New Hampshire Primaries: Trump Wins, Haley Vows to Stay in the Race

Campaign signs alongside the highway in Concord, New Hampshire on January 18, 2024. The states primary is scheduled for January 23, 2024. (Photo by TIMOTHY A. CLARY / AFP) (Photo by TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP via Getty Images)
Campaign signs alongside the highway in Concord, New Hampshire on January 18, 2024. The state’s primary is scheduled for January 23, 2024. (Photo by TIMOTHY A. CLARY / AFP) (Photo by TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP via Getty Images)
AFP via Getty Images

On Tuesday, January 23rd, New Hampshire voters head to the polls for the first-in-the-nation primaries. Former President Trump and former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley ran head to head in the days approaching the primaries in a battle to win the state. Although Florida Governor Ron DeSantis dropped out of the race on Sunday, his name will still be on the ballot. 

The Democrats opted to start their nominating process in South Carolina on February 3rd. Although incumbent Joe Biden does not appear on the ballot in New Hampshire, he is still expected to win with write-ins. Over 320,000 Republicans were expected to vote compared to 88,000 Democrats. 

The electorate in New Hampshire is starkly different from that in Iowa. Undeclared voters make up a large population, outnumbering both registered Democrats and Republicans. New Hampshire voters are a lot more likely to identify themselves as political moderates, and only half identify with Trump’s MAGA movement. New Hampshire voters have more concerns about Trump and his extremist policies than voters in Iowa. About half of GOP voters in New Hampshire express concern about Trump compared to a third about Nikki Haley. Yet, despite their concerns, more than half said Trump would still be fit for the presidency if he were convicted of a crime. The more moderate electorate is what led many political analysts to believe in the possibility of Nikki Haley winning New Hampshire. 

In the weeks prior to the election, Nikki Haley was trailing Trump by single digits; however, Trump’s campaign increased their spending in the state and widened the gap to around 10 points. On Tuesday, as New Hampshire voters made their way to the ballots, the country waited to see if Nikki Haley could pull off an upset. 

The six registered voters of Dixville Notch, New Hampshire were the first to cast their ballots. The tiny town opts to open its polling place at 12 am and therefore draws tens of reporters to watch the first six votes be cast. This year, all six of the town’s registered voters voted for Nikki Haley giving her a small but early lead.  

The next votes trickled in starting at 7 pm EST when the first polls closed. Early results put Haley slightly ahead of Trump; however, the former president soon took the lead. Around an hour into the ballot counting process, various credible news sources called the Republican race for Donald Trump and the Democratic one for incumbent Joe Biden. With 95% of the votes counted, Donald Trump won 54.6%, racking in 163,714 votes while Nikki Haley came in second with 43.2% and 129,651 votes. Clearly, the much talked about power of New Hampshire’s undeclared voters was not enough to give Nikki Haley a win. Haley’s best remaining argument is that polls give her a higher chance of beating Joe Biden than Donald Trump would have. Voters who do not want a second term of the Biden administration may continue to be attracted to that possibility. However, without winning a single state, Haley’s chances of winning the Republican nomination are slim. 

With this win, Trump becomes the first non-incumbent candidate to win the nation’s first two states in an election. His large lead over other candidates further solidifies his ironclad grip on the Republican Party and the possibility of an early grasp on his party’s nomination. 

Among those who voted for Trump, most wanted a candidate who they believed would fight for them. Trump won over very conservative voters, white Evangelicals, and voters without a college degree. Although Haley won amongst undeclared voters, moderates, and college graduates, it was not enough to win her the state. 

Looking ahead, the next Republican primary election will take place on February 24th in Nikki Haley’s home state of South Carolina. Haley is adamant that she will not drop out of the race; however, from many perspectives, her future is a rocky road. She poured a significant amount of her funds and resources into New Hampshire where she had the best chance of winning; therefore, the loss was disappointing for her campaign. Although South Carolina is her home state, and where she used to be Governor, polls show her trailing 30 points behind Trump. The Trump campaign hopes that Haley will drop out so that they can aim their resources at the general election and focus on Biden. “If she doesn’t drop out, we have to waste money instead of spending it on Biden, which is our focus,” said Trump to Fox News after the race was called. 

With a month left until the next Republican primaries, it remains to be seen whether Haley will stick it out till the end of February or if she will drop from the race, securing Trump the Republican nomination for President.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover
About the Contributor
Lili Bazargan
Lili Bazargan, News Editor

Comments (0)

All Brush and Palette Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *