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HomeUSA NewsVoters devise strategies to prevent Trump’s victory in New Hampshire

Voters devise strategies to prevent Trump’s victory in New Hampshire

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New Hampshire voter Jan Dodge expressed her intention to vote for Nikki Haley in the state’s Republican primary. However, she clarified that her decision is not primarily driven by support for the former South Carolina governor.

“I’m not actually a real supporter of Nikki Haley. But I don’t want Donald Trump to win New Hampshire. So, I’m voting for Nikki Haley. And that’s my story,” the 71-year-old retiree says, before bursting into laughter.

She is seated along with her friend Lisa Kester, a 59-year-old attorney, inside Robie’s Country Store in the cold New England state.

“It’s a strategic vote,” Kester said. “It’s a vote against Donald Trump.”

Voters plotting ways to block the former US president from November’s ballot are lining up behind Haley as their best weapon against a second Trump term, and planning to cast their primary ballot for her on Tuesday.

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Dodge and Kester came to the iconic general store on the banks of the Merrimack River Thursday (18) to listen to Haley speak.

With its red clapboard siding, Robie’s has been a regular stop on the New Hampshire campaign trail for decades. In 1975, Jimmy Carter stopped by, and was greeted by the owner with “Jimmy who?” — a moment that helped cement Robie’s place in the pomp and circumstance of US presidential campaigns.

Trump, says Dodge, was “horrible for four years.”

“And he would be even more horrible” should he take back the White House in his likely rematch with Democrat Joe Biden later this year, she adds.

Dodge is a registered independent and ballot clerk.

She found Trump’s “lies” about the 2020 vote, which he lost to Biden and for which he is now facing a criminal indictment for election interference, offensive.

– Independents –

Though difficult to quantify, the rejection of Trump was a recurrent theme among independents — allowed to vote in Republican or Democratic primaries in New Hampshire — and even among some Republican voters who spoke to AFP.

New Hampshire’s registered voters are famous for adhering to their state motto — “Live Free or Die” — and remaining independent, a granite bloc that Haley has been chasing in her struggle to reel in Trump.

She remains a long way behind the frontrunner after his landslide victory in Iowa, barely nipping at his heels in the polls.

“I think in New Hampshire, we’re trying to figure out how to vote so that Donald Trump isn’t the Republican candidate,” says 43-year-old social worker Emily McCarthy, who made the trip to Rochester on Thursday evening to see Haley speak.

She described herself as “very socially liberal, and more fiscally conservative,” adding that she is committed to human rights and “the right to do what you want with your body” — an allusion to conservative attacks on abortion rights.

What will she do in the event of another Biden-Trump match-up? She hesitates, says she doesn’t know yet, then blurts out: “I don’t think that Joe Biden is the strongest candidate, democratically, but I would rather have him be the president than Donald Trump.”

US Navy veteran Terry Morerod says he voted for Trump in both 2016 and 2020.

“I’m not going to vote for Trump again,” the 61-year-old says. “We need some young blood.”

At Robie’s, in among the cheeses, jars of maple syrup and the antique weapons decorating the walls, Haley repeats her campaign message to the listening crowd: “Do we want more of the same or do we want to move forward?”

The “same,” she clarifies, does not just mean Biden, but also Trump.

Frank Tuoti, 70, was one of those who spoke to AFP who was backing Haley on her own merits.

He said he would vote for anyone against Biden — including Trump. But Trump, he said, is often his “own worst enemy.”

“She’s a stabilising force,” Tuoti said of Haley, pointing out that the United States is going through “a lot of upheaval.”

“I think she’s a calming, stabilising influence.”

(AFP)

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