Donald Trump won the New Hampshire primary, putting the Republican presidential nomination effectively in his grasp again as he defeated Nikki Haley, in the state where she appeared to be at her strongest. Trump’s victory was projected by the major media outlets shortly after polls closed, based on early returns.
Even with just 2 states that have voted, Trump’s victory in Tuesday’s primary underscored his dominance of the party. Nikki Haley, the former South Carolina governor, spent weeks campaigning, hoping for a win that could create a spark to ignite her challenge to Trump, who didn’t make that many public appearances in the state.
Moderate Republicans and independent voters have a higher percentage that make up a large share of the primary voters in New Hampshire, than in most other states. Haley even had the backing of the state’s Republican governor, Chris Sununu, who led a high energy campaign for her. Republican leaders already started referring to Trump this week as the “presumptive nominee” and calling on Haley to drop out.
The race moves toward Haley’s home state next month so the pressure will mount for her. Polls there show Trump with a lead that averages about 30 points. Trump, who ramped up his attacks on Haley in recent days, predicted victory as he spoke to voters in Laconia, N.H., on Monday.