Primaries in the USA: Possibly decisive showdown in New Hampshire

Will there be a decisive showdown in New Hampshire? In the primaries for the US presidential candidates on Tuesday, all eyes were on the Republicans in the state, where former President Donald Trump only had one opponent in the former UN ambassador Nikki Haley. If the 77-year-old wins clearly, his candidacy should no longer be taken away.

Trump appeared confident of victory a day before the vote in the east coast state: “Tomorrow we will win New Hampshire,” then “defeat Joe Biden and make America great again,” said the 77-year-old on Monday in Laconia. Referring to Haley, Trump added: “Now we’re down to two people and I think one person will probably be gone tomorrow.”

Trump’s challenger, 52-year-old Haley, said on Fox News Tuesday after voting began that the “political elites are saying we all need to rally around him. This is not a coronation. This is a democracy.”

Several candidates had previously dropped out of the Republican presidential race. Most recently, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, who had long been considered Trump’s most dangerous rival, threw in the towel on Sunday. In a remarkable reversal, he called on his supporters to rally behind the ex-president.

Despite his numerous judicial problems with four indictments, Trump is still popular with the right-wing base. He could set the course for his candidacy early with a victory in New Hampshire; he had already clearly won the first primary election in Iowa. No candidate has ever lost the race for the Republican presidential nomination after winning the primaries in the first two states.

According to experts, Haley needed a win or at least a very narrow loss in New Hampshire to continue pursuing her bid. During a campaign appearance in the moderate state, Haley said that the Republican field of candidates now only consisted of “a guy and a lady.” Voters have to decide whether they want “more of the same or something new,” the 52-year-old added. In a television interview, she also doubted Trump’s mental state and described the 77-year-old as “deteriorating.”

Haley, former governor of the state of South Carolina, is hoping for the votes of all those conservative voters who have had enough of the right-wing populist Trump. In New Hampshire, the former UN ambassador also insisted that voters registered as independents in the state would also be allowed to take part in the primaries, which would favor moderate politicians like her.

The presidential election in the USA will take place on November 5th. The Democratic primaries in New Hampshire also took place on Tuesday, but incumbent Joe Biden has no serious competitors. In the race for the White House, the president is once again focusing on the issue of abortion rights, with which the Democrats were already successful in the 2022 midterm elections.

However, many Democratic politicians and voters have doubts that Biden, at 81, is the right candidate. He is already the oldest president in US history. In the 2020 presidential election, Biden won against Trump, who had a four-year term marked by chaos and scandals and who still does not recognize Biden’s election victory.