Photo: David Goldman Associated Press Former U.S. President and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump (center right) at a partisan rally in Nashua, New Hampshire, on the night of the Republican primary in the east coast state.
Fabien Deglise to Concord
January 23, 2024
- United States
Former President Donald Trump once again strengthened his hold on the Republican Party and further sealed his nomination as Republican candidate for the next American presidential election by winning the presidential primary on Tuesday evening. New Hampshire, with a comfortable majority of over 54%.
Taking advantage of the abandonment on Sunday of the governor of Florida, Ron DeSantis, the last serious opponent still in the race against the populist and former United States ambassador to the United Nations, Nikki Haley, did not however succeed in creating the surprise that she would have hoped for, but reduced the gap with the leader, winning almost 44% of the votes.
With this victory, Donald Trump confirms a trend expressed a few days ago by 51% of Republicans in Iowa, a more conservative state than New Hampshire, who renewed their confidence in him, in view of the presidential election next November. This is the first time since Gerald Ford in 1976 that a candidate for the nomination of this party has won his first two states, in the calendar of primaries and caucuses, one after the other. This demonstrates the mobilization of his faithful, despite his latest electoral failures and the numerous legal cases which will continue to cross the path of his electoral campaign.
“When you win Iowa and New Hampshire, you never lose. There has never been one and we will not be the first, I can tell you,” the ex-president declared to his supporters gathered in a luxurious hotel in Nashua, in the south of the state, to celebrate his victory.
Donald Trump once again took advantage of his platform to shoot arrows at his opponent, on whom his entourage has been putting pressure for several days to encourage her to leave the race, and thus ensure a coronation for the ex-star reality TV. “She had a bad night, a very bad night,” he said, while mocking the support she received during her campaign from New Hampshire's Republican governor, Chris Sununu, a popular politician here and a strong critical voice of Donald Trump. “The governor said, ‘she’s going to win, she’s going to win,’ but she failed miserably. »
From her headquarters in Concord, Nikki Haley accepted her defeat in the Battle of New Hampshire gracefully by congratulating “Donald Trump on his victory.” “He deserved it. And I want to acknowledge that,” she said.
She subsequently assured that she intended to stay in the race by presenting herself, as she has often done in her political rallies in recent days, as a “fighter”. “New Hampshire is holding the nation’s first primary. But it's not the last. We still have a way to go, she acknowledged, but we continue to make progress. »
Nikki Haley also warned voters that “chaos keeps coming with Donald Trump.” “You can’t solve Joe Biden’s chaos with Republican chaos,” she warned.
Pressure had intensified on the former governor of South Carolina to slow down the advance of Donald Trump, an advance which now seems more and more insurmountable. New Hampshire offered the candidate fertile ground to do so, due to the presence of a large number of independent voters and more moderate Republicans, who at several times in the country's electoral history have given a new blows to campaigns seeming a little weaker at the start of the nomination race.
“I did what I could,” summarized Steve, a long-time Republican, retired from the construction world on Tuesday, as he left the polling station in the small town of Lincoln, in the center of the country, without however specifying who he had voted for. But I think we're going to be in trouble despite everything. There is too much stupidity in the world today. There's nothing we can do about stupidity. You can't fix stupidity. Donald Trump should be in jail, not a presidential candidate. But I believe that the Republicans need to see their project through to the end to realize that they made a mistake. »
At midday in Concord, Doreen, in her early sixties, had no doubt about the outcome of this election. “It's going to be a relief for me to see Donald Trump win New Hampshire,” she said while greeting voters with a smile as they entered a downtown polling station, holding signs displaying her candidate's name. by hand. He is a politician who keeps his promises. He's the first president I voted for who did what he said he was going to do. »
According to her, there is no reason to worry about the impact of this candidacy on American democracy, a fear regularly raised by specialists and analysts of the rise authoritarian regimes. “Because I believe in God,” she summed up.
The Republican primary was closely followed by the Democratic camp which has been worried for months about the slow rise of Nikki Haley, a candidate considered risky for Joe Biden, in a presidential face-to-face, due to her youth and of its moderate conservatism which seeks to be unifying. The ex-diplomat also underlined this concern in his speech by adding a new line in his campaign communication on Tuesday evening: “The worst kept secret in politics is that the Democrats want to run against Donald Trump “, she said.
Quickly, moreover, the American president's campaign team commented on Donald Trump's victory in New Hampshire, estimating that it “sealed the nomination of the Republican Party” and that “the MAGA movement [Make America Great Again]” who challenges the legitimacy of the American electoral process when Republicans lose, “completed his takeover of the party.” “Trump is offering Americans the same extreme agenda that cost Republicans the last election by promising to undermine American democracy, reward the rich at the expense of the middle class, and ban abortion nationwide,” summarized Julie Chavez Rodriguez, head of Joe Biden's presidential campaign, in a press release.
Next stop for this Republican nomination: Nevada, where Republican voters are called to the polls on February 6 and 8. And Donald Trump already has an idea of the result: “She just lost Nevada,” he announced on his social network.