Can Nikki Haley Beat Trump in the New Hampshire Primary?

Today’s Suffolk University/Boston Globe/USA TODAY poll reveals that Nikki Haley has skyrocketed into second place among likely New Hampshire Republican Primary voters, with the support of 19%. This is a significant achievement for Haley, and her campaign will undoubtedly use this as a strong talking point. However, the larger question remains: can Haley or any other candidate beat Trump in New Hampshire?

In Scenario #1, where all the candidates drop out and endorse Haley, it is unlikely to secure her victory. Even if every other Republican candidate supported her, the polling data shows that Trump would still win the primary. Analyzing likely voters’ second choice preferences, it is clear that a substantial number of supporters from other candidates would choose Trump over Haley. The numbers indicate that Trump would secure 29% of DeSantis’ supporters and 40% of Ramaswamy’s voters, even if their respective candidates endorsed Haley. When factoring in the second choice votes from all major candidates, Trump’s support would still exceed 55%. Therefore, it raises the question of why other candidates would drop out and support Haley.

Scenario #2 explores the idea that if Trump were to lose support in New Hampshire, Haley would benefit. However, the poll contradicts this assumption. It reveals that DeSantis, not Haley, would gain more from a decline in Trump’s support. Only 11% of Trump voters would shift their support to Haley, while 35% would vote for DeSantis. This 3-1 advantage for DeSantis among Trump voters puts him back in the running. Moreover, as other candidates experience a loss in support, it could be a back-and-forth between Haley and DeSantis, but currently, neither of them can catch up to Trump.

In Scenario #3, there is a possibility that Democrats and Independents could flood the Republican primary to knock out Trump. However, this strategy seems highly improbable. The party proportions in the New Hampshire Republican primary have historically consisted of around 60%-65% registered Republicans and 30%-35% registered Independents. While changing these proportions may not be impossible, it is unlikely to significantly impact the outcome. Additionally, Democrats would need to switch their registration to Independent within the next two days, which limits their ability to influence the Republican primary.

The poll also highlights the unwavering loyalty of Trump’s supporters, with 76% of them believing that the charges against Trump are politically motivated. They view him as someone who has done little wrong and compare him to iconic leaders like Mahatma Gandhi, Nelson Mandela, Martin Luther King Jr., and Jesus Christ. This loyalty creates a clear divide within the Republican Party and makes it challenging for other candidates to sway Trump voters.


Q: Can Nikki Haley beat Donald Trump in the New Hampshire Primary?

A: While Nikki Haley has seen a surge in support according to the latest poll, it remains unlikely that she or any other candidate can defeat Trump in the New Hampshire Primary.

Q: Would all the other candidates dropping out and endorsing Haley secure her victory?

A: Even if every other Republican candidate dropped out and endorsed Haley, the polling data suggests that Trump would still triumph in the primary. Many supporters of other candidates would choose Trump over Haley as their second choice.

Q: Can Trump losing support in New Hampshire benefit Haley’s campaign?

A: The poll indicates that if Trump were to lose support, Ron DeSantis would benefit more than Haley. Only a small percentage of Trump voters would shift their support to Haley, while a notable portion would vote for DeSantis instead.

Q: Could Democrats and Independents strategically vote in the Republican primary to eliminate Trump?

A: While technically possible, the proportions of the New Hampshire Republican primary have historically leaned towards registered Republicans and Independents. The deadline to switch registration from Democrat to Independent limits the ability of Democrats to influence the primary.

Q: How loyal are Trump’s supporters?

A: The poll reveals that 76% of Trump voters believe the charges against him are politically motivated, and they perceive him as a leader who has done little wrong. This unwavering loyalty creates a significant divide within the Republican Party.