Polling News

Trump’s New Hampshire Win

January 25, 2024

Former President Donald Trump had another primary victory over 50% in New Hampshire this week, beating former S.C. Gov. Nikki Haley by eleven points. According to NBC exit polls, four groups explain why Trump was able to dominate over Haley, even though she won “swing” voters – college educated voters and independents.  

By the Numbers:

  • Self-identified Republicans made up 51% of the electorate; Trump won them by 49 points. Independents made up 43% of the turnout, but Haley only by won them by 22 points.

  • Trump won 70% of self-described conservatives (66% of the electorate), while Haley won 73% of self-described moderates. The problem for Haley is that group only made up 28% of the electorate.

  • Haley won the college educated vote (56%-41), while Trump won the non-college educated vote (66%-32). This latter group has now become part of the GOP base, making up 52% of the electorate. Trump also improved his performance with college educated voters by 24-points since 2016. Some of these voters likely would have considered Ron DeSantis or Vivek Ramaswamy if they were in the race. 

  • Primary voters cared the most about the economy and immigration. Trump beat Haley overwhelming on both (+9 points on economy; +16 votes on immigration). 

The Bottom Line: New Hampshire, with Republican-leaning independents and a more moderate composition of the electorate, was a prime opportunity for Haley to make her mark against Trump, and she did get nearly half of the electorate, more than any other Trump competitor so far. The map ahead is not easy even if she is wins over similar elements in the contests to come. Trump should learn from the NH results as well, however. A decent chunk of the party willing to vote against him. Speeches like the one he gave last night attacking Haley do help him win those skeptical voters back. But he’ll need them come November.  

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