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Haley can scream Biden is missing from the ballot — what's at stake in New Hampshire

1. What is at stake?

Republicans: Among Republicans, the drama boils down to former US Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley's ability to cozy up to Trump. Haley is expected to do well among the large portion of independent voters in New Hampshire — about 40 percent of the state's base. There is an influx of voters from Democrats to independents in New Hampshire, which Haley's somewhat more traditional profile may attract.

In essence, the two main Republican candidates are competing for 22 delegates in the state.

Democrats: In the eyes of Democrats, the election may provide the first indication of the extent of dissatisfaction with current President Joe Biden.

After a battle between the local Democratic Party and the national party over the primary election schedule, Biden did not appear on the ballot in New Hampshire. But Biden could be written there by the voters themselves. It is also not certain that any Democratic candidate's delegates will be counted at the party's convention this summer due to the conflict.

Because Biden's name must be written there, counting votes in this year's Democratic primaries could take longer. But it appears that Biden will achieve a big victory anyway, with the support of up to 70 percent of Democratic voters in the state, according to preliminary opinion polls.

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Photograph: Matt Rourke/AP

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Photograph: Brandon Bell/AFP

2. What are battles?

Republicans: Nikki Haley is more popular in New Hampshire than Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who dropped out on Sunday. Defeat in New Hampshire would give Haley a boost to win the third primary in South Carolina on the southeast coast, her home state where Trump leads in the polls. But most things point to Trump winning New Hampshire.

In all, Republican voters in New Hampshire can choose from 24 candidates.

Democrats: The top Democratic contenders are Congressman Dean Phillips and spiritual writer and lecturer Marianne Williamson. And in the primaries in general, they are not considered to have any chance against Joe Biden. Both received just a few percent in New Hampshire primary polls.

But in New Hampshire, Dean Phillips may steal independent voters from Haley. Both Republican Nikki Haley and Democrat Dean Phillips speculate on popular discontent with Trump and Biden's ages — the two parties' leading candidates combined are 158 years old. Meanwhile, Halle is 52 and Phillips is 54.

In all, New Hampshire Democratic voters can choose from 21 candidates.

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Photograph: Ben McKeown/AP

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Photograph: Charles Krupa/AP

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Photograph: Christopher Rader/AP

3. How does voting work in New Hampshire?

Republicans: Nikki Haley said two weeks ago that New Hampshire would “correct” the election results in Iowa. A frog may have hurt sensitive voters in Iowa. But Haley has a point. The election outcome in New Hampshire is often different than it was in Iowa, where the ideological terrain looks very different. The Republican presidential candidates in 2008, 2012, and 2016 – John McCain, Mitt Romney, and Donald Trump – lost in Iowa, but then rebounded to win in New Hampshire.

Democrats: In the 2020 Democratic primaries, Joe Biden lost in both Iowa and New Hampshire before saving his candidacy in South Carolina where a large percentage of African Americans voted for Biden. In 2016, Bernie Sanders won by a large margin over Hillary Clinton in New Hampshire. Sanders represents Vermont, wall to wall with New Hampshire.

As of December 28, 2023, there are 873,000 registered voters in New Hampshire: 31 percent Republicans, 30 percent Democrats, and 39 percent independent.

John McCain lost in Iowa in 2008, but won New Hampshire and subsequently became the Republican Party's presidential nominee.  Four years later, Mitt Romney did the same.

Photo: Matthew Healy/Shutterstock

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