After news broke that Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-Fla.) was suspending his White House bid and endorsing Donald Trump, NHJournal surveyed its readers to get their view of the state of the presidential race. And they overwhelmingly agreed: Trump is the favorite to win the First in the Nation primary.
More than 75 percent said they believe Trump will win on Tuesday, with just one in five predicting Nikki Haley will finish in first place. About 60 percent said they believe Trump will get at least 50 percent of the vote.
As for their personal choices, Trump has the support of about half of the respondents, while Haley will get the votes of 35 percent. Another eight percent said they still intend to vote for DeSantis.
The survey is not a poll, and it is certainly not scientific. But it does offer a look into the views of Granite Staters who regularly follow political news, particularly from the center-right.
“Donald Trump made peace in the Middle East and elsewhere, brought us a strong economy, made our military strong and respected, brought us energy independence, and supported urban Americans and American workers,” one respondent commented. “We need him to be POTUS again!”
However, more of the comments reflected this view:
“I won’t enjoy voting for Trump, but he’d be the only choice available to reinstate a Republican administration.”
NHJournal also asked readers about some of the attacks made against Trump and Haley during the campaign, and which ones they believed were most effective.
“Nikki Haley is the candidate of Democrats” was deemed the most effective by 30 percent of respondents, followed by “soft on borders/immigration” (19 percent) and “would involve America in foreign wars” (18 percent).
For Trump, readers said the charge that “he’s too chaotic” (22 percent) and “he will cost Republicans seats in Congress and in Concord” (21 percent) were the most impactful, with “he will lose to Joe Biden” (18 percent) not far behind.
Still, three-quarters of respondents said they would vote for Trump if he faces off against Biden in the general election. Just 14 percent said they’d back the incumbent president. (About 10 percent picked independent Robert F. Kennedy Jr.)
Many commenters echoed this sentiment about a Biden v. Trump re-match: “Just shoot me.”
Like the Republican Party as a whole, some NHJournal readers are enthusiastic Trump supporters, while others are extremely unhappy with his leadership of the party.
“There is only one candidate who can save America, and that is Donald Trump. Nominating Nikki Haley is suicide for the Republicans and the country. A Nikki Haley nomination is like pouring gasoline on fires the Democrats have ignited,” one commenter wrote.
Others had a different take.
“If Donald Trump wins overwhelmingly, I am changing my party affiliation to undeclared.”
“Don’t want Trump or Biden!” another commenter added. “But would hold my nose and vote for Trump because we need to close the border, Job One. “
While the vast majority of respondents identified as Republicans and few plan to vote in the Democratic primary Tuesday, they overwhelmingly believe President Biden will win via write-in ballot. But just 17 percent believe he’ll break 60 percent. If Trump outperforms Biden in his party’s primary — and facing a serious opponent like Haley — it could be embarrassing for Democrats.
Several respondents used the opportunity to express their views about the First in the Nation primary itself, with one person saying, “It has been a waste of time, money, and attention.”
“Trump was going to win the nomination the day he announced,” another said. “We have been living in the media’s fantasy land as if the nomination was going to be competitive. It has all been a competition for second. When Trump wins 50%+ of the vote tomorrow in NH, maybe the media will wake up.”
And another reader offered a personal observation.
“I moved up here in 2021 and expected a lot more local interest and excitement around the FITN primary. But it has been lackluster and surprisingly apathetic the past couple of months. This, more than anything else, shows how uncompetitive this primary cycle has been.”