In the quaint settings of eastern New Hampshire, a noticeable change is stirring among Republican voters. Melinda Tourangeau, 57, donning a Nikki Haley button, encapsulates this shift.
Once a Trump voter, Tourangeau now voices a different preference. “I had no choice. I had to subjugate my morals and ethics and his list of misogynistic…,” she explained to Reuters, reflecting a common sentiment among women at Haley’s rallies.
Nikki Haley’s growing appeal among women voters
The small-scale rallies of Nikki Haley, often characterized by a female-majority audience, highlight a growing appeal for her leadership.
Women, dressed in Haley-branded attire, are drawn to her history as a governor and UN ambassador, her firm stance on national security, and the fresh perspective she brings as a woman candidate.
Michelle Wright, 53, from Rye, New Hampshire, critically revisits the Trump era, stating, “He likes to talk about himself like he was fantastic, but really he wasn’t.”
This critical reassessment echoes among many, including Kathy Holland, 75, who expressed, “I will write someone in” if Trump is the nominee again.
Haley’s path to challenge Trump in New Hampshire primary
Despite the enthusiasm, Haley faces a challenging path. After Florida Governor Ron DeSantis exited the race, Haley remains the sole challenger to Trump.
She targets New Hampshire’s moderate Republicans and independents in the upcoming primary. Steven Cheung, a spokesperson for the Trump campaign, however, sees Trump as a unifying figure, contrasting Haley’s approach, which he views as divisive.
Donald Trump, known for his contentious remarks and behavior towards women, continues to draw significant support, including from women voters.
A recent poll indicates a close gender split in support between Trump and Haley, with Haley having an edge among college-educated voters.
Haley’s campaign amid Trump’s legal battles and gender considerations
Meanwhile, Trump’s legal battles, like the ongoing defamation case with E. Jean Carroll, continue to cast a shadow over his campaign.
Carole Alfano, awaiting Haley at a New Hampshire restaurant, expressed a yearning for less drama and more representation.
“I want to see a woman president in my lifetime,” she said. Haley, tactfully avoiding overt references to her gender, still hints at her potential historic presidency.
Yet, she remains cautious about discussing sensitive topics like abortion, especially in politically moderate New Hampshire.
Haley’s personal and hopeful campaign in New Hampshire
Haley’s campaign also touches on personal themes. She often speaks about her husband, Michael, a South Carolina National Guard major, and his struggle with post-traumatic stress disorder.
This personal connection to military issues resonates with voters like Holland from Sandown.
In Seabrook, as Haley’s supporters learned of DeSantis’ withdrawal, the mood was buoyant. Haley, acknowledging her competitor’s efforts, left her audience with a hopeful message: “Let the best woman win.”
This sentiment, reflecting a desire for change and representation, encapsulates the spirit of Haley’s campaign in New Hampshire as she navigates the complex political landscape.