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 SandersBernie SandersSanders tries to sway GOP colleague on Obamacare repeal Sanders draws thousands to rallies against Senate healthcare bill Sanders: FBI's investigation of wife won’t be a ‘distraction’ MORE likely has a large enough lead over rival Hillary ClintonHillary Rodham ClintonPelosi: Trump insisted he won popular vote in our first meeting Are Democrats trying to pin the blame for their own sins on Russia? Trump: Calling Warren Pocahontas ‘an insult to Pocahontas’ 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 TrumpPelosi: Trump insisted he won popular vote in our first meeting NYT's David Brooks: Trump has not fulfilled promise of new conservatism Should government 'outsource' censorship to Facebook and Twitter? MORE winning the Republican primary; his lead remains around 20 points

The race for second place in New Hampshire is tight, with Marco RubioMarco RubioElection hacking fears turn heat on Homeland Security Will Republicans stand up to the NRA's insurrection rhetoric? The Hill's Whip List: Senate ObamaCare repeal bill MORE, Jeb Bush, Ted CruzTed CruzSenate Republicans reluctant to rush vote on healthcare bill Healthcare bill 'not the last step' to repealing ObamaCare, Republican says Dem senator: GOP's healthcare approach will 'devastate Medicaid' 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.