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Trump wins the New Hampshire primary, putting him a step closer to the GOP nomination

Former President Donald Trump speaks at a primary election night party Tuesday in Nashua, N.H.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais
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AP
Former President Donald Trump speaks at a primary election night party Tuesday in Nashua, N.H.

Updated January 23, 2024 at 10:24 PM ET

MANCHESTER, N.H. — Former President Donald Trump has won the New Hampshire primary, according to The Associated Press, a victory that puts him on a clear path to securing the Republican nomination.

Trump dominated in last week's Iowa caucuses and has now won the first-in-the-nation primary as well.

In New Hampshire, he withstood an aggressive challenge from his former United Nations ambassador, Nikki Haley, who is the final major Republican candidate standing in Trump's way after other hopefuls dropped out.

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The result is a huge blow to Haley's long-shot effort to be the Republican Party's nominee.

New Hampshire seemed to be uniquely favorable territory for her. Independent voters, known as "undeclared" in the state, could participate in the Republican primary, giving her a boost. Haley and her allied super PACs spent more than $31 million on television ads in the small state, doubling pro-Trump spending. She also had the endorsement of the state's popular Republican governor, Chris Sununu, who campaigned for her tirelessly.

In the final full day of the campaign, Haley insisted to supporters that "Americans do not do coronations."

With this result, Trump's coronation appears almost inevitable.

Speaking to supporters after his win, Trump criticized Haley and looked past the primary to a general election rematch with President Biden.

"We're going to have the greatest election success. We're gonna turn our country around," Trump said.

He was joined at his rally Tuesday by former rivals in the GOP contest, including entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy and Tim Scott, a South Carolina U.S. senator whom Haley first appointed to the position. South Carolina's Republican governor, Henry McMaster, who succeeded Haley in that role, is also backing Trump.

But Haley told her supporters Tuesday evening that she isn't going anywhere, and looked forward to competing in her home state's primary at the end of February.

"You've all heard the chatter among the political class," Haley said. "They're falling all over themselves saying this race is over. Well, I have news for all of them: ... This race is far from over. There are dozens of states left to go."

Haley's uncertain path ahead

Former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley delivers remarks at her primary night rally at the Grappone Conference Center in Concord, N.H.
Tasos Katopodis / Getty Images
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Getty Images
Former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley delivers remarks at her primary night rally at the Grappone Conference Center in Concord, N.H.

Because of its relatively large numbers of independent and college-educated voters, New Hampshire was considered Haley's best chance to disrupt Trump from running away with the nomination.

Trump's victory is likely to fuel calls for Haley to drop out of the race.

There was a time, before the Iowa caucuses, when one could imagine Haley coming in a strong second in Iowa, then winning New Hampshire and taking that momentum into her home state of South Carolina.

But instead, she finished third in Iowa and immediately started lowering expectations for New Hampshire. As she sprinted from diner meet-and-greets to hotel ballroom rallies, Haley never predicted a win in New Hampshire, instead saying she hoped for a "stronger" finish in the state.

Her goals remained undefined. But second place doesn't provide the momentum shift she needs to shake up the race.

Earlier on Tuesday, Haley's campaign in a memo laid out a hypothetical path into March, saying that she could compete in a wider variety of states, including the 16 states that vote on March 5, also known as Super Tuesday.

The next two states on the primary calendar are in less moderate-friendly territory. In Nevada early next month, delegates will be awarded through a party-run caucus where Trump is well situated, while Haley is instead signed up to appear on the state's primary ballot. Then it's on to South Carolina, where the vast majority of political leaders have endorsed Trump and where the electorate is decidedly more MAGA than in New Hampshire.

More from the NPR Network's coverage of the New Hampshire Primary:

Copyright 2024 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

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Franco Ordoñez is a White House Correspondent for NPR's Washington Desk. Before he came to NPR in 2019, Ordoñez covered the White House for McClatchy. He has also written about diplomatic affairs, foreign policy and immigration, and has been a correspondent in Cuba, Colombia, Mexico and Haiti.
Tamara Keith has been a White House correspondent for NPR since 2014 and co-hosts the NPR Politics Podcast, the top political news podcast in America. Keith has chronicled the Trump administration from day one, putting this unorthodox presidency in context for NPR listeners, from early morning tweets to executive orders and investigations. She covered the final two years of the Obama presidency, and during the 2016 presidential campaign she was assigned to cover Hillary Clinton. In 2018, Keith was elected to serve on the board of the White House Correspondents' Association.
Lexie Schapitl is a production assistant with NPR's Washington Desk, where she produces radio pieces and digital content. She also reports from the field and assists with production of the NPR Politics Podcast.