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Trump wins New Hampshire primary and closes in on Republican nomination; Labor gains in Australian polls

Former President Donald Trump has defeated former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley in the New Hampshire Republican presidential primary with a projected 11-point margin.

This was Trump’s second big win in a week after he triumphed in the January 15 Iowa caucuses) with 51% of the vote, far ahead of Florida Governor Ron DeSantis at 21.2% and Haley at 19.1%.

After the caucuses, DeSantis quit the presidential race and endorsed Trump, leaving Haley as Trump’s sole challenger for the Republican nomination. DeSantis had been seen as Trump’s main opponent, but he slumped from 34% in the FiveThirtyEight aggregate of national Republican polls in January 2023 to 11% when he withdrew a year later. Trump rose from 45% to 66% during the same time.

Haley now trails Trump by 68–12% nationally. It’s likely New Hampshire was her best opportunity to win a state. In Haley’s home state of South Carolina, which votes on February 24, Trump leads by a massive 62–25% in FiveThirtyEight’s polling aggregate.

Haley has vowed to stay in the race even though her path to victory is extremely narrow. CJ Gunther/EPA

President Joe Biden will easily win the Democratic New Hampshire primary despite not being on the ballot owing to the state’s decision to hold its primary earlier than Democrats wanted.

In the US, voters can often write in someone’s name on the ballot paper. Once the “unprocessed write-ins” are counted, Biden will win around 65%, with Minnesota Congressman Dean Phillips a distant second on 20%.

In national Democratic primary polls, Biden has 71%, Marianne Williamson 5% and Phillips 3%.

Both Biden and Trump should effectively seal their parties’ nominations by Super Tuesday on March 5, when many states hold their primary contests. By this date, 41.6% of Democratic delegates and 47.4% of Republican delegates will be determined.

I covered New Hampshire and the upcoming February 14 Indonesian election for The Poll Bludger today. I covered Trump’s big win at the Iowa caucuses and other recent international electoral developments last week.

The US general election will be held on November 5. Recent national polls have Trump leading Biden in a potential match-up by mid-single-digit margins. I also wrote in December that Trump has a slight advantage over the national margin owing to the Electoral College voting system that is used for presidential elections.


Read more: US elections 2024: a Biden vs Trump rematch is very likely, with Trump leading Biden


Biden’s ratings are currently 55.7% disapprove, 38.9% approve in the FiveThirtyEight aggregate (net -16.7). His ratings have improved slightly since my December article, when he was at net -17.3.

Trump’s ratings are 51.8% unfavourable, 43.1% favourable (net -8.7). His ratings have also improved since December, when he was at net -9.9.

Australian YouGov poll: 52–48% to Labor

A federal Australian YouGov poll conducted January 12–17 from a sample of 1,532 people, gave Labor a 52–48% lead over the Coalition, a one-point gain for Labor since the previous YouGov poll in early December.

Primary votes were 37% Coalition (steady), 32% Labor (up three), 13% Greens (down two), 7% One Nation (steady) and 11% for all Others (down one).

Applying 2022 election preference flows to the primary votes gives a two-party estimate of 51.2–48.8% to Labor, suggesting that rounding was in Labor’s favour.

Prime Minister Anthony Albanese’s net approval improved three points to -13, while Opposition leader Peter Dutton’s was down two points to -11. Albanese led Dutton by 45–35% as better prime minister, with the 10-point margin unchanged since December.

On Dutton’s call to boycott Woolworths over not stocking Australia Day merchandise, 20% supported Dutton, 14% supported Woolworths and 66% said their main concern with supermarkets is excessive price rises.

On Australia Day, 49% said it should remain on January 26 only, 30% thought it should become a two-day public holiday that celebrates First Australians and new Australians, and 21% wanted it changed to a different day.

Morgan polls and the republic debate

I previously covered the federal Morgan poll conducted January 2–7 that gave the Coalition a 51–49% lead over Labor. In the Morgan poll conducted January 8–14, Labor led the Coalition by 51.5–48.5%.

In the Morgan poll conducted January 15–21 from a sample of 1,675 people, Labor led by 52.5–47.5%. Primary votes were 36% Coalition (down one since the previous week), 32.5% Labor (up one), 12.5% Greens (up 0.5), 5% One Nation (up 0.5) and 14% for all Others (down one).

In a separate Morgan SMS poll conducted January 17–19 from a sample of 1,111 people, 68.5% said January 26 should be known as “Australia Day” while 31.5% thought it should be known as “Invasion Day” (compared to 64–36% in January 2023). By 58.5–41.5%, respondents wanted Australia Day to be kept on January 26.

The Poll Bludger reported last Friday that a DemosAU poll showed 47–39% support for a republic referendum in the next five years, but suggested that a specific republic model would struggle. The most popular model was “direct election with open nomination”, which trailed the status quo by 41–38%.


Read more: Why we should celebrate Australia Day on March 3 – the day we became a fully independent country


Upcoming byelections

The federal byelection in the Victorian Labor-held seat of Dunkley to replace the deceased Peta Murphy will be held on March 2. Labor won Dunkley by 56.3–43.7% against the Liberals at the 2022 election. Nominations close on February 8.

The Queensland state byelection in Inala to replace former Labor premier Annastacia Palaszczuk will be held on March 16, in conjunction with Brisbane City Council elections. Palaszczuk won Inala by 78.2–21.8% over the Liberal Nationals at the 2020 election.

Former Liberal Prime Minister Scott Morrison announced on Tuesday that he would resign from parliament at the end of February. A byelection will be needed in Morrison’s seat of Cook, which he won by a 62-4–37.6% margin over Labor at the 2022 election.

Former South Australian Liberal Premier Steven Marshall said on Wednesday he would also resign this year. Marshall only won his seat of Dunstan by a 50.5–49.5% margin against Labor at the 2022 state election.

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