The last Fox News Power Rankings spelled out the criteria for the remaining Republican candidates to make this race competitive.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis had to take “Iowa Silver” and outperform vote share expectations.

In the end, the Florida governor achieved second place, but he was never going to shake up this race with 21% of the vote.

For former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, the criteria is simple: she must win New Hampshire.

Nikki Haley and Donald Trump recent images cropped side by side

Former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley has been floated as a potential vice presidential running mate for former President Trump. (Getty Images)


Taking gold will not be easy. Former President Trump continues to beat her in polls, and despite the state’s large bloc of “undeclared” voters, remember that the former president won the Granite State in his first presidential run.

If Haley wins, the pathway runs through the townships below.

Highly populated areas: Manchester, Nashua, Concord, and Bedford

Last week, Trump notched wins in all but one of Iowa’s 99 counties. The exception was Johnson County, one of the most heavily populated in the state, where Haley came out ahead by a single vote.

Those results illustrate the divide in the GOP – rural voters all across the map turn out for Trump, making the cities must-win for his opponents.

Haley in New Hampshire

Republican presidential candidate former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley holds up two fingers as she speaks during a campaign stop at Brown’s Lobster Pound in Seabrook, New Hampshire, on Sunday, Jan. 21, 2024. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

In New Hampshire, Haley must perform well in the four cities with the highest raw vote in the 2016 primary.

For each county below, find Trump’s 2016 primary vote share and, for back-of-the-envelope reference, the combined “Republican establishment” vote. In 2016, this meant former Ohio Gov. John Kasich, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, Sen. Marco Rubio and Carly Fiorina. When combined, they beat Trump by about 6 points statewide, or 42%-36%.

  • Manchester (Trump 37.3%, “establishment” 39.2%)
  • Nashua (Trump 35.2%, “establishment” 43.9%)
  • Concord (Trump 28.8%, “establishment” 50.5%)
  • Bedford (Trump 27.9%, “establishment” 46.4%)

To be clear, these are not benchmarks for Haley. Thanks to a different field and New Hampshire’s pseudo-open primary rules, there are no simple comparisons to make. She will, however, need to post strong results here to make a race of it.

Bedford is particularly important for Haley. This affluent suburb of Manchester is home to the types of voters most likely to vote for the former governor. 

Bedford also flipped to Biden in the 2020 general election, marking the first time a Democratic presidential candidate won there since at least 1972.

Republican presidential candidate former President Trump speaks during a campaign event in Laconia, New Hampshire, Monday, Jan. 22, 2024. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

Together, there are a lot of votes on the table in these four towns: out of the 234 municipalities in New Hampshire, they were responsible for 16% of the total vote in the 2016 primary.

The same towns are also home to 17% of the state’s total “undeclared” voters, who can choose to fill out either a Democratic or Republican ballot.

The college towns: Hanover & Durham

Johnson County, where Haley took that one vote victory in Iowa last week, is also home to a large university.

In New Hampshire, Haley will be looking for strong results in:

  • Hanover, home to Dartmouth University
  • Durham, home to the University of New Hampshire

Kasich won Hanover by a whopping 24 points in 2016 – one of just a handful of towns where the former Ohio governor notched a win (Rubio came in second at 18%, Trump was in fourth with 11%). Trump took Durham, but only by 3.5 points over Kasich.

Haley will need to do a lot more than win in these small towns to keep the race competitive tonight, but the size of her margins here will provide some clues about the strength of her overall vote.

Last polls close at 8PM

Results start coming in at 7 p.m. ET, but 20 towns across the state won’t close until 8 p.m., including Nashua.

Early returns will mostly come from rural areas, so be aware that they may not be representative of the overall vote.


Democracy 24 continues on Fox News Channel all day and throughout the evening. Stay tuned for insights from our best-in-class Fox News Voter Analysis and the Fox News Decision Desk, which will call the race.

Fox News will also have results from the Democratic race between President Biden (who appears on the ballot as a write-in candidate thanks to a dispute between the DNC and the state), Rep. Dean Phillips and Marianne Williamson.

Get the latest updates from the 2024 campaign trail, exclusive interviews and more at our Fox News Digital election hub

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