By Dave Andrusko
Judging by the polls going in, last night’s 11 point victory by Donald Trump over Nikki Haley in the New Hampshire Republican primary may have seemed a done-deal. But that didn’t mean there was no excitement. Early returns showed a modest 7 point lead by the former president over the former governor of South Carolina before late arriving results from rural areas came in boosting Trump’s margin of victory.
The much-fabled power of New Hampshire’s fiercely independent voters wasn’t enough to break the spell Donald J. Trump has cast over the Republican Party.
Brushing aside Nikki Haley a little over a week after he steamrolled her and Ron DeSantis in Iowa, Mr. Trump became the first Republican presidential candidate who was not a White House incumbent to carry the nation’s first two contests.
Trump “performed well across nearly every demographic group, according to exit polls,” the Times added. “He won every age group, among men and women.”
Haley told her supporters she had no intention of pulling out.
“New Hampshire is first in the nation. It is not the last in the nation. This race is far from over. There are dozens of states left to go,” Haley said.
“I’m a fighter, and I’m scrappy and now we’re the last ones standing next to Donald Trump,” she added. Referring to the next primary, Haley said, “South Carolina voters don’t want a coronation. They want an election — and we’re going to give them one. Because we are just getting started.”
Almost all media outlets, however, were less optimistic about Haley’s chances. She trails Trump in her home state of South Carolina by up to 30 points.
And “Haley is likely to face immense pressure to depart the race in coming days,” CNN reported. “She’ll face questions about whether she’ll follow a path similar to Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who vowed to continue on after his second-place finish in last week’s Iowa caucuses — and then he dropped out days later.”
President Biden “did not submit his name for the New Hampshire ballot, after the state refused to comply with a new Democratic nominating calendar that made South Carolina the first primary contest,” The Times reported. “Yet a scrappy write-in campaign run by the president’s allies delivered a victory for him nonetheless.”