New Hampshire’s primary has been “called” for former President Donald Trump. But it was a lot closer than it would have been if it had a truly “closed” primary that did not allow Democratic voters to register as ‘undeclared’ and vote for Nikki Haley.
The Granite State’s results were considered to be sufficient to project that Donald Trump will take the state on the way to the 2024 Republican presidential nomination.
I've seen enough: Donald Trump (R) wins the New Hampshire Republican presidential primary, defeating Nikki Haley (R).
— Dave Wasserman (@Redistrict) January 24, 2024
“I’ve seen enough: Donald Trump (R) wins the New Hampshire Republican presidential primary, defeating Nikki Haley (R),” said Dave Wasserman, senior editor and elections analyst for Cook Political Report, considered to be a highly reliable outlet for elections projections.
The results as of publication have Donald Trump ahead by near double digits with 18% of the vote in and over a majority of the votes cast.
As of 8:00 pm eastern, Donald Trump led Nikki Haley by nearly 10 percent: 54.2% to 44.8%.
While New Hampshire is often described as a “closed” primary, there are unique rules that allow voters to change party affiliation to “undeclared.”
The New Hampshire Secretary of State website states the following rules:
Can I vote in a primary if I am an undeclared voter?
Yes. An undeclared voter may vote in a state primary or a presidential primary. You will be required to choose either a Democratic or Republican ballot when you go to vote. The last day a registered voter can change their party affiliation before the 2024 Presidential Primary is October 6, 2023. The last day a registered voter can change their party affiliation before the 2024 State Primary is June 4, 2024. Supervisors are required to meet on that day at least between 7:00 – 7:30 p.m. to accept party changes.
While Americans are likely to see news media hype up Nikki Haley’s surprisingly close finish with Donald Trump in New Hampshire, there is evidence that there were “crossover” voters that typically vote for Democrats who registered to vote against Trump, but intend to vote for Biden or the Democratic Party nominee in November.
The following is a rough transcript:
NH Dem: “I voted for Nikki Haley as a vote against Trump.”
CNN: “If it was Haley vs. Biden who would you vote for?”
NH Dem: “Biden.”
In 2023, a House bill was proposed to put an end to this semi-closed primary system.
“House Bill 101 would bar a longstanding practice in the state: independent-minded voters voting in a party primary and then immediately registering as undeclared before they leave the polling place,” the New Hampshire Bulletin reported.
“The bill’s sponsor, Rep. Michael Moffett, said the bill is intended to prevent voters of one party from interfering with another party’s primary by temporarily switching parties on primary election day,” the report added.
“The purpose of the closed primary is to ensure the integrity of the primary, and that the people who vote in the primary are truly members of the party,” the Loudon Republican said.
Donald Trump nonetheless prevailed in the New Hampshire primary, despite the efforts of the GOP establishment and crossover Democrats who combined to take him down.
It is another notch in the belt for a GOP presidential frontrunner who is again defying political odds and prevailing in state primaries, despite a host of legal attacks that threaten him with being removed from state ballots or even imprisoned.
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