Haley vows to stay in GOP race as Trump seeks commanding victory in New Hampshire

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump greets supporters as he arrives at a campaign stop in Londonderry, N.H., Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2024. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump greets supporters as he arrives at a campaign stop in Londonderry, N.H., Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2024. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke) Matt Rourke

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump greets supporters as he arrives at a campaign stop in Londonderry, N.H., Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2024. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump greets supporters as he arrives at a campaign stop in Londonderry, N.H., Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2024. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke) Matt Rourke

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump, right, and Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., left, greet young supporters at a campaign stop in Londonderry, N.H., Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2024. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump, right, and Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, R-Ga., left, greet young supporters at a campaign stop in Londonderry, N.H., Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2024. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke) Matt Rourke

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump addresses members of the press during a campaign stop in Londonderry, N.H., Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2024. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump addresses members of the press during a campaign stop in Londonderry, N.H., Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2024. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke) Matt Rourke

Republican presidential candidate former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley gestures while walking with supporters, Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2024, near a polling site at Winnacunnet High School in Hampton, N.H. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

Republican presidential candidate former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley gestures while walking with supporters, Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2024, near a polling site at Winnacunnet High School in Hampton, N.H. (AP Photo/Steven Senne) Steven Senne

Republican presidential candidate former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley addresses members of the media, Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2024, near a polling site at Winnacunnet High School, in Hampton, N.H. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

Republican presidential candidate former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley addresses members of the media, Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2024, near a polling site at Winnacunnet High School, in Hampton, N.H. (AP Photo/Steven Senne) Steven Senne

Former presidential candidate and businessman Andrew Yang, left, cheers while campaigning outside a polling site for Democratic presidential candidate Rep. Dean Phillips, D-Minn., as voting is underway in the New Hampshire presidential primary in Manchester, N.H., Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2024. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

Former presidential candidate and businessman Andrew Yang, left, cheers while campaigning outside a polling site for Democratic presidential candidate Rep. Dean Phillips, D-Minn., as voting is underway in the New Hampshire presidential primary in Manchester, N.H., Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2024. (AP Photo/David Goldman) David Goldman

Rene Fish of Chesterfield, N.H. steps out of the voting booth in the New Hampshire primary on Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2024. (Kristopher Radder /The Brattleboro Reformer via AP)

Rene Fish of Chesterfield, N.H. steps out of the voting booth in the New Hampshire primary on Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2024. (Kristopher Radder /The Brattleboro Reformer via AP) Kristopher Radder Brattleboro Reformer

Les Otten, far right, has his vote inserted into the ballot box by town moderator Tom Tillotson shortly after midnight in the presidential primary election, Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2024, in Dixville Notch, N.H. All six voters selected Nikki Haley. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)

Les Otten, far right, has his vote inserted into the ballot box by town moderator Tom Tillotson shortly after midnight in the presidential primary election, Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2024, in Dixville Notch, N.H. All six voters selected Nikki Haley. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty) Robert F. Bukaty

Janet Benard gestures toward supporters of President Joe Biden as she enters a polling site to cast a write-in ballot for the president in the New Hampshire presidential primary in Manchester, N.H., Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2024. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

Janet Benard gestures toward supporters of President Joe Biden as she enters a polling site to cast a write-in ballot for the president in the New Hampshire presidential primary in Manchester, N.H., Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2024. (AP Photo/David Goldman) David Goldman

Republican presidential candidate former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley, center, addresses members of the media while standing with N.H. Gov. Chris Sununu, left, and retired U.S. Army Brig. Gen. Donald Bolduc, right, Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2024, near a polling site at Winnacunnet High School in Hampton, N.H. (AP Photo/Steven Senne)

Republican presidential candidate former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley, center, addresses members of the media while standing with N.H. Gov. Chris Sununu, left, and retired U.S. Army Brig. Gen. Donald Bolduc, right, Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2024, near a polling site at Winnacunnet High School in Hampton, N.H. (AP Photo/Steven Senne) Steven Senne

Levi Canon, 5, of Chesterfield, N.H., watches his mother, Bethany, fill out her ballot in the New Hampshire primary on Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2024. (Kristopher Radder /The Brattleboro Reformer via AP)

