Can Haley shake off her upset over Trump?


New Hampshire's big primary day is here.

The race has long wielded the power to make or break presidential candidates, boosting some campaigns for the 2024 election and tearing others apart. Today, all eyes are on the Granite State's Republican primary as former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley tries to keep her candidacy alive against front-runner former President Donald Trump.

Haley got off to a good start, winning all six votes in Dixville Notch. But he faces long odds — a Boston Globe/Suffolk University poll taken Sunday and Monday had Trump leading Haley by 22 points, 60%-38%.

For Democrats, President Joe Biden's name technically won't appear on the ballot, but that doesn't mean voters can't support him in the nation's primary.

Follow USA TODAY Network's live coverage as our reporters answer your questions and bring you insights from New Hampshire's voters and leaders.

Gary Carribean, 44, and Bobby Sharon, 59, braved the cold outside a polling station in Salem. But they have their differences: the Caribbean holds a Biden sign, while Sharon, a Trump supporter, waves a sign that reads “Make America Great Again.”

But that doesn't mean they don't chat every now and then.

“We're all Americans,” said Carribean, a federal employee based in Salem. “We may have different views on things, but it's nice to see … we can all be together. We're all Americans. We're all trying to do what's best for the country.

Sharon, a retired business owner, said that while she and the Caribbean discussed their political differences, they were finding areas of agreement.

“I love people,” Sharon said.

Sudhiksha Kochi

Trump said at a rally on Monday that he expects Haley to drop out of the race on Tuesday. Haley didn't want to hear it. “I don't care if you all want to crown Donald Trump,” Haley said Tuesday on Fox and Friends. “At the end of the day, Americans don't want that. Americans want a choice.”

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Haley says 70% of Americans disapprove of a Trump-Biden rematch, and the two are in the saddle with high disapproval ratings. Next on the primary list is his home state of South Carolina, where he says he's already buying campaign ads. His recurring theme: “It's always a marathon. It's never a sprint.”

In Atkinson, 25 miles southeast of Manchester, voters gathered at Atkinson Community Center at 7 a.m. Joel Winslow, 54, said he voted for Trump because “he's the only guy who can get the job done.”

“Everybody's been in government a long time and the same things keep happening and happening,” said Winslow, an electrician. Winslow said he admires the former president because he “has never been in government” and serves the people.

“With all the punches he gets thrown, with all the cases thrown on the court, the guy keeps coming back,” Winslow said. “Why would a guy with his status and money want to deal with himself? So I think he's for the people.

Dean Olsen, 62, voted for Trump because of his border, economic and other policies. Olsen said the price of groceries and gas has risen sharply under the Biden administration, and the effects have been significant for her family.

“It's a lot,” Olson said.

− Sudiksha Kochi

Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley, 52, hit out at Trump's age on Tuesday when she went to the polls in Hampton with Gov. Chris Sununu. He said Trump is “mentally qualified,” but said voters should ask whether they want “two 80-year-olds” in Trump and Biden on the ticket in November. Trump is 77 years old.

“When a country is in shambles like we are and the world is on fire, you need someone who can play in eight years and turn things around,” Haley said.

It's the latest in a series of shots Haley has taken at Trump's age. At a rally last week, Trump repeatedly confused Haley with former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, prompting a warning from Haley to voters that Trump's “mental stability” will continue to decline.

– Max Sullivan

Trump won only 20 of the 1,215 delegates needed to claim the Republican nomination. Nevertheless, the primary process will soon become a forum for politicians eyeing the vice presidential spot on the Trump ticket. Betting sites are already looking at this fight. Otchecker South Dakota Gov. Christy Nome, businessman Vivek Ramasamy, Representative Elise Stefanik of New York, former Department of Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson and Haley round out the top five candidates.

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The 2024 election season started with a frost, and Iowa Republicans headed to their caucuses in freezing weather. Trump won a significant early and wide margin, while Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis trailed Haley to finish in second place. Now DeSantis is gone and the focus is on New Hampshire, which is hosting a primary. But what distinguishes a caucus from a primary? How does a primary ultimately factor into the general election?

USA TODAY answers all your questions about how the country votes and why it matters. Here's everything you need to know.

Anna Kaufman

The standoff between Trump and DeSantis, who dropped out of the race two days ago and endorsed Trump, won't last long. DeSantis has threatened to veto any attempt by Florida lawmakers to bankroll Trump's bills. On social media site X (formerly Twitter), DeSantis reposted a Politico story titled “Some Florida Republicans Want Taxpayers to Pay Trump's Legal Bills.”

DeSantis commented: “But not a Florida Republican who wields a veto pen…” Trump, who has had good things to say about DeSantis since withdrawing from the presidential race on Sunday, did not comment on the potential flap.

David Jackson

Polls suggested Haley was a long shot, but she got off to a flying start when six registered voters in Dixville Notch voted for her. The sparsely populated resort town historically makes a big difference by opening its polls at midnight, the first place in the country to vote, count and announce results in presidential elections. As usual, a handful of voters were greeted by a host of reporters from around the world.

Les Otten, owner of Balsams Resort, which served as a polling station, was excited to vote.

“This needs to happen in every community in America, where there's 100% participation, everybody's voting,” Otten said. “Since we participated, none of us six can complain about the outcome of the election.”

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Hailey praised, Posting on social media “A great start to a great day in New Hampshire. Thanks Dixville Notch!”

After businessman Vivek Ramaswamy, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and a group of other GOP White House hopefuls dropped out of the Republican primary, their departures left just three candidates on Tuesday.

Trump, Haley and businessman and pastor Ryan Binkley are still vying for the 2024 Republican nomination.

Looking for more information? You can consult the USA TODAY Network's Voter Guides for everything you need to know about the Republican, Democratic and third-party candidates.

– Marina Pitofsky

The odds were not in her favor. Trump led Haley 55% to 36% Suffolk University/Boston Globe/NBC-10 Watch Poll It was held from January 18-19 in the state. And a DeSantis exit could boost Trump's lead in the 2024 primary. 60% of Florida gubernatorial voters said Trump was their second choice in the poll.

However, Haley's campaign hopes DeSantis' exit will give her a boost in these final hours before New Hampshire's primary.

– Karissa Wadik

Voting hours vary by town and city in New Hampshire. Most are open from 7 or 8 a.m. to 7 or 8 p.m., but some, like Hebron, don't open until 11 a.m. If you're a New Hampshire resident, your Polling booth Find out when your location opens and closes.

– Margie Cullen

New Hampshire's Republican primary changed this week, with DeSantis dropping out of the GOP race after losing in the Iowa caucuses. The Florida governor immediately endorsed Trump, but some of Haley's supporters in New Hampshire argued it didn't matter in the Granite State. The former South Carolina governor has long sought to build a broad coalition, sometimes fueled by moderate, anti-Trump Republicans.

The question remains: Will those voters propel Haley to her first 2024 victory — or will Trump win New Hampshire sooner rather than later?

– Karissa Vadik, Marina Pitofsky

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