On the Trail: New Hampshire Polling Place Overtaken by Media Circus

By ABC News

Jan 10, 2012 5:53pm

Peppering New Hampshire, and especially Manchester, are activists and candidate supporters standing in the cold with street signs. Here’s a time-lapse look at what it’s like to wave a street corner sign from ABC cameraman Jim Sicile.

Voting started at 6 a.m. ET and candidates tried to visit voting locations to drum up last minute support. The most heavily visited location was at an elementary school in Manchester’s Ward 1.

Republican candidates including Newt Gingrich, Mitt Romney and John Huntsman were engulfed by an army of cameras and reporters today.

Two reporters were pushed to the ground in what can best be described as a mob scene at the Webster school in Manchester.

Gingrich, the first candidate to visit the location, likened the scene to Mardi Gras “without the alcohol, the fun, the excitement.”

“But other than that, it was certainly as crowded as Mardi Gras,” he told reporters on his campaign bus. “And it was weird because the crowd moved.  It was like you had this moving amoeba.”

The former speaker’s wife, Callista, said she had never seen anything like that.

“No one was really in control of the sheer volume of people,” she said.

Jon Huntsman was supposed to chat with reporters but it turned into a free for all as cameras jumped the barricades to get to the former Utah governor.

Even police officers on hand were unable to control the crowd. As he jumped back into his car, waved at supporters and left, police officers attempted to clear the press, yelling, “Get out of the street. He’s gone.”

Here’s a look at Huntsman in the media crush.

huntsman media scrum 224x300 On the Trail: New Hampshire Polling Place Overtaken by Media Circus
Jonathan Karl/ABC News
abc huntsman inWard 1 nh2 thg 120110 wblog On the Trail: New Hampshire Polling Place Overtaken by Media Circus
Jonathan Karl/ABC News

And here’s the scene before his arrival:

abc before huntsman thg 120110 wblog On the Trail: New Hampshire Polling Place Overtaken by Media Circus
Thomas Krakowiak/ABC News

ABC’s Jonathan Karl had a quick chat with Ron Paul.

karl.paul .photo  225x300 On the Trail: New Hampshire Polling Place Overtaken by Media Circus

Jason Volack / ABC News

Security barricaded the press because voters on their way to the polls were getting pummeled.

nh media crush2 300x224 On the Trail: New Hampshire Polling Place Overtaken by Media Circus

Emily Friedman/ABC News

While the outside of a voting locations can be surrounded by reporters and canvassers, inside is a campaign-free zone.

no campaigning beyond this point 300x225 On the Trail: New Hampshire Polling Place Overtaken by Media Circus

Aaron Katersky/ABC News

A literal wall of mostly Mitt Romney’s supporters chanted “We Want Mitt” as voters entered the polling site.

romney supporters 300x224 On the Trail: New Hampshire Polling Place Overtaken by Media Circus

Emily Friedman/ABC News

Romney also visited the polling site this morning. His security team put a tight perimeter around him and his wife, Ann, amid concern about the crush.

The former Massachusetts governor arrived in his campaign bus and walked up to the supporters near the door, shook hands, and turned back around.

Romney said he hopes that he does well and that if he gets “double the number of vote margins that we had in Iowa, I’d feel terrific.”

“I hope the people of New Hampshire turn out,” he added. “The entire nation is watching.”

As he was holding a baby, Romney was heckled by the crowd, with someone asking him if he would fire the baby.

Rick Santorum was also scheduled to attend but his campaign said they changed plans when they saw “the mob.”

He talked to ABC’s Jake Tapper instead.

While the media circus trampled above, ABC’s Susan Archer spotted this sidewalk art supporting Ron Paul underfoot:

 On the Trail: New Hampshire Polling Place Overtaken by Media Circus

Susan Archer/ABC

With the sun setting over New Hampshire, here is where Jon Huntsman will ring in the results at his campaign’s election watch party:

abc jon huntsman party nh thg 120110 wblog On the Trail: New Hampshire Polling Place Overtaken by Media Circus

Susan Archer/ ABC

ABC News’ Huma Khan, Emily Friedman, Susan Archer, Arlette Saenz, Elicia Dover and Shushannah Walshe contributed to this report.

SHOWS:
You are using an outdated version of Internet Explorer. Please click here to upgrade your browser in order to comment.
blog comments powered by Disqus