretary | Rubio asks Army to kick out West Point grad Rubio asks Army to kick out West Point grad with pro-communist posts GOP establishment doubts Bannon’s primary powers MORE, Jeb Bush, Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzWhatever you think the Alabama special election means, you’re probably wrong This week: Congress gets ball rolling on tax reform Week ahead: Senators work toward deal to fix ObamaCare markets MORE and John Kasich all jostling within the polls' margins of error. Chris Christie, who had a strong debate performance on Saturday night, ranks sixth and is around 5 points behind Bush in the latest surveys.  

The University of Massachusetts Lowell noted Monday with its latest tracking poll that "New Hampshire voters are known for delivering surprises and with snow forecast into tomorrow, the tracking poll looks at two possible scenarios for the outcome based on voter turnout. 

"In the event of snow and low voter turnout, Sanders still leads Clinton 55 percent to 40 percent; and Trump, Rubio and Kasich gain support while Bush loses ground, but Trump still leads by 22 percent. In the event of a primary with high turnout, Sanders’ lead grows to 57 percent over 39 percent support for Clinton and on the Republican side, Trump’s lead stays at 22 percent." 

GOP consultant Ron Kaufman, a Bush supporter, said he believes bad weather would help candidates who have spent more time on the ground talking to voters and building their organizations in New Hampshire. That includes Bush, a former Florida governor, and the race's current governors, Kasich of Ohio and Christie of New Jersey, he said.

“Trump will under-achieve, Rubio will under-achieve, Cruz will under-achieve,” Kaufman predicted as he spoke to The Hill by telephone Monday while knocking on doors in the state to drum up support.

“The three governors will over-achieve; the question is by how much.”

But Trump was unfazed by the prospect of snow. "I hear we are going to do well, but the snow is out," he said at a Monday afternoon rally. "What effect will the snow have? It can't have an effect! We can handle the snow." 

Ben Kamisar contributed.