Donald Trump has won the New Hampshire primary, all but cementing his place as the Republican presidential nominee for the 2024 US elections.
Trump’s closest competitor was former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley.
The New Hampshire win means that the GOP nomination for former President Trump is mostly on lock, after he decisively won the Iowa caucuses last week.
The Associated Press called it as the last polling took place in New Hampshire, following a tough battle with high-dollar vicious advertising campaigns.
Haley branded Trump a ‘chaos’ candidate and promised a more ‘palatable’ version of a Republican party nominee, rather than the fiery rhetoric that has come to characterize right-wing America.
Haley gained in the polls in mid-December, but was not able to convert that into a win.
Despite the disappointing results, Haley insisted she would continue on to her home state of South Carolina, for the next Republican primary in February.
Haley congratulated Trump on his victory, but emphasized that the race had just begun.
‘New Hampshire is first in the nation. It is not the last in the nation,’ Haley told supporters in Concord.
‘This race is far from over. There are dozens of states left to go, and the next one is my sweet state of South Carolina.’
Trump has a significant lead in South Carolina as well, according to polls, so it is unclear how Haley might change the dynamics of the race.
New Hampshire appeared to represent the last significant threat to what seems set to become a Trump GOP nomination, meaning Trump will likely face Biden in November..
Trump’s rightwing populism seems to have caught the public conscience again over a series of rallies in recent days in the state, where Joe Biden came up trumps in 2020.
Trump’s only other serious competitor Ron DeSantis dropped out of the race on Sunday.
Team Trump ridiculed Haley’s decision to stay in the race after the two losses, with one of the former president’s strategists mocking her as ‘delusional.’
Haley pointed out the former President’s numerous legal battles in her messaging and said Trump was incapable of leading the Republican party into the future.
Trump has been charged with 91 felony counts across four criminal cases, alternating his time on the trail with court appearances.
‘With Donald Trump, you have one bout of chaos after another – this court case, that controversy, this tweet, that senior moment,’ Haley said on Tuesday night.
‘You can’t fix Joe Biden’s chaos with Republican chaos,’ she observed.
Trump supporters are not fazed however and are showing full faith in their candidate, who they believe best represents the American people, as they feel he is not looking for financial gains or political power and is there for the regular Joe and Jane.
A majority of people in the US, however do not support either Biden or Trump in the top job, meaning they will look at a difficult decision later this year.
Democrats mostly believe the Republican presidential primary is effectively over, despite Haley’s fight.
‘Donald Trump is headed straight into a general election matchup where he’ll face the only person to have ever beaten him at the ballot box: Joe Biden,’ Team Biden thinks.
Addressing supporters in Nashua, Trump celebrated his victory with a trademark combative speech, taking aim at Haley.
Trump derided Haley’s efforts to downplay her loss in New Hampshire, saying, ‘Let’s not have somebody take a victory when she had a very bad night,’ adding, ‘She came in third [in Iowa], and she’s still hanging around.’
The Associated Press called the race just as the last remaining polling places in New Hampshire closed at 8pm ET, following a contentious primary that saw groups backing both candidates spending millions of dollars in increasingly vicious TV advertising.
After Trump’s wins in the primaries, Republican lawmakers are lining up to endorse him for a second run.
Speaking at Trump’s victory party on Tuesday, former presidential candidate Tim Scott, who dropped out of the primary race in November and endorsed the former president last week, called on Republicans to unify.
‘It is time for the Republican party to coalesce around our nominee and the next president of United States: Donald Trump. Let’s get that party started tonight,’ Scott said.
Republican donors accept the inevitable
Scott had received backing from high-profile donors but Trump trumped him in the debates and Scott ended up endorsing Trump. The donors are now looking at Trump as the inevitable, as challengers drop out, with pressure on Haley to follow suit.
Three failed US presidential candidates turned endorsers stood alongside Trump on stage.
Trump had said ‘Now is the time for the Republican party to come together. We have to unify … We’re all in the same team, 100% focused on [Joe] Biden and beating him in November.’
In 2016, multiple candidates had continued to battle Trump into May during his first run, a far cry from the decisive victories Trump is currently pulling off.
Polls show Trump beating Biden, despite the legal issues, undercutting the electability argument.
The Trump campaign has relished the failure of big money opposition. Having realized the prospects of another Trump nomination, hesitant Republicans are rushing to get back in his good graces.
Given the New Hampshire results, it may well be that senators, representatives, governors and former cabinet officials, along with donors, make a pilgrimage to the Trump Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida to pledge allegiance, in the lead up to South Carolina.
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