Trump-Biden Rematch Looms After New Hampshire Win
Manchester (United States) (AFP) – Donald Trump is set to challenge President Joe Biden for the White House once again after winning the New Hampshire primary, setting the stage for an incredibly tense and bitter 10-month campaign.
Nikki Haley, the only remaining challenger for the Republican presidential nomination, has vowed to continue the fight. However, her defeat on Tuesday left her with no realistic chance of catching up to the 77-year-old former president.
In his victory speech, Trump gave a preview of the divisive rhetoric to come in the upcoming campaign, launching personal attacks against Haley and even criticizing her dress. Biden, 81, accepted that a rematch with Trump was inevitable and emphasized the importance of the election for the future of American democracy.
Haley had hoped for a major upset in the northeastern state, but Trump won with approximately 54 percent of the vote to Haley’s 43 percent, with 91 percent of votes counted. Trump confidently proclaimed that he would win easily when the primary contest reaches Haley’s home state of South Carolina in February.
Maintaining his hard-right messaging, Trump made no attempt to reach out to the moderate voters who supported Haley. Despite the 91 criminal indictments facing Trump, he disregarded any concerns and declared that the United States is a “failing country,” making ominous warnings about immigration and repeating false claims about his victory in the 2020 election.
President Biden responded by acknowledging that Donald Trump will be the Republican nominee and stressed the high stakes of the upcoming election. He highlighted the importance of democracy and personal freedoms, including the right to choose and the right to vote.
Haley argued that the race was far from over, claiming that Democrats want to run against Trump due to his record of sowing chaos and believing he is the only Republican Biden can defeat. However, no Republican candidate has ever won both opening contests and failed to secure the party’s nomination.
While recent polling shows Trump neck and neck or even ahead of Biden in a rematch, the New Hampshire results offered hope for Biden. In addition to losing nearly half the Republican vote despite running as an incumbent, Trump’s failure to win over independents and floating voters provided encouragement for Democrats.
The New Hampshire primary also saw Biden cruise to victory in an unofficial Democratic primary, giving him a symbolic boost. Although he did not appear on the ballot, voters “wrote-in” Biden for the win.
As the campaign intensifies, Biden is focusing on hot-button issues such as abortion and portraying Trump as a threat to democracy while his economic message struggles to resonate with voters affected by inflation.