Manchester, United States – Donald Trump seeks to secure today in New Hampshire the Republican nomination for the United States presidential election in which Nikki Haley is his only obstacle in the race after the withdrawal of Florida Governor Ron DeSantis.
Trump began the day in New York, where he planned to appear in a defamation trial, which was postponed due to a possible case of covid in a member of the jury.
The calendar for Trump’s nomination as President Joe Biden’s rival in the November elections could accelerate in New Hampshire (northeast), unless he is defeated or Haley obtains a very good result, finishing second by a narrow margin.
The former president won a clear victory against DeSantis in Iowa last week, with Haley in third place, and so far no candidate has failed to obtain the Republican nomination after winning the internal elections in the first two states.
This makes New Hampshire all or nothing for Haley, who was ambassador to the UN in the Trump administration, and who is trailing her former boss in the polls in the state where she is supposed to have it easiest.
In a new Washington Post/Monmouth poll yesterday Trump has the support of 52% in New Hampshire, compared to 34% for Haley.
Trump, 77, has redoubled his attacks on Haley in the last week, calling her “not smart enough” and failing to earn the respect of voters.
He attacked her again on Sunday, praising DeSantis as a “very capable person” as he accepted the Florida governor’s endorsement.
“Because we have similar policies, with strong borders, good education, low taxes, very very few regulations, as few as possible, things that (Haley) doesn’t really talk about, because she is a globalist,” he said to applause at his campaign headquarters in Manchester.
Haley also lashed out at him, questioning Trump’s mental capacity for confusing her with veteran Democrat Nancy Pelosi at a rally.
“It’s just not at the same level as 2016. I think we’re seeing some of that decline. But more than that, what I will say focuses on the fact that no matter what it is, chaos follows you,” he told CBS.
With DeSantis out of the race, Haley is seeking support from New Hampshire’s high proportion of independents – who are allowed to vote in both parties’ primaries and typically opt for more moderate candidates – to oppose what some analysts have described as his “last Stand”.
But it will be uphill, having an average of 15 points behind Trump in the RealClearPolitics and FiveThirtyEight polls, and when he is in an apparent stagnation.
But if Haley has outstanding results today, she could become a threat to the former president heading into his home state, South Carolina, at the end of February.
“I think it would be great for us to have Nikki Haley as president,” Madison Gillis, 18, who will be voting for the first time, told AFP. “I think she’s amazing. “I love what she represents and I think she has a chance here in New Hampshire.”
This northeastern state is a small prize in a long race, allocating only 22 of the 2,429 delegates that will officially designate the Republican candidate in Milwaukee in July.
But it is a reliable indicator at the national level and is considered to set the tone for the upcoming primaries.
The so-called “Super Tuesday” vote on March 5, with 874 delegates on the table, can make a candidate reach three-quarters of the total required for nomination.