US elections

Trump cruises in New Hampshire primary election, Haley vows to fight on


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Trump cruises in New Hampshire primary election, Haley vows to fight on

TRUMP. Republican presidential candidate and former US President Donald Trump gestures as he takes the stage during his New Hampshire presidential primary election night watch party, in Nashua, New Hampshire, USA, on January 23, 2024.

Mike Segar/Reuters

Donald Trump will become the first Republican to sweep competitive votes in both Iowa and New Hampshire since 1976, when the two states cemented their status as the first nominating contests

NEW HAMPSHIRE, USA – Donald Trump cruised to victory in New Hampshire’s Republican presidential contest on Tuesday, January 23, Edison Research projected, marching closer to a November rematch with Democratic President Joe Biden even as his only remaining rival, former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley, vowed to soldier on despite her loss.

“This race is far from over,” she told her supporters at a post-election party in Concord, challenging Trump to debate her. “I’m a fighter. And I’m scrappy. And now we’re the last one standing next to Donald Trump.”

At his own party in Nashua, Trump opened his speech by mocking Haley, calling her an “imposter” and saying, “She’s doing, like, a speech like she won. She didn’t win. She lost. … She had a very bad night.” His remarks followed a series of angry posts on his Truth Social app, calling her “DELUSIONAL.”

Haley had hoped the Northeastern state’s sizable cadre of independent voters would carry her to an upset win that might loosen Trump’s iron grip on the Republican Party.

Instead, Trump will become the first Republican to sweep competitive votes in both Iowa – where he won by a record-setting margin eight days ago – and New Hampshire since 1976, when the two states cemented their status as the first nominating contests.

With 41% of the expected vote tallied, according to Edison, Trump held a comfortable 54.7% to 43.7% lead.

While the final margin was still unclear, the result will likely bolster some Republicans’ calls for Haley to drop out of the race and allow the party to coalesce behind Trump. Her campaign vowed in a memo earlier on Tuesday to push forward until “Super Tuesday” in early March, when Republicans in 15 states and one territory vote on the same day.

The next competitive contest is scheduled for February 24 in South Carolina, where Haley was born and served two terms as governor. Despite her ties, however, Trump has racked up endorsements from most of the state’s Republican figures, and opinion polls show him with a wide lead.

In Iowa, Haley finished just behind the second-place Florida Governor Ron DeSantis while focusing much of her early campaign on New Hampshire, where the more moderate electorate was expected to offer perhaps her best chance of winning a state over Trump.

DeSantis, once seen as Trump’s most formidable challenger, dropped out on Sunday and endorsed Trump. Though DeSantis had only marginal support in New Hampshire, his voters were far more likely to switch allegiance to Trump, rather than Haley, according to polls.

Meanwhile, Edison projected Biden would win the New Hampshire Democratic primary based on write-in votes, after he declined to appear on the ballot due to a dispute with the state about the election’s timing.

Despite Trump’s win on Tuesday, exit polls hinted at his potential vulnerabilities in a general election campaign. He faces four sets of criminal charges for a range of offenses, including his efforts to overturn his 2020 defeat and his retention of classified documents after leaving the White House in 2021.

About 44% of voters who participated in the Republican primary said he would not be fit to serve if convicted in court, according to exit polling by Edison.

More than half said they do not believe Biden legitimately won the 2020 election, echoing Trump’s false claims that the result was tainted by fraud.

There were also warning signs for Biden, however. Nearly three-quarters of Republican primary voters said the economy was either poor or not good, an area where Biden has struggled to highlight his administration’s accomplishments.

Republicans made up a smaller share of voters in the primary relative to the state’s 2016 Republican contest in the state, the exit polls showed. Some 49% of voters considered themselves Republican, compared to 55% in the 2016 primary. Six percent said they considered themselves Democrats, compared to 3% in 2016. The share of independents was little changed at 45%.

Biden not on ballot

Biden was not on the ballot in New Hampshire’s Democratic primary, having supported an effort by his party to move their first primary election to the more diverse state of South Carolina.

New Hampshire supporters were still able to vote for him by writing Biden’s name on the ballot, offering a barometer of his political strength. With 18% of the estimated vote counted, according to Edison, Biden had 66.8%, far ahead of US Representative Dean Phillips at 20%.

The Democratic president, whose advisers are anticipating a rematch with Trump, took aim at Republicans over their efforts to curb abortion rights in a Virginia speech on Tuesday, but his remarks were interrupted repeatedly by hecklers protesting his policies toward Israel.

The US Supreme Court, with a conservative majority made possible by three justices who joined the court under Trump, eliminated a nationwide right to abortion in 2022, galvanizing Democratic voters in that year’s congressional elections.

Biden also has cast Trump as a would-be dictator and a threat to democracy.

“Tonight’s results confirm Donald Trump has all but locked up the GOP nomination, and the election denying, anti-freedom MAGA movement has completed its takeover of the Republican Party,” Biden’s 2024 campaign manager, Julie Chavez Rodriguez, said in a statement, referring to Trump’s slogan, Make America Great Again.

Trump, who is balancing campaign stops with appearances in various criminal and civil courts, denies wrongdoing and has used the criminal charges against him to bolster his claim of political persecution.

New Hampshire, while also a mostly white state with a small population like Iowa, has a more moderate Republican electorate and a better record of predicting the eventual nominee.

Haley had stepped up her attacks on Trump as the election drew near, criticizing his affinity for strongmen such as Russia’s Vladimir Putin and North Korea’s Kim Jong Un.

Haley, 52, has also gone after Trump’s age – he is 77 – and mental acuity, attacks she has also regularly leveled at Biden, who is 81.

She took up the theme again on Tuesday, saying the country needs to put someone in the White House that can put in eight years to get it back on track.

“Do you want two 80-year-olds running for president?” Haley asked. –

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