Trump wins New Hampshire GOP Primary

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MANCHESTER, NH – Former President Donald Trump easily won the New Hampshire primary on Tuesday, taking control of the race for the Republican nomination and setting up a November rematch against the President Joe Biden to feel more inevitable.

The result was a disappointment for former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley, who finished in second place despite investing a lot of time and financial resources in a state known for its independent streak. She is the last major challenger after Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis ended his presidential bid over the weekend, allowing her to campaign as the only alternative to Trump.

Trump allies pressured Haley to drop out of the race before the polls closed, but Haley vowed after the results were announced that she would continue her campaign. Speaking to supporters, she emphasized her criticism of the former president, questioning his sanity and positioning herself as a unifying candidate who would bring about generational change.

“This race is far from over. There are dozens of states left to go,” Haley said, as some in the crowd chanted, “It’s not over!

Trump, meanwhile, can now boast of being the first Republican presidential candidate to win open races in Iowa and New Hampshire since the two states began dominating the election calendar in 1976, a mark amazing how quickly Republicans have rallied around him to make him the nominee. for the third time in a row.

Read More: How Trump took control of the GOP primary

He posted particularly strong results in the state’s most conservative districts, while Haley won more liberal parts. The only areas in which Haley was leading Trump in early returns were in Democratic cities and towns such as Concord, Keene and Portsmouth.

With easy wins in both early states, Trump is showing an ability to unite GOP factions firmly behind him. But about half of GOP primary voters in New Hampshire said they are very or somewhat worried that Trump is too serious to win the general election, according to AP VoteCast, a survey of voters in the state. Only about a third say the same about Haley.

Pat Sheridan, a 63-year-old engineer from Hampton, voted for Trump “because he did a really good job the first time. “

“We need a businessman, not bureaucrats,” Sheridan said.

Haley’s path to becoming the GOP standard bearer is narrowing fast. She will not compete in a contest that will award delegates to the Feb. 24 primary in South Carolina, bypassing the Feb. 8 caucuses in Nevada that are widely seen to favor Trump.

As the former governor of South Carolina, Haley is hoping a strong showing there could get her into the Super Tuesday March 5 championships. But in a very conservative state where Trump is popular, those ambitions may be difficult to realize and a home state loss could be politically devastating.

“This is just the beginning; we have the rest of the country,” said Sandy Adams, 66, a Bow independent who supported Haley. “I think we have a strong candidate, and the first time we only have two candidates, and that’s a good thing.”

On the Democratic side, President Joe Biden won his party’s primary but had to do so through a write-in effort. The Democratic National Committee voted to start its primary next month in South Carolina, but New Hampshire pushed forward with its own contest. Biden did not campaign or appear on the ballot but he was leading a series of opponents that they did not know.

Trump’s early sweep through the Republican primary is remarkable as he faces 91 criminal charges related to everything from trying to sway the 2020 presidential election to rigging -handling registered documents and arranging payments for porn actresses. He left the White House in 2021 after a rebellion at the US Capitol led by his supporters who tried to stop the qualification of Biden’s victory. And Trump was the first president to be impeached twice.

Read More: A guide to all the Trump impeachments – and the location of each case

In addition to the political vulnerabilities associated with criminal cases, Trump faces a logistical challenge in balancing trials and campaigning. He has often volunteered in a New York courtroom where a jury is deliberating whether to pay additional damages to a columnist who won a $5 jury award. million last year against Trump for sexual abuse and defamation. He has turned these events into campaign events, holding televised press conferences that allow him to spread his message to a large audience.

But Trump has turned those vulnerabilities to an advantage among GOP voters. He has argued that criminal charges reflect a politicized Justice Department, although there is no evidence that Biden or anyone else in the White House pressured officials there to file charges.

Trump has also repeatedly told his supporters that he is being sued on their behalf, an argument that appears to have further strengthened his bond with the GOP base.

As Trump begins to turn his attention to Biden and the general election campaign, the question is whether the former president’s framing of legal issues will persuade voters outside the GOP base. Trump lost the popular vote in the 2016 and 2020 elections and has faced particular struggles in suburban communities from Georgia to Pennsylvania to Arizona that could be decisive in the fall campaign.

Trump traveled frequently to New Hampshire in the months leading up to the primary but did not spend as much time in the state as many of his rivals. Instead of the traditional way of greeting voters in person or in small groups, Trump has held large rallies. He has spent much of his time complaining about his past – including the lie that the 2020 election was stolen due to widespread voter fraud.

If he returns to the White House, the former president has vowed to implement a tough immigration agenda that includes stopping migrants from crossing the border. US-Mexico and reinstates its first-term travel ban that targeted seven Muslim-majority countries. He has also said that the number of immigrants entering the United States is “poisoning the blood of our country,” echoing the language of Adolf Hitler.

Biden faces his own challenges. There are widespread concerns about his age at 81 years old. Dissension is also building within his party over Biden’s alliance with Israel in its war against Hamas, putting the president’s position at risk in swing states like Michigan. A rally he held in northern Virginia on Tuesday to promote abortion rights – an issue his party sees as crucial to success in November – was interrupted again by protests about US military aid to Israel. One person shouted “shame on you!”

But he avoided potential embarrassment in New Hampshire even when rivals like Minnesota Rep. Dean Phillips compared it in advertising to Bigfoot – because both were hard to find.

Durwood Sargent, 79, of Bow, submitted a write-in vote for Biden and said he was not offended that the president kept his name off the ballot.

“It’s not a big deal. They have made a big deal out of it. The president has a country to run,” he said.

– Colvin reported from Londonderry, New Hampshire. Weissert reported from Washington. The AP’s Bill Barrow in Atlanta, Joseph Frederick in Franklin, New Hampshire, and Mike Pesoli in Laconia, New Hampshire, contributed to this report.

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