The Republican primaries are going well for Donald Trump. Just as in Iowa, he received more than half of the votes in the state of New Hampshire. Yet Tuesday’s result also serves as a warning for the former president.
De Trump-trein dendert voorlopig door de voorverkiezingen heen. Op 15 januari kreeg hij 51 procent van de stemmen in Iowa. In New Hampshire, waar bijna alle stemmen zijn geteld, lijkt hij te eindigen op 54,6 procent.
In de aanloop naar de presidentsverkiezingen van november zijn er in alle Amerikaanse staten voorverkiezingen. Die zijn bepalend voor wie de Democraten en de Republikeinen uiteindelijk nomineren als hun presidentskandidaat.
Nikki Haley, de enige overgebleven concurrent van Trump in de race om de Republikeinse nominatie, koerst in New Hampshire af op 43,1 procent van de stemmen. Daarmee moet ze haar tweede verlies op rij bijschrijven. Toch zijn er voor de oud-VN-ambassadeur aanknopingspunten, zegt Willem Post, Amerikakenner en verbonden aan Instituut Clingendael, tegen NU.nl.
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‘Loss is not a total defeat’
“Haley’s loss in New Hampshire was not a total defeat,” Post said. While her deficit to Trump in Iowa was still 31.9 percentage points, she is 11.5 percentage points behind in New Hampshire. Haley has therefore announced that she will not drop out of the race, partly because she can count on strong support from moderate and swing voters, Post says.
“These groups voted for Haley in large numbers. These same groups also say that they will not vote for Trump later in the race if he is convicted. That is a warning to Trump,” Post explains .
In addition, there are still more than four weeks to go until the next important primary election: the one on February 24 in South Carolina, Haley’s home state. “Four weeks can be an eternity in politics. Anything can happen, from health problems to developments in legal cases. That’s one of the things Haley is betting on,” Post continues.
In the meantime, there will be primaries in Nevada and the US Virgin Islands on February 8.
Haley advocates mental fitness test for Trump
But Haley has even more political leverage she can use, Post says. “Haley can be seen as a political fighter who does not give up easily. That has struck a chord with Trump. There seemed to be more anger about Haley’s continuation than joy about his victory.”
Trump said in his speech on Tuesday evening that it would be in the “party interest” if Republicans closed ranks. “Haley is pretending she won. Just like in Iowa. But she had a very bad night,” the former president continued.
According to Post, Haley’s fighter mentality is also reflected in her comments about the ages of Trump (77) and President Joe Biden (81).
“Haley advocates a mental fitness test for presidential candidates aged 75 or older. She also wonders whether Trump’s regular slips of the tongue are the reason why the former president did not participate in debates. She also wants to debate Trump herself. Haley is a good speaker and debater. She could score points with that.”
Supreme Court ruling could affect race
But the fact that four weeks can be an eternity in politics mainly has to do with the dark cloud that still hangs over the Republican primaries: a ruling by the US Supreme Court on the question of whether or not Trump may participate in the elections in Colorado .
Colorado decided in December to exclude Trump from the primary elections in that state. Maine did the same, but decided earlier this month to wait until a Supreme Court ruling before making a final decision.
Trump weren: hoe zat het ook alweer?
- Colorado beroept zich op een opvallende regel in de Amerikaanse grondwet. Daarin staat dat Amerikanen die betrokken waren bij “een opstand of rebellie” geen politieke functie meer mogen bekleden.
- Colorado voert aan dat Trump een rol speelde bij de bestorming van het Capitool op 6 januari 2021 – een opstand tegen de democratie.
The chief justices must reach a verdict quickly. If there is no decision before March 5 – the day of the primaries in Colorado – Trump will ‘normally’ be on the ballot there (and in Maine). Trump’s appeal of Colorado’s decision begins on February 8.
Trump has been able to appoint three chief justices during his presidency. As a result, six of the nine judges are conservative to a greater or lesser extent. The former president seems to count on their support.
“We got three great judges on the court. And there are still some great judges. They will not ignore the voice of the people,” Trump said in conversation with TV personality Sean Hannity. A worrying development, says Post. “It would be sad if it became such a political statement. What then remains of the separation of powers?”
Hoe wordt de race van Trump eventueel geraakt?
- Als het Hooggerechtshof oordeelt dat Colorado zijn besluit om Trump te weren kan doorzetten, zouden andere staten kunnen besluiten om dat ook te doen.
- Als Trump niet aan meerdere voorverkiezingen kan deelmenen, dan loopt hij zogenoemde delegates (kiesmannen) mis. Dat zou zijn kansen op de nominatie kunnen beïnvloeden.
The post first appeared on www.nu.nl