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The New Hampshire Primary

Written by Eliza Dorton

Edited by Annika Lilja

(CC BY-SA 2.0) Original photos by Gage Skidmore. Adapted and republished by Emma Kaden.

On Tuesday, January 23, former president Donald Trump won the New Hampshire primary, clearing his path to the Republican nomination. Former Governor of South Carolina and U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley trailed with 43.2% of the votes, with Trump gaining 54.3% (CNN). The votes were split with Trump primarily securing the majority in each town, although seldom by a large margin. 

Florida Governor Ron Desantis suspended his campaign on January 21, shortly after a second place finish to Trump in the Iowa Caucus. He announced the end of his campaign, through justifying “We don’t have a clear path to victory.” However, the third place nominee of the Iowa Caucus, Haley, remains confident she’ll secure the nomination, increasing her criticism of Trump following the New Hampshire Primary. During her speech on the night of the primary, Haley stated “When we get to South Carolina, Donald Trump is going to have a harder time falsely attacking me.” 

Haley’s efforts failed, however, in New Hampshire, where she expected to challenge the former president at a much higher level and garner more support. CBS reported that she spent almost $30 million promoting her campaign in New Hampshire and spent a significant amount of time there boosting her support before the primary. In contrast, Trump spent close to $13 million and made much fewer stops in the state prior to the race. Over the course of this election cycle, Trump has had little to no public contact with his opponents, opting out of all four Republican National Committee debates. Trump’s win in New Hampshire further emphasizes the hold he has on GOP supporters, regardless of the many legal issues he faces as the election year progresses. 

The Associated Press reported that Trump repeatedly attacked Haley at the end of the night, ending his speech claiming, “she’s not going to win.” The criticism only fueled her campaign as she said they raised $1 million in donations the day after the primary (NBC News). 

The next primary, in Haley’s home state of South Carolina, may prove to be an obstacle for Trump as Haley’s super PAC, SFA Fund Inc., is set to put millions of dollars into ad campaigns in South Carolina, according to NBC News. Haley has the momentum to beat Trump, but a recent poll shows Trump winning over Haley “by a 2-1 margin,” reported the New York Daily News, so it is likely the race will depend on voter turnout. 

On the Democratic side, President Joe Biden won the nomination through a write-in campaign, reported the Wall Street Journal. Biden, the first incumbent nominee to not appear on New Hampshire’s ballot, pulled himself from the ballot in compliance with the Delegate Selection Rules for the Democratic National Convention, which states “South Carolina will be the first state to hold a primary that awards delegates” for the convention, reported CBS News. This is a change from previous election years, when New Hampshire was historically the first state to award delegates. Nevertheless, Biden won 65.4% of the vote through write-ins, according to CNN. His success in New Hampshire eased worries for Democrats and displayed his wide-range approval, even as criticism of his policies increased during this election cycle. Rep. Dean Phillips (D-MN) won 20% of the vote, and author Marianne Williamson acquired a slim 4.1%. 

A second-round Trump vs. Biden match up looks more and more likely as the election cycle progresses. The predictions of the 2024 general election will not have acute accuracy until both the Democratic and Republican nominations are secured, and the country begins to think seriously about casting their ballot. 



CNN. "Presidential Primary: New Hampshire Results 2024." CNN Politics, Cable News Network. A Warner Bros. Discovery Company, 26 Jan. 2024, Accessed 28 Jan. 2024.

Dean, Sarah. "Nikki Haley Ramps up Attacks on Trump Ahead of South Carolina Showdown." NBC News, NBC Universal, 25 Jan. 2024, Accessed 28 Jan. 2024.

Goldiner, Dave. "Trump Crushes Nikki Haley by 2-1 Margin in New Poll of South 

Carolina." New York Daily News, 30 Jan. 2024, 30/trump-crushes-nikki-haley-by-2-1-margin-in-new-poll-of-south-carolina/. Accessed 31 Jan. 2024.

Haley, Nikki. "New Hampshire Primary Night Remarks." Nikki Haley for President, 23 Jan. 2024, Accessed 28 Jan. 2024.

Lucey, Catherine. "What the New Hampshire Primary Results Mean for Trump, Haley and Biden." The Wall Street Journal, Dow Jones and Company, 25 Jan. 2024, Accessed 28 Jan. 2024.

Novelo, Allison. "How Much Did Candidates, PACs Spend on the New Hampshire Primary? See What Trump, Haley and Biden Invested." CBS News, CBS Interactive Inc., 25 Jan. 2024, Accessed 28 Jan. 2024.

O'Keefe, Ed. "Biden Will Not Appear on the Primary Ballot in New Hampshire. Here's Why." CBS News, CBS Interactive Inc., 23 Oct. 2023, Accessed 28 Jan. 2024.

Ramer, Holly. "Trump Wins New Hampshire Primary as Rematch with Biden Appears Increasingly Likely." AP News, Associated Press, 24 Jan. 2024, Accessed 28 Jan. 2024.


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