Tales From the Trail: Snow Day in New Hampshire

Want to know what the NBC News Embeds saw? Follow their daily journey to the inside of the 2016 presidential campaign here:

Behind the scenes at the Democratic debate

DURHAM, N.H. - In the final moments before they took the stage, Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders each wanted a moment alone to get centered for their first one-on-one debate encounter.

They did not speak to each other and strode silently to their marks offstage before walking out to their respective podiums. Within minutes, sparks were flying.

During commercial breaks, Sanders sat pensively and sketched out his thoughts on a legal pad backstage.

Clinton, often standing, got some makeup touchups and joked around with the crew backstage. "Don't start without me, guys!" she said with a laugh during one of the longer breaks.

Since this was the first debate with just the two of them, the podium spacing was a little different than debates prior.

When Huma Abedin, one of Clinton's top aides, first checked out the stage during a walkthrough earlier in the day, she immediately noticed the proximity.

"Wow, this is intimate," she said.

Clinton wore a small gold necklace with four rubies that her husband, former President Bill Clinton, gave her for their 40th wedding anniversary last year (one stone for each decade).

Though it's sometimes hard to spot under a large string of pearls like the ones she wore Thursday night, Clinton wears the necklace to most of her big appearances and events.

"A good luck charm," one aide called it after another debate a few months back.

-- Monica Alba covering the Clinton campaign

We're not in Iowa anymore...

New Hampshire sure isn't Iowa.

Let's just say the folks out here have a different style to them - a more brash, direct, we-mean-business attitude. Don't take this wrong, New Hampshire - it's just quite a different feel for this reporter, who spent the last six months out in the open skies of Iowa.

Ted Cruz's charter plane flew into New England overnight following Monday's caucus. Cruz has had ten events since. And the New Hampshire voter is a little more blunt in their assessments of candidates.

"Trump needs to go away. Trump needs to go away," Jan Forsberg, a Republican, told me on Thursday night. "We don't need a bully in the White House. No. He will lose."

You ask for an opinion - you're going to get one in New Hampshire.

Then on Friday morning, after a pit stop at the downtown Manchester post office, I happened to walk by some young high school students standing amidst the more than seven inches of snow already fallen in the Granite State that morning.

With the snow continuing to fall, the students began making snowballs. They were standing outside the windows of Donald Trump's state headquarters, where about two dozen folks were hurriedly involved in tasks inside.

It was clear where the direction of their snowballs were headed - I pulled out my phone for the moment.

New Hampshire seems ready to share how they really feel.

-- Vaughn Hillyard covering the Cruz campaign

Leave the mother's out of this....

Jeb Bush is throwing some Twitter shade at Donald Trump for getting snowed out of New Hampshire on Friday and canceling a campaign event. Bush tweeted a photo of his 90-year-old former First Lady mother campaigning at a restaurant this morning in New Hampshire.

-- Jordan Frasier covering the Bush campaign

Record-breaking predictions

CONCORD, N.H. — Despite more snow headed this way, New Hampshire Secretary of State Bill Gardner predicts "record" turnout for this Tuesday's presidential primary.

"I expect that the turnout of this presidential primary will break a record of the number of votes cast," he told reporters in his office Friday. "I thought that in 2008 we might not see anything like that for a while because that was such an incredible turnout but I think that this one will actually exceed that."

He predicts that there will be a total of about 550,000 votes cast on Tuesday - more than the 529,000 cast in 2008. He also thinks more ballots will be cast for Republicans than Democrats: 282,000 for GOP candidates and 268,000 for Democrats. New Hampshire has historically had the highest or second-highest presidential primary turnout rate in the country. If vote totals meet Gardner's predictions, then 62 percent of registered voters (but just 55 percent of people of voting age) would participate.

More on primary day turnout predictions here.

-- Kailani Koenig covering the New Hampshire primary