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New political reality affects next week's New Hampshire primary

Former President Donald Trump celebrates his win in the 2024 Iowa Caucus at the Iowa Events Center in Des Moines, Iowa, on Monday. Next up in the race for the White House will be the New Hampshire primary. Photo by Tannen Maury/UPI
Former President Donald Trump celebrates his win in the 2024 Iowa Caucus at the Iowa Events Center in Des Moines, Iowa, on Monday. Next up in the race for the White House will be the New Hampshire primary. Photo by Tannen Maury/UPI

Jan. 19 (UPI) -- This year's New Hampshire primary is shaping up to be unlike any other.

While Republican presidential candidate frontrunner Donald Trump splits time between the campaign trail and court, his main challengers Nikki Haley and Ron DeSantis aren't found barnstorming the state to make personal appearances as expected. Meanwhile, the Republican primary debate has been canceled for lack of participants.

New Hampshire's semi-closed primaries take place on Tuesday. Voters can participate in either party's primary if they are an undeclared voter. If they have declared affiliation to a party, they may only participate in that party's primary.

Twenty-two delegates are at stake in the Republican primary. They will be awarded to candidates based on the share of votes they receive. A candidate must earn at least 10% of the vote to be eligible to receive delegates.

Unlike the Iowa caucus the week before, voters may cast absentee ballots. They also have at least eight hours on Tuesday to cast their votes in person.

Former South Carolina Governor and Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley campaigns during a Caucus night watch party in West Des Moines, Iowa, on Monday. Photo by Alex Wroblewski/UPI
Former South Carolina Governor and Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley campaigns during a Caucus night watch party in West Des Moines, Iowa, on Monday. Photo by Alex Wroblewski/UPI

Campaigning by Republicans also has been starkly different compared to the days leading up to the Iowa caucus. Former President Trump is holding rallies through the weekend, but he spent the early part of the week in a New York courtroom.

Haley also has a spattering of events across the Granite State through Monday. It is not the same volume as she had a week ago amid a winter storm that battered Iowa with dangerous sub-freezing temperatures and snow.

Florida Governor and Republican presidential candidate Ron DeSantis arrives to speak to supporters at the Never Back Down Iowa headquarters in West Des Moines, Iowa, on Saturday. Photo by Tannen Maury/UPI
Florida Governor and Republican presidential candidate Ron DeSantis arrives to speak to supporters at the Never Back Down Iowa headquarters in West Des Moines, Iowa, on Saturday. Photo by Tannen Maury/UPI

Florida Gov. DeSantis was slated to arrive in New Hampshire on Friday. He already had shifted resources to South Carolina more than a month before its primary.

The Republican primary debate was scheduled for Thursday but was canceled a few days before. DeSantis was the only candidate who agreed to participate after Haley demanded Trump finally take the debate stage.

President Joe Biden speaks to members of the media on the South Lawn of the White House before boarding Marine One in Washington, D.C., on Thursday. Photo by Ting Shen/UPI
President Joe Biden speaks to members of the media on the South Lawn of the White House before boarding Marine One in Washington, D.C., on Thursday. Photo by Ting Shen/UPI

"We've had five great debates in this campaign," Haley wrote Tuesday in a post on X. "Unfortunately, Donald Trump has ducked all of them. He has nowhere left to hide. The next debate I do will either be with Donald Trump or with Joe Biden. I look forward to it."

Meanwhile President Joe Biden is not participating in the Democratic primary in New Hampshire. Instead a write-in campaign by New Hampshire Democrats seeks to deliver a win for the president. The winner of the primary will not earn any delegates for the Democratic National Convention.

In 2022, the Democratic National Committee voted to make South Carolina the first primary state. The party's South Carolina primary will be held on Feb. 3.

Author Marianne Williamson and Rep. Dean Phillips, D-Minn., debated in New Hampshire earlier this month and will be on the Democratic primary ballot on Tuesday.