It was a significant win in New Hampshire for Donald Trump, but there were warning signs for the general election on Tuesday night.
Despite the former president’s defeat of of his former UN ambassador, exit polls revealed that Trump will likely carry a huge anchor around his neck in a competition against Biden. Centrist Republicans and independents who lean toward the GOP told exit pollsters that they won’t be voting for the former president this fall.
The Nikki Haley voters are just open Democrats and Never Trumpers.
"Well, I voted for Nikki Haley, because that was voting against Donald Trump." pic.twitter.com/I2yE8vdTIw
— Citizen Free Press (@CitizenFreePres) January 23, 2024
The Miami Herald explained:
A significant number of Haley voters exited polling places on Tuesday expressing their unwillingness to support a second Trump term. Other Republicans indicated in interviews they could be coaxed into backing a third-party “No Labels” ticket, depending on the candidates drafted.
While Trump carried 70% of registered New Hampshire Republicans, according to CNN’s exit poll, he secured only 32% of the undeclared voters against Haley, who courted them aggressively. Even in victory, Trump lamented “the tremendous numbers of independents” who came out.
In her own speech signaling her intention to soldier on to February’s South Carolina primary, Haley delivered one of her most definitive critiques of Trump’s vulnerability in November.
“The worst kept secret in politics is how badly the Democrats want to run against Donald Trump,” Haley said. “A Trump nomination is a Biden win and a Kamala Harris presidency … I defeat Biden handily.”
Nikki Haley dominated those who voted in the New Hampshire primary who are not registered Republicans.
CNN's exit polls show that 70% of Nikki Haley voters are NOT registered Republicans. pic.twitter.com/TCq5TH2CAL
— Nicholas Fondacaro (@NickFondacaro) January 24, 2024
The New Hampshire vote echoed the Iowa caucuses, where, according to The Hill, just under half of Haley’s supporters indicated that they would be voting for Joe Biden this November if Trump was the Republican nominee.
Haley may be the one who could beat Biden easily, but she’s likely not to get her chance. It turns out that you need to win Republican voters to win the Republican nomination.
President Trump got 74% among Republicans in New Hampshire yesterday while Biden voters gave Nikki Haley a false sense of being competitive. This was her best state and she lost. The general election begins now.
— Newt Gingrich (@newtgingrich) January 24, 2024
It’s a problem that’s making the White House smile.