Levi Canon, 5, of Chesterfield, N.H., watches his mother, Bethany, fill out her ballot in the New Hampshire primary on Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2024. (Kristopher Radder /The Brattleboro Reformer via AP) Kristopher Radder Brattleboro Reformer

Republican presidential candidate former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley shakes hands with a patron during a campaign stop at a brewery, Monday, Jan. 22, 2024, in Manchester, N.H. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa)

Republican presidential candidate former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley shakes hands with a patron during a campaign stop at a brewery, Monday, Jan. 22, 2024, in Manchester, N.H. (AP Photo/Charles Krupa) Charles Krupa

Joe Keenan plants a campaign sign in a snowbank outside Groveton village polling place, Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2024, in Northumberland, N.H. Local voters were electing a new state representative in addition to voting in the presidential primary election. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)

Joe Keenan plants a campaign sign in a snowbank outside Groveton village polling place, Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2024, in Northumberland, N.H. Local voters were electing a new state representative in addition to voting in the presidential primary election. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty) Robert F. Bukaty

Election worker Barbara Wheelock, left, and town moderator Keith Young count ballots before the polls open for the presidential primary election, Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2024, in the Groveton village of Northumberland, N.H.

Election worker Barbara Wheelock, left, and town moderator Keith Young count ballots before the polls open for the presidential primary election, Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2024, in the Groveton village of Northumberland, N.H. "We have to make sure we have the same number of ballots at the end of the day as at the beginning," said Young. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty) Robert F. Bukaty

Tina Lorenz, right, and Ed Schoen, behind, hold candidate signs outside the polling place at Windham High School in the presidential primary election, Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2024, in Windham, N.H. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)

Tina Lorenz, right, and Ed Schoen, behind, hold candidate signs outside the polling place at Windham High School in the presidential primary election, Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2024, in Windham, N.H. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer) Michael Dwyer

Mary Cullen emerges from a voting booth after filling out her ballot for the New Hampshire presidential primary at a polling site in Manchester, N.H., Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2024. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

Mary Cullen emerges from a voting booth after filling out her ballot for the New Hampshire presidential primary at a polling site in Manchester, N.H., Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2024. (AP Photo/David Goldman) David Goldman

A voter watches her footing as she walks across the snow-covered parking lot after voting in the presidential primary election, Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2024, in Stark, N.H. The town's polling site, located in the volunteer fire dept., sits is in the shadow of Devil's Slide Mountain. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty)

A voter watches her footing as she walks across the snow-covered parking lot after voting in the presidential primary election, Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2024, in Stark, N.H. The town's polling site, located in the volunteer fire dept., sits is in the shadow of Devil's Slide Mountain. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty) Robert F. Bukaty

Voters enter a youth center to cast their ballots as the polls open for the New Hampshire Republican presidential primary in Manchester, N.H., Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2024. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

Voters enter a youth center to cast their ballots as the polls open for the New Hampshire Republican presidential primary in Manchester, N.H., Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2024. (AP Photo/David Goldman) David Goldman

Poll workers check in voters for the presidential primary election at Windham High School, Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2024, in Windham, N.H. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)

Poll workers check in voters for the presidential primary election at Windham High School, Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2024, in Windham, N.H. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer) Michael Dwyer

Supporters of Republican presidential candidate former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley cheer as voters enter a polling site to cast their ballots in the New Hampshire presidential primary in Manchester, N.H., Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2024. (AP Photo/David Goldman)

Supporters of Republican presidential candidate former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley cheer as voters enter a polling site to cast their ballots in the New Hampshire presidential primary in Manchester, N.H., Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2024. (AP Photo/David Goldman) David Goldman

A patriotic dachshund figurine stands on Town Clerk Melinda Kennett's desk at a polling place for the presidential primary election, Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2024, in the Groveton village of Northumberland, N.H.

A patriotic dachshund figurine stands on Town Clerk Melinda Kennett's desk at a polling place for the presidential primary election, Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2024, in the Groveton village of Northumberland, N.H. "He's our unofficial town mascot. If I don't bring him, I'll get asked where he is all day," said Kennet, seated in background. (AP Photo/Robert F. Bukaty) Robert F. Bukaty

By HOLLY RAMER and JILL COLVIN

Associated Press

Published: 01-23-2024 9:20 PM

MANCHESTER, N.H. — Donald Trump won the New Hampshire primary on Tuesday, tightening his grip on the Republican presidential nomination and bolstering the likelihood of a rematch later this year against President Joe Biden.

