Trump seeks control of the GOP primary in New Hampshire against Nikki Haley, his last major rival

Trump seeks control of the GOP primary in New Hampshire against Nikki Haley, his last major rival

A voter enters Jackson Memorial Baptist Church to cast her vote during municipal elections in Atlanta on Tuesday, Nov. 2, 2021. (AP Photo/Ben Gray)

MANCHESTER, N.H. (AP) — Donald Trump is aiming for a commanding victory Tuesday in New Hampshire, securing a sweep of the first two Republican primary races that would make a November rematch with President Joe Biden look more likely than ever.

The biggest question is whether Trump’s last major rival, former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley, will be able to eat into his margin — or pull off an upset outright. Haley has dedicated significant time and financial resources to New Hampshire, hoping to appeal to its famously independent-minded electorate.

In the first results released early Tuesday, all six registered voters of tiny Dixville Notch cast their ballots for Haley over Trump. The resort town is the only one in New Hampshire this year that opted to vote at midnight.

Trump won New Hampshire’s Republican primary big during his first run for president in 2016, but some of his allies lost key races during the midterms two years ago. Haley also has to contend with an opponent who has a deep bond with the GOP base and has concentrated on winning the state decisively enough that it would effectively end the competitive phase of the Republican primary.
If successful, Trump would be the first Republican presidential candidate to win open races in Iowa and New Hampshire since both states began leading the election calendar in 1976 — a clear sign of his continued grip on the party’s most-loyal voters.

Trump’s allies are already pressuring Haley to leave the race and those calls will intensify if he wins New Hampshire easily. Were she to drop out, that would effectively decide the GOP primary on its second stop, well before the vast majority of Republican voters across the country have been able to vote.

Haley has been campaigning with New Hampshire’s popular Republican governor, Chris Sununu, a Trump critic. She insists she’s in the race for the long run, telling supporters at a VFW hall in Franklin on Monday that “America does not do coronations.”

“This is about, do you have more of the same, or do you want someone who’s going to take us forward with new solutions,” Haley told reporters, also saying that, “We can either do the whole thing that we’ve always done and live in that chaos world that we’ve had, or we can go forward with no drama, no vendettas and some results for the American people.”

“This is a two-person race,” she added.

Haley and Trump were both hoping to capitalize on high-profile recent departures from the race. Haley could get a lift from some supporters of former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, who campaigned around decrying Trump but ended his bid shortly before Iowa’s caucus last week. Trump, meanwhile, may be able to consolidate support from conservative voters who were supporting Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who dropped his White House bid on Sunday.

(AP Photo/Ben Gray)