Photo: Joe Raedle Getty Images via Agence France-Presse “Now there’s just one guy and one woman left,” Nikki Haley said on Sunday, all smiles in front of a small group of supporters who came to meet her in a small lobster restaurant in Seabrook, in southern New Hampshire. “So I leave you with this: may the best woman win.”
Fabien Deglise at Seabrook
January 22, 2024
- United States
The cheers took on a different tone Sunday afternoon as Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley arrived at a small lobster restaurant in Seabrook, in southern New Hampshire.
The news had just broken, a few minutes earlier: Ron DeSantis announced that he was leaving the race, leaving the former United States ambassador to the United Nations in a final face-to-face with ex-President Donald Trump, barely two days before the primary which will be played on Tuesday in this New England state.
“Now there’s only one guy and one woman left,” she said with a smile to a small group of supporters who came to meet her. “So I leave you with this: May the best woman win,” she added.
The New Hampshire primary entered a new phase on Sunday, opening the door a little wider for the former governor of South Carolina to win in the Granite State.
“If Nikki Haley can win over independent voters and more moderate Republicans, it's possible for her to win New Hampshire, which could give her some momentum heading into South Carolina [the next stop in this race for president. 'Republican nomination], summarizes political scientist Trish Crouse, joined at the University of New Haven, in Connecticut, in an interview. The profile of New Hampshire voters is very different from that of Iowa voters, who tend to be more conservative. »
The state was won in a landslide by Trump last week. “Independent voters are the largest voting bloc in New Hampshire, and I believe they might not vote for Trump if they feel they have a better option, which would now be Nikki Haley,” she continues.
Jan Louise, who came from Portsmouth to meet the candidate at Seabrook, is certainly part of this group. “I have always voted Republican, but I no longer recognize myself in this party,” she said. The prospect of seeing a woman win New Hampshire on Tuesday makes me happy. If she wins our state, I believe it will open people's eyes to her potential to go further and win the nomination. »
“There is absolutely room in this party for a solid, serious, intelligent and intentional person like her. Not just for a hateful person, a bully, a liar… We can no longer afford a leader like that,” she added, without naming said leader: Donald Trump.
On Saturday, at a political rally in Keene, in the western part of the state, Nikki Haley sought to echo this call for renewal by urging her supporters to “accept the hard truth.” “I voted for him twice,” she said. He was a good president at the right time. I agree with his policies. But chaos follows him. »
“Chaos follows him, you know I’m right,” she repeated. And we cannot, in the state of disarray in which our country finds itself and in a world on fire, have four more years of chaos. We will not survive it. »
Photo: Fabien Deglise Le Devoir In the New Hampshire countryside, a “bigfoot” calls on passers-by to remember Donald Trump to better choose Nikki Haley.
In a statement sent to the media on Sunday by her campaign team, following the announcement made by Ron DeSantis, the candidate also wanted to reiterate that the mass was still far from being said by recalling that only one state for the moment had voted. It was Iowa a few days ago. “Half of the votes went to Donald Trump and the other half didn’t. We are not a coronation country. Voters have their say on whether they once again follow the path blazed by Trump and Joe Biden or choose a new conservative path. »
The words of these voters, Brad Copithorne, volunteer for Nikki Haley's campaign, also hopes that she will speak “loudly and clearly” on Tuesday, he said at the entrance to a rally politics for the candidate, Saturday in Peterborough. “She can make Trump vulnerable and draw attention as much to herself as to an injured candidate” by a performance less good than that announced by the polls, this surprise that New Hampshire has often offered in the context of the primaries.
The latest Suffolk University poll, conducted last weekend, gives 57% of voting intentions to Donald Trump, a lead of 19 points over Nikki Haley.
Between hope and hostility
“Ron DeSantis' departure now leaves Nikki Haley as the only Republican alternative to Trump, and that may help him stay in the race longer, raise money for his campaign, and continue to attract support. anti-Trump vote for a while,” says Dean Lacy, a political scientist and public opinion specialist at Dartmouth College.
The ex-diplomat argued that she intends to stay in the race until the South Carolina primaries, and even until “Super Tuesday” on March 5 , a day when a large bloc of states will go to the polls, no matter what happens Tuesday in the New Hampshire primaries, she assured.
But the terrain is also becoming more and more hostile for her, since the Trump machine now has only one target on which to direct its heavy guns and “peer pressure within the Republican Party” will also go into overdrive. increasing “so that the candidacy of Donald Trump is considered the only viable one,” adds Dante Scala, professor of political science at the University of New Hampshire, in an interview.
Sunday evening, in Rochester, the ex-president focused his attacks on the only serious candidate to face him now, continuing to define her as the candidate of the Republican establishment and by displaying the list of politicians from South Carolina, Nikki Haley's state, who have given her their support for the next presidential election. Republican Senator Tim Scott is the latest to line up behind the populist.
Photo: Fabien Deglise Le Devoir For Scott Cyganiewicz, met in Keene, New Hampshire, Nikki Haley's candidacy is in no way threatening to her candidate, Donald Trump.
“She’s a career politician, I don’t trust her,” summed up Sue O’Sullivan, a Trumpist activist who came at the weekend to harangue passers-by and promote the candidacy of the former -president on a Keene traffic circle, flag in hand. “We don’t need this in our country. What we want are politicians who are not politicians. »
“People don’t know his name,” assured Scott Cyganiewicz at his side, between two calls launched into his megaphone in support of Donald Trump and the urgency of making him the big winner on Tuesday to “restore order and bring glory to the country.” “Nikki Haley is going to barely have a voice,” he promised.
Then he said, “If there’s no voter fraud in these primaries, Donald Trump is going to win New Hampshire and every other state after that. You'll see. »
At midnight Tuesday, as is tradition, the small community of Dixville Notch in the rural north of the Granite State will be the first to vote, leaving the handful of villagers to cast a vote before taste of this election. A vote which is undoubtedly the last to allow Nikki Haley to impose a new trajectory in this race for the Republican nomination.