Former U.S. President Donald Trump and former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley are facing off today in a Republican primary election in the New England state of New Hampshire, with Trump looking to build on his win last week in Iowa and Haley trying to stay alive in her campaign to be the party’s nominee in the November general election.
Polls do not close until the evening in most parts of the state, but in the tiny town of Dixville Notch, voters cast their ballots just after midnight with all six going to Haley.
That result was not indicative of pre-voting opinion polls in New Hampshire, which showed Trump well ahead of Haley. A Suffolk University/Boston Globe/WBTS poll released Monday had Trump with 57% support compared to 38% for Haley.
Trump won last week’s Iowa caucuses with more than 50% of the vote, with Haley coming in third place.
The race for the Republican presidential nomination has evolved since Iowa, with second-place finished Ron DeSantis dropping out, along with entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy who finished a distant fourth.
That leaves Trump and Haley as the only major candidates remaining in the battle to face the presumed Democratic nominee, President Joe Biden.
Haley said Monday during a final day of campaigning, “This is a two-person race.”
She cast her candidacy as bringing “new solutions” in contrast to a potential second Trump term that would mean “more of the same.”
“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,” Haley told reporters.
Trump, who has garnered endorsements from former competitors including DeSantis and Ramaswamy, told his supporters the Republican Party is “becoming more and more unified” as he looked toward the potential of knocking Haley out of the race and facing Biden.
“I think one person will be gone probably tomorrow and the other one will be gone in November,” Trump said. “But now is the time for the Republican Party to come together. We have to unify.”
New Hampshire Democrats are also holding a primary election Tuesday, but Biden does not appear on their ballots.
The Democratic Party hoped to move away from having New Hampshire hold the first primary election of the presidential race, preferring to put South Carolina first this cycle.
But New Hampshire Democrats say state laws require them to hold the first primary, so they were going forward with the vote. Those wishing to back Biden will have the opportunity to put him as a write-in candidate.
South Carolina helped revive Biden’s 2020 campaign after a series of poor early performances.
Voters in the southeastern state will cast their primary ballots Feb. 3, with the Republican primary there serving as the next major contest between Trump and Haley.
After the state-by-state voting contests are complete, Republicans will formally choose their presidential nominee at a convention in July.
Democrats hold their nominating convention in August.
Source VOA: Some information for this report came from The Associated Press, Agence France-Presse and Reuters.