Trump & Biden Clinch NH Win — By: Church Militant

DETROIT ( – Former President Donald Trump successfully won the New Hampshire Republican primary last night by about a dozen percentage points, but his performance was not enough to convince former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley to leave the race.

Donald Trump’s NH victory speech on Jan. 23

In her concession speech, Haley pledged to continue moving forward. Several times, she referenced her home state of South Carolina as a place that could reverse the political tide. Polling, however, suggests that she is not as strong there as she was in New Hampshire.

With most of the votes counted, Trump unofficially defeated Haley by a 55-43% margin, but the modified status of the New Hampshire primary structure, meaning that voters registered in a particular political party must vote in that party’s primary while nonaffiliated voters can participate in whichever primary they choose, clearly helped Haley.

Polling showed that a majority of nonaffiliated voters who chose to participate in the Republican primary supported Haley, while the overwhelming majority of registered Republican voters backed the former president.

The New Hampshire primary yielded a record turnout for the Republicans. The final participation count could reach 320,000. The previous record of 284,120 was set in 2016.

For the Democrats, President Biden, despite not being on the primary ballot, won the primary with write-in ballots that tallied just under 67% of the vote. Representative Dean Phillips, D-Minn., secured 20% of the vote. Phillips has stated that he has no fundamental disagreement with Biden over issues but believes Democrats should have a choice, particularly with an 81-year-old in office. Author Marianne Williamson attracted the remaining votes, just under 4%.

The final turnout number will only be in the 100,000 range. Counting was slower on the Democratic side because of the large number of write-in ballots. While it’s always a major effort to win a write-in campaign, the fact that almost a quarter of New Hampshire Democrats chose someone other than their incumbent president is still somewhat significant. 

The overwhelming majority of registered Republican voters backed the former president.

The next time both parties will vote simultaneously is in Nevada on Feb. 6. Trump, however, is already the winner there because Haley entered the primary election as opposed to the caucus. Delegates are only won through the Republican caucus. Democrats will feature only a primary.

From Nevada, the Republicans will then move to South Carolina, a primary that could be definitive in determining the party nominee. Democrats will vote there on Feb. 3. Should Haley lose in her home state, it would be difficult for her to continue. Michigan will follow South Carolina on Feb. 27, just before the 16-entity Super Tuesday election on March 5. There is little doubt either nomination campaign will continue past that day.

It’s clear that Biden and Trump were yesterday’s winners, and both added an important rung to their nomination ladder. Each will likely win his respective party’s nomination.

North Dakota Governor

After Republican Gov. Doug Burgum announced on Monday that he would not seek a third term, other North Dakota politicos began to make public their own political plans. United States Rep. Kelly Armstrong, R-Bismarck, quickly declared that he would run for governor.

Gov. Doug Burgum, R-N.D.

Armstrong was first elected to the House in 2018 and has averaged 73.8% of the vote in his three elections, including his unopposed run in 2020. Prior to running for Congress, Armstrong served in the state senate and as chairman of the North Dakota Republican Party. The congressman currently serves on the Energy and Commerce and Judiciary Committees. 

Conversely, North Dakota Republican Attorney General Drew Wrigley, also viewed as one of the top potential contenders to succeed Burgum, announced that he will not run for governor, instead opting to seek reelection to his current position. Former state senator and ex-congressional Republican candidate Tom Campbell will run for governor.

The Republican statewide nominating convention is scheduled for April 6. The North Dakota primary is set for June 11.

North Dakota’s at-large congressional seat is safely Republican. In 2020, then-President Trump carried the state with a 65-32% margin, and a similar vote will likely be recorded in 2024. Along with Republican Sen. Ken Cramer seeking reelection, North Dakota is set for another Republican sweep election year. The Daily Kos Elections site ranks this seat as the 39th safest in the GOP Conference.

Armstrong leaving the House means that 46 seats will be open for the next election. A total of 23 open seats are currently in Democratic hands, and there are now 22 for the Republicans. One seat is created through the court-ordered Alabama redistricting process.

Louisiana’s Redistricting Map Signed Into Law

Meeting the court-ordered requirement to draw a new majority-minority seat in Louisiana, Republican Gov. Jeff Landry yesterday signed into law the legislature’s map. The new lines will cost the Republicans one seat, as a Black Democrat will be heavily favored to win a newly drawn 6th District that stretches from Baton Rouge all the way to Shreveport, cutting through the middle of House Speaker Mike Johnson’s, R-Benton, 4th Congressional District.

Current 6th District Rep. Garret Graves, R-Baton Rouge, says he will run for the House, which likely means challenging Rep. Julia Letlow, R-Start, in the state’s newly drawn, and safely Republican, 5th Congressional District. Graves also says he is considering filing a lawsuit against the new map.

We will likely see another such open seat coming from the new Louisiana redistricting plan just signed into law this week. Graves is likely to enter a paired Republican primary with Letlow, thus leaving the 6th District as an open seat.

Nebraska Gubernatorial Race

State Sen. Carol Blood, D-Bellevue, who was the 2022 Democratic gubernatorial nominee and lost to Republican Gov. Jim Pillen 59-36%, announced that she will now challenge Rep. Mike Flood, R-Norfolk, in the state’s 1st District, which surrounds the Omaha metropolitan area on three sides. Flood was elected in a 2022 special election after Republican Rep. Jeff Fortenberry resigned. He won a full term in November with 58% of the vote. Blood’s candidacy gives the Democrats a credible challenger in what is considered a safe Republican seat. Flood will be favored for reelection. 

Jim Ellis, creator of The Ellis Insight website and senior political analyst for the Business-Industry Political Action Committee, analyzes and reports on U.S. electoral politics. He has a background in political consulting, managing political campaigns and action committees. Ellis is a regular speaker and media contributor on electoral topics, appearing on various radio shows and TV programs. He hosts Church Militant’s The Ellis Insight — a video podcast identifying emerging campaign and election trends.

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