The result was a setback for former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley, who invested significant time and financial resources into winning the state but finished second. She is the last major challenger in the race after Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis ended his presidential bid over the weekend, allowing her to campaign as the sole alternative to Trump.

Haley had intensified her criticism of the former president, questioning his mental acuity and pitching herself as a unifying candidate who would usher in generational change.

The appeals failed to resonate with enough voters. Trump can now boast of being 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 striking sign of how rapidly Republicans have rallied around him to make him their nominee for the third consecutive time.

By posting easy wins in both early states, Trump is demonstrating an ability to unite the GOP’s factions firmly behind him. He’s garnered support from the evangelical conservatives who are influential in Iowa and New Hampshire’s more moderate voters, strength he hopes to replicate as the primary expands to the rest of the U.S.

Haley was unable to capitalize on New Hampshire’s more moderate political tradition. Her next step on the path to the nomination is South Carolina’s Feb. 24 primary.

As the state’s former governor, she’s hoping a strong showing there could propel her into the March 5 Super Tuesday contests. But in a deeply conservative state where Trump is exceedingly popular, those ambitions may be tough to realize and a home-state loss could prove politically devastating.

Haley vowed Tuesday night to stay in the race and push ahead to South Carolina.

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“New Hampshire is first in the nation; it is not the last in the nation,” she said. “This race is far from over. There are dozens of states left to go.”

About half of GOP primary voters in New Hampshire said they are very or somewhat concerned that Trump is too extreme to win the general election, according to AP VoteCast, a survey of the state’s electorate. Only about one-third say the same about Haley.

President Joe Biden, meanwhile, won New Hampshire’s Democratic primary via a write-in effort after the state party moved forward with its own contest. Biden did not appear on the ballot but allies helped him beat a series of little-known challengers.

Trump’s position in the contest is remarkable considering he faces 91 criminal charges related to everything from seeking to overturn the 2020 presidential election to mishandling classified documents and arranging payoffs to a porn actress. He left the White House in 2021 in the grim aftermath of an insurrection at the U.S. Capitol led by his supporters who sought to stop the certification of Biden’s win. And Trump was the first president to be impeached twice.

But Trump has turned those vulnerabilities into an advantage among GOP voters. He has argued that the criminal prosecutions reflect a politicized Justice Department, though there’s no evidence that officials there were pressured by Biden or anyone else in the White House to file charges.

Trump has nonetheless repeatedly told his supporters that he’s being prosecuted on their behalf, an argument that appears to have further strengthened his bond with the GOP base.

As Trump begins to pivot his attention to Biden and a general election campaign, the question is whether the former president’s framing of the legal cases will persuade voters beyond the GOP base.

Trump lost the popular vote in the 2016 and 2020 elections and has faced particular struggles in suburban communities from Georgia to Pennsylvania to Arizona that could prove decisive in the fall campaign.

Beyond the political vulnerabilities associated with the criminal cases, Trump faces a logistical challenge in balancing trials and campaigning. He has frequently appeared voluntarily at a New York courtroom where a jury is considering whether he should pay additional damages to a columnist who last year won a $5 million jury award against Trump for sex abuse and defamation.

He has turned these appearances into campaign events, holding televised news conferences that give him an opportunity to spread his message to a large audience.

He has no choice but to appear in court when the criminal cases begin, which could happen later this spring.

Biden faces his own challenges, though of a different magnitude. There are widespread concerns about his age at 81 years old. Dissent is also building within his party over Biden’s alliance with Israel in its war against Hamas, putting the president’s standing at risk in swing states like Michigan.

Biden championed new Democratic National Committee rules that have its 2024 primary beginning on Feb. 3 in South Carolina, rather than in Iowa or New Hampshire. That left him in something of an awkward position at the outset of the nomination process.

But Democrats in New Hampshire defied the revamped order and held their primary on Tuesday, same as the Republicans. Biden didn’t campaign, ceding the field to other primary challengers including Minnesota Rep. Dean Phillips.