Voting is underway in US presidential primaries in New Hampshire, with Barack Obama and John McCain ahead so far, as predicted by opinion polls.
They won in two tiny villages which opened their ballot boxes at midnight.
Although there were just a handful of votes up for grabs, Senator Obama’s win there will be yet another blow for his Democratic rival Hillary Clinton.
She has seen her candidacy go from inevitable to in danger in a matter of days.
With reports of arguing in her camp, the erstwhile frontrunner badly needs some good news soon.
Barack Obama said himself — and the polls back him up — that he is heading for a clear victory in New Hampshire. After several barnstorming rallies in the New England state, Obama has up to a 13 point advantage over Clinton.
Surveys show John McCain leads the Republican field in New Hampshire, a remarkable situation given his campaign’s near bankruptcy last year. He has concentrated much time and money on the state that he won back in the White House race of 2000.
Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani has virtually abstained from primaries so far, preferring to concentrate his efforts on the bigger states. But his lead in national polls has been eroded, with Iowa caucus winner Mike Huckabee now five points ahead.