Fox News Voter Analysis: Trump tops Nikki Haley in New Hampshire primary

Former President Trump won New Hampshire’s first-in-the-nation primary by 10 points over Nikki Haley. Trump is the first Republican candidate to win competitive elections in the Iowa caucuses and New Hampshire primary since 1976.

Ron DeSantis ended his campaign two days before the primary, effectively making it a head-to-head race between Trump and Haley, who vowed to continue her campaign through the South Carolina primary on Feb. 24.

The results of the Fox News Voter Analysis, a survey of nearly 2,000 New Hampshire Republican primary voters, show the contours of a race that was notably closer than last week’s Iowa caucuses, which Trump won by 30 points.

In New Hampshire, unaffiliated voters – those not registered with a partisan affiliation – can participate in primary elections, and these voters were the main reason the race in the Granite State was tighter than in Iowa. Unaffiliated voters made up slightly less than half of the electorate (47%), and broke for Haley by 26 points.


Former President Trump won the New Hampshire primary by 10 points over rival Nikki Haley, the former two-term South Carolina governor and U.S. ambassador to the U.N. during the Trump administration. (Michael M. Santiago/Al Drago/Bloomberg)

Just over half of unaffiliated voters (54%) considered themselves Republicans; the remainder generally identified as independents (26%) or Democrats (20%).

Trump easily outpaced Haley among registered Republicans (+42 points).

Haley won political moderates by 24 points, while Trump won self-described “somewhat conservatives” by the same margin (+24 points). He ran up the score among very conservative voters (+68 points).

In the end, much of Haley’s support came from voters outside the GOP mainstream. Just over half of her supporters (52%) backed Joe Biden in the 2020 election, while 32% voted for Trump. The vast majority (90%) of Trump’s backers in the primary voted for him four years ago.

Those who considered themselves part of the Make America Great Again movement went overwhelmingly for Trump (+77 points), while non-MAGA voters backed Haley by 52 points. Both candidates benefited from DeSantis dropping out, as he ran second in Iowa among both MAGA and non-MAGA voters.


Non-MAGA Republicans supported Haley over Trump

Beyond ideology, education was a major fault line in the New Hampshire GOP electorate – to an even greater degree than in Iowa. Haley won college-educated voters by 22 points (after Trump won them by 2 points in Iowa), but Trump dominated among those without a college degree in both states (+30 in New Hampshire and +45 in Iowa).

Haley won suburban voters – a group that broke for Trump by 6 points in Iowa – by a single point. Rural voters were once again a major source of strength for Trump.

Despite millions of dollars in campaign spending and a flurry of candidate events across the state, in some ways the race was over before it began. Fully 42% of voters knew who they would support all along, and almost all of them backed Trump.

Trump voters knew they were voting for him

Far fewer (16%) decided after the Iowa caucuses, but these voters broke for Haley.

Haley supporters headed to the ballot box knowing they were fighting an uphill battle as most voters expect Trump to be the eventual nominee.

If Trump is the eventual nominee, he has work to do to unify the party. While just over half (53%) of primary voters would be satisfied with Trump as the GOP nominee, one-third (35%) would be dissatisfied enough that they would not vote for him in November. Fewer would be satisfied with Haley as the nominee (39%), while 32% would be dissatisfied enough that they would not back her in the fall.

All told, three-quarters (77%) of Haley voters said they would not vote for Trump in November; 51% of his voters felt the same way about her.

Some of the dissatisfaction with Trump as the nominee may be due to concerns he is too extreme to win the general election. Half of voters worried he is too extreme to win, including 37% who were very concerned.

Far fewer (35%) were concerned Haley is too extreme.


For some, however, an extreme candidate may be just what the country needs. Three-in-ten would like to see complete and total upheaval in the way the country is run, and the vast majority of them backed Trump. His 68-point margin among these voters was even larger than his 55-point advantage with this group in Iowa.

Half wanted substantial change in the country’s governance, and they broke for Trump by a much narrower 6-point margin.

The desire for major change did not mean New Hampshire Republican voters were looking for a candidate who would break the rules to get things done – just 17% said that was a very important quality in their nominee.

Instead, almost all voters said having the mental fitness to serve as president was a very important quality for the Republican nominee. Being a strong leader, having the best policy ideas, being able to win in November and caring about people like you were second-tier priorities.

Haley won voters who felt it was very important for the nominee to work in a bipartisan manner, while Trump won on the other traits.


Meanwhile, immigration was the top issue on primary voters’ minds – just as it was in Iowa. The economy placed second and no other issues were close.

Immigration voted most important issue in country

Eight-in-ten voters (79%) supported building a wall along the southern border, with just 21% opposed to Trump’s signature immigration policy. By more than two to one, voters felt immigrants do more to hurt the country (68%) than help it (28%). All told, Trump won immigration voters by 47 points.

The margin was closer among those who felt the economy was the most important issue, though Trump still held a 9-point advantage over Haley.

Six-in-ten voters (60%) said they were holding steady financially, but nearly 3 in 10 (27%) felt they were falling behind. These voters backed Trump by a massive margin (+58 points), while he and Haley split those who were breaking even (Haley +1 point). In Iowa, Trump won those who said they were holding steady by 22 points.

Most voters have a

While far from the top of voters’ priority lists, foreign policy (8% most important issue) did create some fireworks on the campaign trail. Haley, who served as the U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations in the Trump administration, sought to attack his relationships with dictators and draw a contrast with Trump’s “America First” foreign policy. A majority of New Hampshire voters, however, preferred the U.S. take a less active role in world affairs.

Those who wanted the U.S. to be less active (Trump +40 points) and more active (Trump +14 points) in solving the world’s problems backed Trump, while those who felt the current U.S. stance was about right backed Haley by 43 points.

On the hot-button questions of foreign aid, half favored aid to Ukraine and two-thirds supported aid to Israel.

Voters who favored aid to both countries backed Haley by 34 points. Trump’s margins among those who would send aid to Israel but not Ukraine (+76 points) and those who opposed aid to both (+46 points) were much greater.


New Hampshire GOP primary voters are more moderate on abortion than their Iowa counterparts: slightly more than half said abortion should be legal in all or most cases, compared to 31% of Iowa caucusgoers. That helped Haley, as she won those who felt abortion should be legal by 22 points. Still, Trump won those who would outlaw abortion by a much wider 50-point spread.

Relatively few primary voters thought Trump has done something illegal with the classified documents found at his Florida home (32%), his alleged attempts to interfere with the 2020 election vote count (32%) or the events at the U.S. Capitol on Jan. 6, 2021 (27%).

Four-in-ten (39%) thought Trump had done something illegal in at least one of those cases, compared to 26% of Iowa Republicans who felt that way. Most of those backed Haley (+79 points), but Trump had a similar margin (+67) among the larger group saying he hadn’t broken the law.

Two-thirds of voters (64%) felt the cases were political attempts to undermine Trump rather than legitimate investigations into important issues (34%). Reflecting Trump’s view that the justice system is out to get him, half (52%) said they lacked confidence in the integrity of the U.S. legal system.


A similar number were not confident in U.S. democracy in general (46%) and slightly fewer lacked confidence in the integrity of U.S. elections (42%). Most expressed confidence in New Hampshire’s elections (86%).

Voters’ mistrust of U.S. elections extends to questioning the results of the 2020 election, as 51% say Biden was not legitimately elected. Trump won these voters by 77 points, while Haley won those who felt Biden won fair and square by a slightly narrower 61 points.


The Fox News Voter Analysis is a survey of nearly 2,000 New Hampshire Republican primary voters conducted Jan. 17-23, 2024. Full methodological details are available here.


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