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NH Primary race breakdown shows Trump’s strength in Southern Tier, rural communities

Republican presidential candidate former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley walks on stage to speak at a New Hampshire primary night rally, in Concord on Tuesday Jan. 23, 2024.
Charles Krupa
/
AP
Republican presidential candidate former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley walks on stage to speak at a New Hampshire primary night rally, in Concord on Tuesday Jan. 23, 2024.

As the primary results came pouring in Tuesday night, it was clear former President Donald Trump maintained his grip on rural, more blue-collar sections of New Hampshire.

“Trump carrying working-class city of Rochester by 2-1 margin,” Dante Scala, a political observer and professor at UNH, wrote on social media site X last evening. “No signs of strength for Haley in any working-class areas of NH so far.”

Trump also put up big vote totals in the Republican-rich communities in the Southern Tier, like Hudson, Pelham, and Derry.

“Trump winning small towns everywhere,” Scala tweeted.

By the end of the evening, those wins piled up into an estimated 11-percentage point victory over former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley, according to the Associated Press. With 95% of the votes counted as of midday Wednesday, Trump had amassed roughly 173,000 votes, compared to Haley’s 138,000.

In the GOP vote-rich town of Salem, Trump cleared 66% of the vote. In Seabrook, which has emerged as a consistent base of support for the former president, he earned 72% of the vote.

Results show Haley did pick up significant support in wealthier communities along the Seacoast and in the Upper Valley, as well as New Hampshire’s college towns and other traditionally more liberal-leaning outposts, such as Dover and Peterborough.

In Bedford, Haley bested Trump 52-45%. She also swept through stretches of Rockingham County, winning Exeter, Stratham, Greenland and Rye.

Haley had sought to align a patchwork coalition of moderate and traditional Republicans, along with independent voters, and perhaps some disaffected undeclared voters who usually support Democrats.

Election data guru Steve Kornacki of NBC News cited an exit poll showing she largely succeeded in attracting independent voters.

“We've never seen a gap between the independent vote and the Republican vote in an NH GOP primary like we saw last night. Trump won R's by 49, Haley took independents by 22 -- a swing of 71 points. Previous high was 40,” Kornacki wrote on social media.

In the more working class cities of Manchester and Nashua, Trump won 56% and 51%, respectively, of GOP votes.

Click here to view a complete town-by-town breakdown of the results.

Todd started as a news correspondent with NHPR in 2009. He spent nearly a decade in the non-profit world, working with international development agencies and anti-poverty groups. He holds a master’s degree in public administration from Columbia University.
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