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Dixville Notch has spoken: It's Obama in a landslide

  • Story Highlights
  • NEW: The results -- 15 votes for Obama, six for McCain
  • Dixville Notch, New Hampshire, residents cast the first votes on Election Day
  • Voters began casting their ballots at 12 a.m. Tuesday morning
  • The town has hardly been a reliable bellwether for picking the president

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DIXVILLE NOTCH, New Hampshire (CNN) -- Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama emerged victorious in the first election returns of the 2008 presidential race, winning 15 of 21 votes cast in Dixville Notch, New Hampshire.

People in the isolated village in New Hampshire's northeast corner voted just after midnight Tuesday.

It was the first time since 1968 that the village leaned Democratic in an election.

Obama's rival, Republican John McCain, won 6 votes.

A full 100 percent of registered voters in the village cast ballots. And the votes didn't take long to tally.

The town, home to around 75 residents, has opened its polls shortly after midnight each election day since 1960, drawing national media attention for being the first place in the country to make its presidential preferences known.

However, since 1996, another small New Hampshire town -- Hart's Location -- reinstated its practice from the 1940s and also began opening its polls at midnight.

The result in Dixville Notch is hardly a reliable bellwether for the eventual winner of the White House or even the result statewide.

Though New Hampshire is a perennial swing state, Dixville Notch -- until now -- had consistently leaned Republican. The last Democrat it picked was Hubert Humphrey over Richard Nixon in 1968.

President Bush won the town in a landslide in the last two elections: He captured 73 percent of the vote in 2004 (19 residents picked Bush while six preferred Sen. John Kerry), and secured 80 percent of the vote in 2000 (21 votes for Bush, five votes for Al Gore.)

But villagers expected the results to be close this year given Democrats now outnumber Republicans there.

The town picked both John McCain and Barack Obama for the New Hampshire Democratic and Republican primaries in January. McCain ultimately won the state of New Hampshire, while Sen. Hillary Clinton upset Obama there.

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