POLITICS

Trump, Biden win New Hampshire primaries

Jan 23, 2024, 5:19 PM | Updated: 6:24 pm

Images: In this combination of photos, President Joe Biden, left, speaks on Aug. 10, 2023 in Salt L...

In this combination of photos, President Joe Biden, left, speaks on Aug. 10, 2023 in Salt Lake City and former President Donald Trump speaks on July 8, 2023 in Las Vegas. (AP file photos)

(AP file photos)

Donald Trump and President Joe Biden have won the New Hampshire primaries.

The former president clinched his second straight victory in his quest for the 2024 GOP nomination after knocking out the rest of the field with a commanding win in Iowa. GOP rival Nikki Haley, meanwhile, came up short in her effort to capitalize on her strength with independent and anti-Trump voters eager for a fresh voice to lead the party.

Biden prevailed even though he wasn’t on the ballot. His supporters mounted a write-in campaign on his behalf to avoid a loss, even though the contest awards no delegates because it violates the national party rules he pushed for.

Trump wins New Hampshire’s Republican primary

WASHINGTON — Trump has won New Hampshire’s GOP primary, delivering a setback to rival Haley, who is running out of time to establish herself as a viable alternative to him.

It was his second straight victory in his quest for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination. He won Iowa’s leadoff caucuses by 30 percentage points.

Biden allies, meanwhile, are hoping their write-in campaign on the Democratic side is successful. Polls closed statewide at 8 p.m.

Biden wins New Hampshire Democratic primary as a write-in candidate

Biden won New Hampshire’s largely symbolic Democratic primary, prevailing in an unusual write-in effort after he refused to campaign or appear on the ballot in the state.

Biden easily bested two longshot challengers, Minnesota Rep. Dean Phillips and self-help author Marianne Williamson, who were on the ballot along with a host of little-known names. His victory in a race he was not formally contesting essentially cements Biden’s grasp on the Democratic nomination for a second term.

How Trump won in New Hampshire

AP VoteCast showed Trump won big in small towns and rural communities, where about two-thirds of primary participants said they live. Most GOP voters in the state lack a college degree and about two-thirds of them voted for Trump. The former president won about 7 in 10 Republican voters who identified as conservatives and those who were registered Republicans.

AP VoteCast is a survey of more than 1,890 New Hampshire voters who were taking part in the Republican primary and 873 Democratic primary voters. The survey is conducted by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research.

Why the AP called New Hampshire’s Republican primary for Trump

WASHINGTON — The Associated Press declared Trump the winner based on an analysis of initial vote returns as well as the results of AP VoteCast, a survey of Republican primary voters. Both indicated Trump was running ahead of Haley by an insurmountable margin.

Initial results from more than 25 townships showed Trump leading by a comfortable margin as of 8 p.m. This includes results from Manchester and Concord, two of the state’s three most-populous cities. Early returns were also reported from more rural areas in the northern and eastern parts of the state. All confirmed the findings of AP’s survey.

The only areas in which Haley was leading Trump in early returns were in the state’s most Democratic-leaning cities and towns, such as Concord, Keene and Portsmouth.

VoteCast showed Trump leading Haley by a substantial margin across all regions of the state. It also showed Haley supported by a majority of unaffiliated voters choosing to cast their ballot in the Republican primary. That wasn’t enough to make up for Trump’s nearly 50-point lead among registered Republicans. New Hampshire allows voters not affiliated with a political party to participate in either party’s primary. Voters registered with a party may only vote in their own party’s primary.

New Hampshire’s 22 delegates will be allocated proportionally among candidates who receive at least 10% of the vote statewide.

Why the AP called New Hampshire’s Democratic primary for Biden

WASHINGTON — The Associated Press declared Biden the winner of New Hampshire’s Democratic primary based on an analysis of initial vote returns where write-in votes have been tabulated by candidate.

The early returns confirm the findings of AP’s VoteCast survey of likely Democratic primary voters, which found an overwhelming majority of write-in voters supporting the incumbent president. Together, they show that Biden has an insurmountable lead over the rest of the Democratic field.

Biden decided not to put his name on the New Hampshire ballot, since the state’s primary violates Democratic Party rules. It was Biden’s idea to bump the state from its prized first-in-the-nation primary calendar slot in favor of South Carolina, which resuscitated his struggling campaign in 2020. Instead, his supporters are backing him as a write-in candidate.

The VoteCast survey asked likely voters if they would support U.S. Rep. Dean Phillips, author Marianne Williamson or someone else. Of those who said they support someone else, nearly all indicated they would write in Biden.

As of 8:09 p.m., Phillips and Williamson were at 21% and 5% of the tabulated vote, respectively, and AP’s analysis shows that there are no scenarios for either to end up the winner.

Haley finishes as runner-up to Trump in New Hampshire

WASHINGTON — Haley has finished second in New Hampshire to Trump, a setback in her effort to reset the race for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination.

The former United Nations ambassador and South Carolina governor, who invested significant time and financial resources in the state, ramped up her criticism of Trump after Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis dropped out of the race and she became the sole GOP alternative to him. But the appeal ultimately failed to resonate with enough voters, and she’s in a weakened position heading into a primary in her home state.

AP takeaways: Trump’s path becomes clearer; so does the prospect of a rematch with Biden

This time, New Hampshire didn’t surprise.

