MANCHESTER, NH – Former Pres Donald Trump By winning the New Hampshire primary on Tuesday, he took a giant leap toward the Republican presidential nomination and sought revenge against President Joe Biden.
If he succeeds, former U.S. Ambassador Nikki Haley, his only challenger for the 2024 GOP presidential nomination, will find himself behind the political eight ball as much as any candidate in the GOP nomination race.
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Trump won the Iowa caucuses last Monday, and Haley’s path to a comeback will be blocked by a New Hampshire defeat, especially a convincing one.
“It seems like it’s too late, but tonight we’re going to find out if it’s the end or the beginning,” said Matt Mowers, a Republican strategist who has run for Congress twice in New Hampshire.
“If Nikki Haley can keep it close, then she can make a convincing case to donors and voters that she should continue her long march to the Republican convention this summer,” he said. “If not, Donald Trump may be the candidate earlier [President] Joe Biden.”
Trump is certain to win the Feb. 8 Nevada caucus — which won’t include Haley — before the race shifts to South Carolina, where he was twice elected governor but trailed the former president by dozens of points in the public vote.
Trump went into Tuesday’s midnight polls in Dixville Notch with an ever-widening lead Suffolk University/Boston Globe/NBC-10. tracking request in a week when a third challenger, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, dropped out and He supported Trump.
“If President Trump makes a strong speech tonight, it’s a clear message to our core constituents,” Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel told NBC News. “Another message we’re hearing is unity — from President Trump, Gov. DeSantis and Sen. [Tim] Scott [R-S.C.]. “Republicans know that if we do not unite as a party behind our candidate, we will not be able to defeat Biden.”
McDaniel noted that there had never been a “Republican candidate who didn’t win at least Iowa or New Hampshire.”
On the Democratic side, President Biden chose not to apply for the vote, a decision that followed the Democratic National Committee’s successful request to select South Carolina as the first state to count in its party’s nominating process. His allies hoped he would win the Granite State writing candidate Dean Phillips, D-Minn. and against self-help author Marianne Williamson.
But while Biden is certain to hold on for the Democratic nomination, the real action is on the Republican side.
In Dixville Notch (a small village closer to Montreal, Canada than Manchester) on Tuesday morning, Haley won all six votes, but Trump was 60% to 38% in the final iteration of the Suffolk University/Boston Globe/NBC-10 poll. collected. a spread that grew 6 percentage points in one week.
Haley insists she can defeat Trump in the one-on-one battle she now has — arguing that America is ready for a generational change from her and President Biden — and her campaign vowed on Tuesday to fight again. Whatever the result, Hampshire will vote in a second state.
Polls show Trump leads Haley among registered Republicans in New Hampshire, while Haley boasts a smaller lead among the state’s large population of independent voters.
Haley was poised to capitalize on Tuesday’s surge in independent and Democratic-leaning voters. According to a preliminary NBC News exit poll, 45 percent of voters identified as independents, up from 42 percent in 2016, the last time there was a competitive Republican primary. Eight percent of voters identify as Democrats, up from 3 percent in 2016.
Part of Haley’s argument is that many states have primaries that allow independents to vote in GOP primaries, including 11 of the 16 states voting on Super Tuesday, March 5.
“We’ll have a very good picture of where this race stands after Super Tuesday, when millions of Americans will have voted in 26 states and territories,” Haley campaign manager Betsy Ankeny wrote in her memoir. Until then, everyone should take a deep breath.”
Closure of pitches
Trump has spent the past week lobbying New Hampshire voters with once-a-day events around the state and at least one weekend tele-rally. His surrogates, including members of Congress and former opponents, took to the air and appeared on television and radio broadcasts to reach more voters in person.
In his latest speech to voters in a cramped basement in Laconia on Monday night, Trump suggested that an impressive margin in New Hampshire would set the stage for the general election.
“Get out of bed and just start voting. Grab your neighbor, grab everybody. It’s got to be you, you’ve got to get out because we’ve got to win by a big margin,” he said. “And the reason we have to do it [is] very simple. You know why: We need to send a signal that we’re not playing in November.”
He has consistently hit Haley for wanting to raise the retirement age for Social Security and has portrayed her as lax on border security.
after Republicans in the state complained Haley said she canceled debates, stopped taking questions from the audience at events and booked a light schedule earlier in the week — her campaign said she was leaving New Hampshire for a weekly visit to her parents in South Carolina — storming out as a candidate. mission.
At a voting event in Salem on Monday, Haley told voters they were at a generational crossroads.
“It’s really a choice,” he said. “Do you want more of the same? Or do you want to move forward? . . . 70% of Americans said they do not want a Trump-Biden rematch. The majority of Americans dislike both Biden and Trump.”
He was able to get the endorsement of New Hampshire Governor Chris Sunu, who appeared in television commercials for him. Both argued that he would give Republicans a better chance to win up and down the ballot in November, with Haley often pointing to polls showing him doing better against Biden than against Trump.
The greatest little moment
With Trump refusing to debate anyone and Haley refusing to debate DeSantis last week unless Trump was present, voters here were denied a chance to watch the candidates face off.
It was DeSantis sudden decision Suspending Sunday’s campaign, it was the biggest potential game changer in the eight days between Iowa’s caucuses and Tuesday’s primary.
For months, Haley and DeSantis had fought a relative stalemate in their rivalry to be Trump’s only serious challenger. By the time they arrived in New Hampshire, the remaining candidates had failed. North Dakota Governor Doug Burgum, businessman Vivek Ramaswamy and Tim Scott, who dropped out of the race earlier, campaigned for Trump.
After trying to convince supporters he could survive despite the single-digit vote in New Hampshire — in part by making multiple trips to South Carolina during the week — DeSantis went home to Florida and canceled Sunday morning television appearances.
Instead, he met with advisers, including Rep. Chip Roy, R-Texas, at the governor’s mansion in Tallahassee to weigh his options. With his wife, Casey, he decided to end his bid later in the day, announcing his decision in a video endorsing Trump.
But given the small number of voters who supported him, his departure seemed to have little effect.