President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump won a decisive victory in the New Hampshire primary on Tuesday. both set goals confidently move to the general election regime.
Still, questions remain, albeit fewer questions for Democrats. Biden’s write-in campaign — he skipped New Hampshire in a conflict over the 2024 primary — handily defeated an energetic and well-funded challenge from Minnesota state Rep. Dean Phillips.
On the Republican side, former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley vowed to continue, angering Trump and his allies. He’s moving forward with a sharp focus on South Carolina, where he used to be governor — but where Trump appears to be the front-runner.
Here are the biggest takeaways from New Hampshire’s primary night — from Trump and the future of the Republican Party to the waning influence of local endorsements and more.
Trump is ramping up the pressure to end the primary campaign
Trump became the first Republican incumbent to win both Iowa and New Hampshire, and he won both races by double digits.
Trump and his allies are using the historic first as a clear signal that the 2024 primary campaign must be over. Yes, a significant portion of the GOP electorate was looking for an alternative to Trump. But so far, he hasn’t been able to come close to knocking it down.
“We have to do what’s right for our party,” Trump said on election night in Nashua.
Of course, you can expect Trump to call on his opponents to stop opposing him. More to the point, Republican National Committee Chairwoman Ronna McDaniel essentially He said this in a statement to NBC News Before polls close Tuesday in New Hampshire, if Trump wins a landslide, it will be time for the party to formally rally around him. Several GOP lawmakers have suggested the same.
“If President Trump makes a strong speech tonight, it’s a clear message to our core voters,” McDaniel said in a statement Tuesday, adding that former rivals are backing Trump and “Republicans know that if we’re not united, the party behind our nominee, we can’t beat Biden.” “.
But Haley, in a post-election speech on Tuesday, vowed to keep fighting and campaigning in South Carolina later next month.
A warning sign for Trump
Despite his victory over Haley on Tuesday night, there are some general election warning signs in the outcome for Trump.
First of all: his performance with self-identified “moderates” who tend to be swing voters in critical states like Pennsylvania, Michigan and even New Hampshire comes from November.
An NBC News exit poll showed Trump winning self-identified Republicans by 49 points, while losing independents by 24 points, and the makeup of the primary was fairly evenly split between the two groups. Self-identified moderates, 29% of voters, supported Haley by 51 points over Trump, and conservatives by 42 points.
Meanwhile, only 13% of Haley voters said they would be “happy” if Trump won the GOP nomination, while 86% of his voters said he would be unfit to serve as president if convicted of a crime.
Not all of Haley’s supporters were Trump supporters in 2020. And Greg Moore, regional director of Americans for Prosperity Action, a conservative group that supports Haley, told reporters on Friday that he thinks there will be “the raw reality” of a matchup between the two candidates. see a lot of unhappy Republicans come to Trump’s house.
But NBC News spoke with several voters at Haley events who said they would not vote for Trump in the fall if he wins the nomination, including those who voted for him in the past.
Haley supporter Donna Dostie of Hooksett said she likes Trump’s policies, but after supporting Trump in 2016, she’s voting for him in 2020 because of the “chaos he’s brought to our country.”
He said he would write in Haley this fall if the election turns out to be a rematch between Biden and Trump.
“Trump makes me angry,” he said. “He really does. I think he is a dangerous man.”
These voters don’t piss Trump off. In response to a question from NBC News earlier Tuesday about some of the buybacks, he wasn’t too concerned.
“They will vote for me again,” he said. “I’m not sure we need much. I’m not sure. I think Biden is the worst president in the history of this country. But we will all be back. They all come back. And I think you see that.”
Governors do not guarantee victory
Governor of Iowa. Kim Reynolds and the governor of New Hampshire. Presented by Chris I felt so strongly that Trump should not be the nominee of the Republican Party that they both put their political capital on the line to oppose the most powerful figure in their party, supporting other candidates. and are aggressively campaigning for them.
Reynolds’ endorsement of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis hardly made a difference. DeSantis finished a distant second to Trump in Iowa, a state he once vowed to win. (Trump dealt with Reynolds’ lackluster speech in the hours before the vote foreboding potential revenge.)
Sununu’s endorsement had a bigger impact on the race in New Hampshire. Haley distanced herself from Christie, the former governor of New Jersey, and presented herself as a clear alternative to Trump. Christie, who has a New Hampshire or bust strategy, left gave Haley a chance to bridge the gap with Trump two weeks ago.
Sununu, a four-term re-electionist, has thrown himself into Haley’s campaign despite maintaining a wide political distance from Trump. In recent days, the two were practically inseparable. But Sunu, who was a month ago Haley predicted a “slide,” He began to temper expectations, arguing that a loss to Trump would not be fatal to his bid for the White House.
Haley’s defeat is not Sununu’s. His endorsement gave him the boost he needed, just not the majority of New Hampshire’s Republican voters. Trump and no Trump in the duo — and Sununu, despite his popularity state, not so much Trump – Trump is still winning.
Democrats are still with Biden
Despite all the Democratic claptrap about Biden’s prospects against Trump, despite all the polls showing Americans are unhappy with a Biden-Trump rematch, and despite Biden’s age and weaknesses, Biden won comfortably. margin as a write-in candidate in New Hampshire unauthorized Democratic primary.
Biden didn’t even make it to New Hampshire in his first two presidential contests before finishing fifth in 1988 and 2008. state in 2020, but this time he’s on track to win nearly two-thirds of the state’s Democratic vote, almost 50 points ahead of his competition even though his name isn’t actually on the ballot.
That’s not far from 2012, when President Barack Obama won 81% of the vote in New Hampshire, when he ran for re-election without significant Democratic opposition (and with his name on the ballot). And Biden appears on track to win more raw votes this year than Obama did that year, thanks to higher turnout.
Phillips is a credible and well-funded candidate, smooth in his roots and a quarter-century younger than Biden. He went to New Hampshire and insisted that Biden was “unelectable” and in “decline.” And he easily beat the Biden write-in campaign, which ran no TV ads.
But New Hampshire Democrats opted to go with Biden anyway, while Phillips is closing in on his modest goal of finishing with more than 20% of the vote.
Phillips is worth somewhere north of $100 million, so he can likely keep his campaign going as long as he wants, and he’s already signed up for this weekend’s event in South Carolina. And Biden still has work to do to win back unhappy elements of his base. But apart from Phillips, some kind of big, surprising foreign phenomenon, the rest of the world it is likely that it will go to the general election regime.