February 28, 2024

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Trump is the big winner, yet he should be worried

Trump is the big winner, yet he should be worried

Even though Donald Trump won the New Hampshire Republican primary, Nikki Haley says she will continue. The viability of her candidacy is questionable. However, Trump doesn't just have reason to be happy.

Thomas Roeb

It was always a goat path, but at least the path was clear. This is how Nikki Haley envisioned the future: finishing second in Iowa, then in the moderate state of New Hampshire, proving to her fellow citizens that the front-runner was unapproachable. This would change the dynamic. If she could win anywhere, it would be here.

The reality turned out to be different. In the New Hampshire primary, Donald Trump achieved a large victory over her by a narrow margin. The former president received 55% of the votes, compared to only 43%. powerful hit.

Haley's path to the Republican presidential nomination has become more narrow, if not dead-end. However, she says she will continue.

Trump described her insistence as “crazy.” “What is she doing? We won!” The visibly upset former president devoted more emotion to his stubborn rival in his victory speech than to his success. “You can't let people get away with bullshit“.

His company was carefully selected. Trump was flanked by Vivek Ramaswamy and Tim Scott: rivals who capitulated and then meticulously briefed Trump's team. Gov. Ron DeSantis did the same. He can count on Trump's warm words this week.

Winner is angry. Donald Trump demands loyalty. But, for now, Hailey doesn't seem willing to give that — no matter how hard her path may be.

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“Voters don’t want a coronation.”

“We're just getting started,” Haley said during a speech in Concord, the capital of New Hampshire. The candidate has turned her focus to the next battleground: South Carolina next month. “Voters in South Carolina don’t want a coronation,” Haley said. “They want elections. We will give it to them.”

The feasibility of such a reboot is questionable. The temperate state of New Hampshire, located in the American North, was widely considered Haley's best opportunity. Now that even those voters don't support her enough, the question is what she can offer more conservative South Carolina.

Although Haley was once governor there, she is far behind Trump in the polls. “I love South Carolina,” the leader quipped on stage Tuesday night.

The past offers Haley even less reason for hope. Never before in history has a candidate missed the nomination after winning both New Hampshire and Iowa. This seems within Trump's reach.

Cause for concern

However, the results in New Hampshire do not provide exclusively good news for the former president. One in three voters who voted for the Republican side said they would never support Trump, not even in the general election in November. An alarming statistic. Potential Trump supporters remain deeply divided.

There is a caveat to this. New Hampshire is not a typical congressional district. Here independent voters, generally moderate, play an important role. Unlike many other states, New Hampshire allows them to participate in partisan elections.

Haley received 74% of moderate votes this week; Not enough to make a profit. But if a large portion of them do not embrace Trump even after his nomination, this will reduce his chances in November. Ultimately, the tough election battle against Joe Biden will be decided in the middle. “Trump is the only Republican in the country who Joe Biden can defeat,” Haley said Tuesday.

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Joe Biden is not having a bad week. The New Hampshire Democratic primary, held simultaneously, was won by the president by a wide margin — even though he was not on the ballot.

New Hampshire held its election on Tuesday, despite the Democratic Party's decision not to start primaries until next month in South Carolina. Even though the result was not counted, and Biden was absent from the ballot, the Democrats involved in New Hampshire started off with a successful election Write in the campaign. The majority of voters manually entered the name “Joe Biden.”

Nikki Haley.Image by Getty Images

The president won without running for office. However, he should also be scratching his head, and not just because this farce will make him lose face. As with Trump, Democratic voters also showed less enthusiasm than Biden should have wanted; 10% said they would not support the president in the final elections.

Both Trump and Biden are unpopular with the general public. But bad news for them doesn't mean good news for Hayley. She has been emerging in opinion polls for months as the strongest contender against Biden. This argument does not seem to hold water. She tried again on Tuesday that “Trump’s nomination means a victory for Biden.”

Among registered Republicans in New Hampshire, only a quarter chose Haley. And that, ultimately, is the only real rule in her fight for the Republican nomination: You can't win without Republican support.