Haley Looks to Press On After Trump Victory in New Hampshire
The hawkish politician’s showing in New Hampshire was likely good enough to stay in the race, but not good enough to win the nomination.
At 8 p.m. eastern time, the last polls closed in New Hampshire. By 8:03 p.m., it was over. The former President Donald Trump had won the Republican primary in New Hampshire.
Trump defeated former South Carolina Governor Nimarata “Nikki” Haley 54.5 percent to 43.2 percent. It seems the biggest threats Trump faces are in the courtroom not the campaign trail because, with victories in Iowa and New Hampshire, Trump has the nomination just about wrapped up.
That won’t stop Haley from campaigning, however. Haley decided to ignore the writing on the wall Tuesday night, telling her supporters, “They’re falling all over themselves saying this race is over.”
“Well, I have news for all of them,” Haley continued. “New Hampshire is first in the nation, it is not the last in the nation. This race is far from over.”
Trump’s comment, in his victory speech: “She’s doing a speech like she won. She didn’t win. She lost.”
Nevertheless, it was a good night for Haley—polling averages had the former president winning by a little less than 20 points—and her performance Tuesday likely ensures this charade will carry on for another month until South Carolina where Trump will bury Haley in her own backyard like the family dog.
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Perhaps more telling than the night’s election results was some of the exit polling data. According to CNN’s exit poll, 70 percent of Trump’s voters were registered Republicans, whereas 27 percent were registered undeclared. Haley’s numbers were the exact opposite: 70 percent of Haley’s voters were undeclared and only 27 percent were registered Republicans. The CNN exit poll also found that 49 percent of Republican primary voters were actually registered Republicans, while 47 percent were undeclared voters.
But the exit polling suggests Haley’s New Hampshire voters aren’t just not Republicans—it seems they’re actually Democrats. Among voters who believe the economy is currently in good shape (26 percent of those surveyed), 83 percent voted for Haley. Among voters who thought the economy was bad (73 percent of those surveyed), 67 percent voted for Trump. Among voters who believed their family is “getting ahead” financially, 73 percent voted for Haley. The “holding steady” group (58 percent of those surveyed) broke for Trump 52 percent to 48 percent. “Falling behind” went Trump 72 percent to 21 percent.
In summary: With every possible advantage imaginable—an open primary, favorable voter demographics, a full year of campaigning, millions of dollars spent, an endorsement from the state's popular governor, and active Democratic support—Nikki Haley could not come within ten points of the former president. Nevertheless, Haley is still running. To where, no one knows. From what, one dares not ask.