- By Francesca Gillett
- BBC News
Voters in New Hampshire head to the polls on Tuesday, as Donald Trump faces his last remaining Republican opponent, Nikki Haley, in a primary election.
Former US President Trump is hoping to deliver a knockout blow to the ex-South Carolina governor’s campaign.
Ms Haley hopes the Granite State’s bloc of independent voters will help her pull off an upset victory in the Republican White House race.
This second contest follows Mr Trump’s landslide win last week in Iowa.
The eventual Republican nominee will challenge the Democrat, likely President Joe Biden, in November’s general election.
Democrats are also voting in their primary in New Hampshire on Tuesday, but because of a row between national and local party officials, Mr Biden is the first sitting president not to appear on the ballot.
The race for the Republican nomination narrowed to just two on Sunday, after Florida Governor Ron DeSantis – who came a distant second in Iowa’s caucuses – quit and endorsed Mr Trump. He is one of nearly a dozen Republican contenders to have ended his White House bid in the 2024 race.
Mr Trump, 77, already held a double-digit lead in many opinion polls taken in New Hampshire before Mr DeSantis’ exit.
Most surveys suggest a majority of the Florida governor’s supporters view Mr Trump as the next best option.
At a rally in Laconia, New Hampshire, on Monday night Mr Trump said: “If you want a losing candidate who puts America last, vote for Nikki Haley.”
He told the crows that “globalists and radical left communists” were convincing liberals to vote for her in the Republican primary.
“They want to run against her because she’s so easy to beat,” he added.
At a campaign event earlier in the day, Ms Haley, 52, said Mr Trump was preoccupied with the criminal and civil cases he faces. He denies all charges, claiming political persecution.
“When you hear Trump speak,” she said, “what’s he talking about? Grievances, the past. He’s talking about vendettas.
“Biden’s talking about investigations. Neither one of them is talking about the future. I’m doing this because… I don’t want my kids to live this way.”
Ms Haley, who was UN ambassador under President Trump, added: “When you go out on Tuesday, you’re going to decide: do you want more of the same, or do you want something new?”
Anyone in New Hampshire can vote in the primary and the state is seen as more moderate than deeply conservative Iowa.
The Haley campaign is pinning its hopes for a potential shock win on the 40% of voters in New Hampshire who are registered independent.
The Democratic New Hampshire primary, which is also held on Tuesday, is at the centre of a dispute between state party officials and the national Democratic National Committee.
New Hampshire is usually the first primary in the US election calendar, but the national DNC changed the order to make South Carolina first, arguing that it better reflected the country’s diversity.
Local party officials in New Hampshire decided to run the primary anyway – so the DNC said it would not award any delegates, effectively not recognising the results, and Mr Biden would not be on the ballot.
Instead, some of Mr Biden’s Democratic allies in New Hampshire are urging voters to write his name on the ballot when they vote.