Instead, its famously fickle voters stuck to the script of delivering a ringing ratification of the front-runner, Donald Trump, the former president. His victory over a defiant Nikki Haley cemented his hold on core Republican voters and substantially reduced the chances of any challenger overtaking him.

Never before has a presidential candidate won the first two contests on the primary nomination calendar — as Trump has now done — and failed to emerge as the party’s general election nominee, substantially increasing the already quite likely prospect of a rematch between him and President Joe Biden.

Even so, there were signs of restiveness among voters for both men. Here are some key takeaways from Tuesday’s New Hampshire Primary.

TRUMP’S GLIDE PATH

New Hampshire seemed like a state that Trump could lose.

The state’s moderate tradition, the participation of independents, a huge advertising disparity and even a popular governor were all working against the former president.

He overcame all of that, somewhat easily, putting himself on a glide path to a third consecutive Republican presidential nomination that can likely be stopped at this point only by an unprecedented collapse or unforeseen external circumstances.

His base, immovable so far, has given him a structural advantage that few non-incumbents have ever had. He doesn’t need to persuade any new voters to win the nomination, he simply needs to ensure his people turned out. According to AP VoteCast, only about half of New Hampshire Republican voters identify with Trump’s “Make America Great Again” movement. And nearly half disagree with Trump’s big lie that the 2020 was stolen.

He won anyway.

A WIN THAT CAME WITH WARNINGS

Trump may be unstoppable in the primary campaign, but Tuesday’s vote offered evidence that he may have a more difficult time in the general election this fall.

Trump did not carry key groups of swing voters. Haley beat Trump among primary voters who identify as moderates, as well as independents. She also beat Trump among those with a college degree. And about half of New Hampshire Republican primary voters are very or somewhat concerned that Trump is too extreme to win the general election, according to AP VoteCast. Only about one-third say the same about Haley.

A significant number of voters in the Republican primary — about one-third — also believe that Trump broke the law either in his alleged attempt to interfere in the vote count in the 2020 presidential election, his role in what happened at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021, or the classified documents found at his Florida home after he left the White House.

Such legal troubles helped unify core Republican voters behind his candidacy in recent months, but it’s hard to imagine those issues will be an asset with the much broader set of general election voters.

Trump is facing 91 felony counts across four criminal trials. And his court schedule is set up to ensure that voters won’t be able to forget about the legal drama, even if they want to. The federal trial over Trump’s alleged efforts to overturn the 2020 election is tentatively set to begin on March 4, the day before Super Tuesday.

HALEY PUSHING AHEAD

Haley’s loss represents a significant defeat for anti-Trump forces that still exist within the Republican Party.

They finally got the head-to-head contest they had long been calling for. And it wasn’t enough.

Still, Haley strongly suggested she would stay in the race until at least her home state primary in South Carolina on Feb. 24.

“New Hampshire is first in the nation, it’s not last in the nation. This race is far from over,” Haley told cheering supporters in Concord.

Haley’s team was quick to note that roughly 5 in 10 primary voters do not support Trump. Her advisors insist she will stay in the race to serve as a vehicle for those anti-Trump forces who are still hoping that Trump might be forced out of the race by his legal problems, or perhaps a health emergency.

And at least for now, the 52-year-old former South Carolina governor still has math and donors on her side.

Trump cannot mathematically secure the delegate majority he needs to become the presumptive nominee before Super Tuesday on March 5. And, in exactly one week, she’s scheduled to embark upon a fundraising tour that includes stops in New York, Florida, California and Texas.

Her campaign is also launching a new $4 million advertising campaign in South Carolina that begins Wednesday.

TOO LITTLE, TOO LATE?

For months, Haley and former Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, offered only muted criticism of the former president, wary of his popularity with the GOP base.

Each was more frontal in attacking him as voting drew nearer, especially Haley in the closing days before New Hampshire. It was too late to help DeSantis, who suspended his campaign Sunday after finishing a distant second in Iowa. This weekend, Haley drew attention to the 77-year-old former president seeming to confuse her and former Speaker Nancy Pelosi, directly taking on his mental fitness in ways she’d only vaguely alluded to before.

The punches didn’t land, but Haley continued them Tuesday night, digging again at Trump’s mental fitness during her concession speech. “Most Americans do not want a rematch between Biden and Trump,” Haley said. “The first party to retire its 80-year-old candidate is going to be the party that wins this election.”

It was a road not taken until the last minute. Haley doesn’t have a lot of travel time left.

BIDEN’S WIN THAT DOESN’T COUNT

Joe Biden did not put his name on the ballot for the New Hampshire Primary. The results are not binding for convention delegates. He won anyway, thanks to an aggressive write-in campaign. Biden muscled the Democratic National Committee into making South Carolina, the state that set him on a path to the White House with a victory in 2020. The first official party primary is on Feb. 3.

Like Trump, Biden could read good news into the results, with more than 8 in 10 Democrats approving of his handling of the economy, along with a warning: 4 in 10 say that, at age 81, he’s too old to run, and about half disapprove of his handling of the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians, according to AP VoteCast.

Both men are clearly in commanding positions … for a rematch that many voters say they do not want.

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Trump, Biden win New Hampshire primaries