All as expected: Donald Trump’s triumphal ride continues. After the muscular victory in Iowa, the former president also puts New Hampshire in his bag.
“Haley lost but she made a speech as if she had won, but she didn’t”, underlined Donald Trump but “the race is far from over” countered Nikki Haley. The former governor of South Carolina does not intend to retreat despite her second defeat in seven days.
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Data and projections before the polls
Just before midnight, with 85% of ballots counted, Donald Trump leads by a double-digit margin: 54.4% against Nikki Haley’s 43.4%. For now the two candidates receive 11 and 8 delegates respectively, with another 3 left to be assigned at the end of the vote.
According to Fox News, the first network to venture the percentages, Trump was winning with 53.2% against his rival’s 45.5%. Other major media outlets, with the counting still underway, calculated 54.7% for Trump compared to 43.8% for Haley.
New Hampshire’s 22 delegates will be allocated proportionally between the two candidates – the only requirement was to receive at least 10% of the statewide vote, a condition which both met.
CNN immediately underlines that this second victory, after the one in Iowa, paves the way for Trump for the third consecutive candidacy for the White House.
Nikki Haley doesn’t seem to agree. Speaking to her supporters, she admitted her opponent’s victory beforehand: “I wanted to congratulate Donald Trump on his victory, he earned it and I want to acknowledge it.” To then specify that Trump’s victory “is also a victory for Biden” and that “the race is far from over. There are still many states and the next one is my South Carolina. I am a fighter”.
Donald Trump’s first comment on social media was instead contemptuous: “Haley said she would win in New Hampshire. She didn’t do it!!! Delirious!!!”, with all the exclamation points he seems appropriate to add. Then he gives an interview to Fox News, a channel that has always had an eye on him. “Nikki Haley, you should abandon the race, otherwise we will continue to waste money, instead of spending it on Biden, who is our goal.”
About Joe Biden. Also noteworthy in New Hampshire was the president’s “symbolic” victory in the Democratic primaries, in which Biden did not formally participate. In fact, he came first as a “write in” candidate, i.e. voted with a preference not pre-printed on the ballot paper.
The Democratic primaries in New Hampshire were in fact held outside the calendar decided by the Democratic Party and therefore will not weigh on the national convention which will be held from 19 to 22 August in Chicago, Illinois.
The challenge continues
Nikki Haley is the latest major challenger running against Trump. Florida governor Ron DeSantis in fact put an end to his candidacy after the vote in Iowa, allowing her to campaign as the only alternative to Trump.
Since then, Haley has stepped up her criticism of the former president, questioning her mental acuity and presenting herself as a candidate capable of unifying the party and ushering in generational change. In response, Trump called her “allied with communists and left-wing extremists.”
Trump can now boast of being the first Republican presidential candidate to win the primaries in both Iowa and New Hampshire since both states began to lead the electoral calendar in 1976: a sign of the speed with which the Republicans, despite the discontent of the party, they rallied around him to make him their candidate for the White House for the third time in a row.
At this point, therefore, Haley is also suffering from a psychological disadvantage that appears difficult to overcome, but before throwing in the towel she will want to see how things go on February 24th in South Carolina, the state of which she was governor. If a strong push were to come from there, she could stay in the race. Unfortunately for her, however, at the moment the polls see her significantly behind, around 20% versus Trump’s 60%.