Web Stories Thursday, February 29

MANCHESTER, NEW HAMPSHIRE: Former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley makes her closing argument in New Hampshire on Sunday (Jan 21) even as the latest polling shows former President Donald Trump widening his lead in the state ahead of Tuesday’s Republican presidential primary.

Trump is the first choice for 50% of likely Republican primary voters, widening his lead over Haley, who has 39% support, according to the final CNN/University of New Hampshire poll released on Sunday. The poll, conducted Tuesday through Friday, had a 2 percentage point margin of error.

The poll showed Trump gained supporters since early January, when 39% of those surveyed said they would vote for him. Haley’s support level also rose, from 32% in the earlier poll, as other Republicans have exited the race.

Time is running short for Haley, who served as Trump’s ambassador to the United Nations, to topple the Republican presidential frontrunner. Trump’s Iowa caucus victory last week underscored his dominance among the party’s voters despite facing four criminal cases and growing concerns about his authoritarian language. Trump has pleaded not guilty to the criminal charges and says the cases are politically motivated.

If she cannot score an upset win in New Hampshire, her already narrow path to the nomination could close altogether.

“She needs to shock everybody on Tuesday,” Dante Scala, political science professor at the University of New Hampshire, told Reuters. “She needs to reset expectations.”

Haley has stepped up her attacks on Trump in recent days with a last minute move to draw contrasts with a businessman and politician whose four years in the White House were characterised by chaos and who faces 91 criminal indictments, including for his efforts to overturn the results of the 2020 election that he lost to now President Joe Biden.

“Chaos follows him,” Haley said in an interview on CBS News on Sunday. “He’s just not at the same level he was in 2016.”

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