Trump and Haley hustle for last-minute votes a day after DeSantis drops out. Follow live updates

Jan 22, 2024, 6:11 AM

The race for the 2024 Republican presidential nomination is down to two major candidates with just one day to go until New Hampshire’s first-in-the-nation GOP primary.

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who was once seen as Donald Trump’s biggest obstacle in the GOP primary, dropped his bid Sunday and backed the former president over former United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley.

On Monday, Haley has scheduled events in Franklin and Salem, while Trump has an evening rally in Laconia. The former president showed up for his defamation trial in New York, but the proceedings were canceled for the day after a juror fell ill.

What to know

Can Trump be stopped? Key questions after DeSantis drops out of race

Haley tries to draw independents without alienating Trump backers

What to expect in the New Hampshire primary

Who’s running for president? Here are the major 2024 candidates

DeSantis drops out two days before New Hampshire’s primary

Trump fans line up in cold and snow ahead of rally

LACONIA, N.H. — Hours before Trump was set to speak at his last rally in New Hampshire before the state’s primary, people began lining up in the cold and huddling amid snowbanks.

Trump was set to hold a rally late Monday night in a lake-dotted area of central New Hampshire.

Jack Bears bundled up in a New England Patriots scarf and a Trump 2024 campaign baseball hat. He said he was waiting in line so he could show support for the former president.

Bears said he’s not worried about the former president’s court problems. “They’ve been throwing stuff at him since he came down the escalator and nothing stuck,” he said.

Trump pick for Senate supports Haley at rally

SALEM, N.H. — Among those attending Haley’s rally was retired Army Gen. Don Bolduc, who unsuccessfully challenged Democratic U.S. Sen. Maggie Hassan in New Hampshire in 2022.

He was an early supporter of Haley’s, and she thanked him from the stage Monday night.

“He’s as conservative as they get, and then you have Chris Sununu, who’s a moderate,” she said of New Hampshire’s governor, who also supports her. “The point is, We’ve got everybody, and we’ve got the real people who love America.”

Trump endorsed Bolduc in the Senate campaign, calling him a “strong and proud ’Election Denier.”

Trump trial set to resume on Wednesday

NEW YORK — The former president’s defamation trial in New York is scheduled to continue on Wednesday, a day after New Hampshire’s first-in-the-nation primary.

A juror’s illness forced the postponement of the trial on Monday, delaying the question of whether the former president would testify about his yearslong statements about E. Jean Carroll, the writer he called a liar after she claimed he sexually assaulted her in the 1990s.

One of Trump’s lawyers also hasn’t been feeling well but tested negative, and his team wanted to postpone the Republican presidential front-runner’s next appearance until after Tuesday’s New Hampshire primary. Carroll’s lawyer, meanwhile, pressed for the trial to resume Tuesday.

Judge Lewis A. Kaplan opted to resume the trial Wednesday.

South Carolina congressional delegation overwhelmingly backs Trump

COLUMBIA, S.C. — South Carolina’s Republican congressional delegation has made its pick for the presidential primary: All but one is backing Trump over native daughter Haley.

On Monday, Reps. Jeff Duncan and Nancy Mace endorsed the former president for 2024. Haley, a former South Carolina governor, is one of Mace’s constituents.

Rep. Ralph Norman is the only one of South Carolina’s six Republican House members backing Haley. The lone Democrat, Rep. Jim Clyburn, is a major supporter of President Joe Biden’s.

Both of South Carolina’s U.S. senators, Lindsey Graham and Tim Scott, have endorsed Trump, as has Gov. Henry McMaster.

Kamala Harris takes abortion fight to Wisconsin

WAUKESHA, Wis. — Vice President Kamala Harris kicked off a nationwide tour focused on reproductive rights in Wisconsin, where she rallied women and blasted Republicans for trying to ban abortions.

“These extremists want to roll back the clock to a time before women were treated as full citizens,” said Harris, who spoke alongside a banner that said “Trust women” in bold letters.

The speech took place on the 51st anniversary of Roe v. Wade, which was overturned by the U.S. Supreme Court in 2022. Democrats hope that anger over the issue helps fuel turnout and win over swing voters during this year’s election.

With Trump close to securing the Republican presidential nomination, Harris singled him out for saying he was “proud” to help overturn Roe v. Wade.

