Why AP called New Hampshire for Trump: Race call explained

Republican presidential candidate former President Donald Trump hands off a signed hat during a campaign stop in Londonderry, N.H., Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2024. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke) (Matt Rourke, Copyright 2024 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.)

WASHINGTON – Former President Donald Trump is the winner of the New Hampshire Republican primary.

The Associated Press declared Trump the winner based on an analysis of initial vote returns as well as the results of AP VoteCast, a survey of Republican primary voters. Both indicated Trump was running ahead of former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley by an insurmountable margin.

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Initial results from more than 25 townships showed Trump leading by a comfortable margin as of 8 p.m. This included results from Manchester and Concord, two of the state’s three most populous cities. Early returns were also reported from more rural areas in the northern and eastern parts of the state. All confirmed the findings of AP’s survey.

VoteCast also showed Trump leading Haley by a substantial margin across all regions of the state. It showed Haley supported by a majority of unaffiliated voters choosing to cast their ballot in the Republican primary. That wasn’t enough to make up for Trump’s nearly 50-point lead among registered Republicans. New Hampshire allows voters not affiliated with a political party to participate in either party’s primary. Voters registered with a party may only vote in their own party’s primary.

Trump holds comfortable leads in the northern half of the state, as well as in towns in southern New Hampshire surrounding but not including the Manchester area, where he holds a smaller lead. The race is much closer in the state capital of Concord and in the Connecticut Valley to the west.

Haley's best performance was in the cities and towns that gave President Joe Biden his biggest margins in the state in 2020. She leads Trump in these areas, but collectively they make up a relatively small share of the GOP electorate. Trump leads in the rest of the state, including in cities and towns Biden carried by more modest margins in 2020.

Haley was performing well in the towns former Ohio Gov. John Kasich carried in the 2016 GOP primary, where he placed a distant second to Trump, but there were not enough of these areas for her to significantly chip away at the former president's considerable lead in other parts of the state.

AP VoteCast is a comprehensive survey that provides a detailed snapshot of the electorate and helps explain who voted, what issues they care about, how they feel about the candidates and why they voted the way they did.

New Hampshire’s 22 delegates will be allocated proportionally among candidates who receive at least 10% of the vote statewide.

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