Chris Christie was mostly right. Former South Carolina governor Nikki Haley didn't get "smoked" in the New Hampshire primary on Tuesday, but she didn't really come close to winning and her campaign won't last much longer as a result. Media networks called the Granite State for Donald Trump several minutes after polls closed. With nearly a third of the votes counted, Trump led Haley by a margin of 54 percent to 45 percent. For all intents and purposes, the Republican primary has concluded. The 2020 rematch has begun.
Nevertheless, Haley promised to persist. "This race is far from over," she told supporters in Concord. "We are just getting started." After congratulating Trump on his victory, Haley proceeded to attack him as a sure loser in the general election against President Joe Biden. "A Trump nomination is a Biden win and a Kamala Harris presidency," she said. It remains to be seen, though, whether Haley will still be in the race when her home state of South Carolina heads to the polls next month. Florida governor Ron DeSantis was also defiant after placing second in the Iowa caucus last week. He dropped out days later.
Trump sounded a markedly different tone while addressing his own supporters later in the evening, ridiculing Haley for refusing to drop out after "a very bad night." Haley was "doing a speech like she won," Trump said. "She didn't win. She lost." He then turned his ire on Biden and predicted victory in the general election. "The man can't put two sentences together," Trump said of his presumptive opponent. "He can't find the stairs off the stage."
Democratic voters delivered a similarly unsurprising result in their primary. Biden wasn't on the ballot in New Hampshire, but enough voters wrote in the president's name to give him a comfortable win over challenger Dean Phillips, the Democratic congressman from Minnesota. Biden, 81, is running for reelection despite the fact that most voters are concerned about his age and health. Just 28 percent of Americans say Biden has "the mental sharpness it takes to effectively serve as president," according to a recent poll.
Now that the New Hampshire primary is in the books, let's take a look at some of the winners and losers.
Donald Trump: He's going to be the Republican nominee for president, and he has a decent chance to win the general election. He's running against an incumbent who is weak, unpopular, and 81 years old. Statistically speaking, Biden could drop dead at any moment and be replaced by Kamala Harris.
Republicans: The party's voters have spoken. They want Trump to be their nominee and they seem pretty pumped up about the general election. Typically when a party is out of power and preparing to take on an incumbent president, the primary contest can get nasty and divisive. Republicans won't have that problem in 2024. Roughly 80 percent of GOP voters have a favorable opinion of Trump, which is in line with how Democrats feel about Biden.
Vivek Ramaswamy and friends: If Trump wins the general election, Ramaswamy and other primary candidates who endorsed Trump after ending their campaigns—Ron DeSantis, Tim Scott, and Doug Burgum—could be rewarded for their support. Unless they make Trump mad—then he will ruin their lives.
The media: Trump was the best thing that ever happened to the mainstream media, and he's about to happen to them again. Ratings and profits at outlets such as CNN and the Washington Post have plummeted since Trump left office in 2021. Deranged liberals will juice demand for TV segments and opinion columns about why Trump is the single greatest threat to American democracy. Cha-ching!
The anti-Trump #Resistance: This is what they wanted. Trump's loudest critics, the ones who keep calling him "the single greatest threat to democracy in American history," wanted him to be the nominee. Some of them think he will be easier to beat, others just want to keep using Trump's name in fundraising appeals to panicked libs. If Trump wasn't the nominee, they'd have to spend the next nine months screaming about how Ron DeSantis or Nikki Haley is "actually far more dangerous than Trump." It would have been very annoying.
The anti-Trump #Resistance: This is what they wanted. The man they call "the single greatest threat to democracy in American history" is one 81-year-old heartbeat away from reelection. Good luck!
Joe Biden: He's the 81 year old whose heartbeat could determine "the fate of American democracy." That's a lot of pressure for a man who keeps getting less and less coherent by the day. He should be enjoying his retirement on a beach somewhere, spending time with his grandkids, and pulling strings to keep his adult son out of prison. Now he has to try to run an entire presidential campaign without embarrassing himself. This is elder abuse!
Democrats: They're stuck with Biden now. And if he can't make it to November, they're stuck with Kamala.
Nikki Haley: She ran a solid campaign and arguably exceeded expectations, but an outright victory in New Hampshire was her only shot at making this a legitimate two-person race, and she missed. How long until she drops out and endorses Trump?
Most Americans: A Trump-Biden rematch is not what they wanted, but it's what they're going to get.