Countdown to New Hampshire With 5 Things to Watch in Tuesday's Primary

Tuesday will be a critical moment on the road to the White House.

— -- Tuesday will be a critical moment on the road to the White House as residents of the Granite State cast their votes in the first-in-the-nation primary.

With independents making up more than 40 percent of the electorate, the New Hampshire primary can often surprise, and that may be the case Tuesday.

Here are the five things to watch for when New Hampshire votes:

1. The Sanders-Clinton Expectations Game

But other surveys have showed Clinton narrowing the gap. A surprise win here for the former secretary of state would be huge news, but even a closer-than-expected, second-place finish would be significant.

That said, a Sanders win would surely keep the “Bern” alive going into the next primary contests.

2. Could Kasich Be the 2016 ‘Comeback Kid’?

And in a sign of confidence, the Kasich campaign already put out his South Carolina campaign schedule for the rest of the week.

3. Has Rubio’s Rise Slowed?

Despite his strong finish in Iowa, the big question on Tuesday is whether the Florida senator has hit a plateau.

4. Moment of Truth for Trump

It’s do-or-die for the Donald.

The Republican front-runner was expected to win in Iowa, but instead snagged second place, falling to Texas Sen. Ted Cruz.

The New Hampshire polls have long showed the real estate mogul ahead by a big margin in the state. And there’s no doubt Trump needs to deliver a strong ground game in the Granite State.

If he doesn’t, look for pundits to employ the old saying: The emperor has no clothes.

5. Governors’ Game of 'Survivor'

Until recently, conventional wisdom held that there was probably only one ticket out of New Hampshire for the three governors in the race: former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, and Ohio Gov. John Kasich. Now it seems like there may be at least two.

If all three governors have strong showings in New Hampshire, perhaps bunched together in the final vote tally, it’s possible they could all move on to the next contests. Then again, one or more of them may not be so lucky.

ABC News’ Ryan Struyk and Michael Falcone contributed reporting.