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Haley vows to fight on after Trump wins New Hampshire

An upside-down sign rests on the frozen ground outside Republican presidential candidate, former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley’s campaign event at the Franklin VFW on January 22, 2024, in Franklin, New Hampshire.

An upside-down sign rests on the frozen ground outside Republican presidential candidate, former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley’s campaign event at the Franklin VFW on January 22, 2024, in Franklin, New Hampshire.

Michael Nigro/Sipa USA via Reuters Connect

Nikki Haley lost the New Hampshire primary on Tuesday, but you wouldn’t have known it based on the response from the crowd at her … non-victory speech. Her supporters erupted in applause when the former South Carolina governor proclaimed she’d earned “almost half” the votes. What happened to Ricky Bobby’s America, where “if you ain’t first, you’re last”?


But in the new normal, losing by 10+ percentage points to former President Donald Trump is, in its own strange way, a feat to celebrate. With 91% of the vote counted this morning, Haley is finishing around 43.2% and Trump 54.5%.

Turnout smashed previous state records -- with 300,000 voters casting ballots in the GOP primary -- a reminder that Trump drives people to the polls, whether in adoration or revolt.

Haley says she will fight on in her home state of South Carolina, where once again she looks certain to get absolutely crushed, by a 2:1 margin if some polls are to be believed. The question now is how long her major donors will keep backing her quixotic campaign. We’ll see if she makes it to Super Tuesday in March.

President Joe Biden, on the other hand, got “almost all” the votes in New Hampshire’s bizarre sideshow of a Democratic primary — and he wasn’t even on the ballot. Democrats rescinded official approval for New Hampshire’s primary after the Granite State refused to budge on its “first-in-the-nation” primary tradition, so the results were never going to count anyway. But if Democratic challengers like Dean Phillips can’t even beat Biden when his supporters are forced to write him in, the question again arises about how long to keep trying.

So don’t fall for the hype among these (literal) losers: Trump is running against Biden in November. And if that doesn’t prove to be the case, it won’t be because of Nikki Haley and Dean Phillips.

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