“How dare he?” she said.

Former Trump rival will campaign with him in New Hampshire

LACONIA, N.H. — One of Trump’s former rivals for the presidency is returning to stump with him in New Hampshire.

A spokesperson for Sen. Tim Scott says the South Carolina Republican will join Trump on Monday night for a rally in Laconia.

Scott will remain in New Hampshire through Tuesday’s primary election to continue campaigning for the former president, spokesperson Nate Brand says.

Scott, who was initially appointed to the Senate by then-South Carolina Gov. Haley, formally endorsed Trump last week. The senator ended his own bid for the presidency in November.

Voter still undecided with one day until primary

FRANKLIN, N.H. — Don Padgett, an independent voter who saw Haley in Franklin, said he will support Haley if she is the nominee but still hasn’t made up his mind for Tuesday’s primary.

While DeSantis supporters may shift to Trump now that the Florida governor has dropped out and backed the former president, there are still other voters up for grabs, he said.

“I think there are a lot of people who are not decided yet,” he said. “I would like to have seen some more debates, and I would really like to see a Trump-Haley debate, but that’s not going to happen.”

An Air Force veteran, Padgett said he wants a president who will keep the U.S. out of war, secure the border and get the economy back on track.

“This country is a mess right now,” he said.

Haley backers boo suggestion she should drop out

FRANKLIN, N.H. — Haley supporters booed and yelled, “Noooo!” when she said the “media elite” and political establishment have been pressuring her to drop out.

“America does not do coronations,” she said at a VFW hall in Fraklin, citing low voter turnout in Iowa caucuses. “We believe in democracy.”

“Let’s show all of the media class and the political class that we’ve got a different plan in mind, and let’s show the country what we can do,” she said.

Haley, who was joined on the campaign trail by her daughter and son-in-law, said it’s no surprise that Trump has gained endorsements from South Carolina politicians and members of Congress, because she held lawmakers accountable in her home state and favors term limits in Washington.

“I don’t work for the political class,” she said. “I’ll spend every day trying to prove to you that you made the right decision.”

Trump trial canceled for the day after juror falls ill

A juror’s illness has forced a postponement of Trump’s defamation trial for at least a day, delaying the question of whether he’ll testify about his yearslong statements about sexual assault accuser E. Jean Carroll.

Trump had been expected to testify as early as Monday about why he has spoken disparagingly about Carroll since she revealed her claims in a 2019 memoir.

The judge says he can’t say that the writer concocted her allegation or that she was motivated by financial or political considerations after a different jury found last year that Trump sexually abused Carroll. Last week, Trump was threatened with expulsion from court for making comments.

Faced with Trump vs. Biden, this voter chooses Haley

FRANKLIN, N.H. — Waiting for Haley in a dark VFW hall, Jennifer Davis said she is backing the former U.N. ambassador and governor because she supports veterans.

Davis, 40, an independent from Pembroke, said she is a caregiver to her husband, a veteran and Purple Heart recipient, and appreciates Haley’s focus on caregivers.

If faced with a Trump versus Biden matchup in November, Davis said she would write in Haley because she doesn’t want more chaos.

“I’m not giving either one of them my vote,” she said. “We need someone who is going to be a more reasonable person who can bring people together, and I think only she can do that.”

The GOP race isn’t over, but the veepstakes have already started

CONCORD, N.H. — With Trump closing in on the GOP nomination, the effective audition to become his vice president is underway.

His decisive win in last week’s Iowa caucuses and DeSantis’ departure from the race on Sunday has only heightened what had already been a widespread sense of inevitability.

That has given visits this past week by New York Rep. Elise Stefanik, as well as South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott and Ohio Sen. JD Vance, the feel of tryouts for the role reminiscent of Trump’s days as a reality TV host.

Others who have appeared in Iowa and New Hampshire on Trump’s behalf include South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem, Arizona Senate candidate Kari Lake and Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene of Georgia. Lake was at a rally Sunday night taking pictures with supporters and holding a baby in the crowd.

Former presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy appeared with Trump on stage in New Hampshire a day after dropping out of the race, also drawing “VP” chants from the crowd as he delivered a fiery speech.

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Trump and Haley hustle for last-minute votes a day after DeSantis drops out. Follow live updates