Former President Donald Trump has won the New Hampshire primary, according to the Associated Press, as he continues to cruise toward his third nomination to lead the Republican Party in the coming election.
The AP called the race immediately once all polls were closed at 8 p.m. local time.
More from Variety
Trump faced only one significant remaining opponent in the presidential primary, Nikki Haley, after Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis dropped out of the race on Sunday and endorsed him.
Trump led Haley, his former United Nations ambassador, by a 20-point margin in the New Hampshire polls. In the lead-up to Tuesday’s vote, Trump has suggested that Haley will have to abandon the race, stating that it’s “time for the Republican Party to come together.”
Trump also said that a commanding win would send a strong message about the general election against President Biden in November.
“We have to send the signal that we’re not playing games. This country has gone to hell,” Trump said at a rally in Laconia on Monday. “You have to get out in numbers.”
Trump won the Iowa caucuses by a 30-point margin on Jan. 15, with DeSantis trailing in a distant second and Haley coming in third. DeSantis quickly endorsed the former president, who is facing felony charges in four state and federal cases.
Haley had hoped to fare better in the New Hampshire primary, which has a large share of independent voters. She has challenged Trump’s mental fitness, noting several lapses during Trump speeches, and argued that both he and Biden are too old for the job.
Best of Variety