After The New Hampshire Primary, Could Donald Trump Actually Become President?

What is the New Hampshire primary and why is it so important? Does this mean that Donald Trump could actually become President? Here’s your need to know.

After The New Hampshire Primary, Could Donald Trump Actually Become President?

by Vicky Spratt |
Published on

Last night in America Donald Trump outstripped his Republican opponents in the New Hampshire primary. Bernie Sanders came in far ahead of his Democratic counterpart, Hillary Clinton in a landslide victory of more than 21 per cent. The meteoric rise of Donald Trump, property mogul and reality TV star, in the world of politics and his apparent popularity with voters has shocked many people. He’s the antithesis of political correctness and prone to being so unapologetically sexist and xenophobic that whether or not he should even be allowed into the UK has even been debated at parliament.

So, what is the New Hampshire primary and why is it so important? Does this mean that Donald Trump could actually become President? Here’s your need to know.

How Does The President Of The United States Actually Get Elected?

In America, that mammoth country which is approximately 40 times larger than the UK, candidates for the presidency have to compete in every state. Their system works differently to Britain’s, where the party who win the most votes overall send their leader to Number Ten. In America it’s the individual that matters - the candidate who receives the absolute majority of electoral votes for the office of president is elected.

What Is The New Hampshire Primary?

A primary, is not the actual, final, deciding election. It normally takes place at a polling station (I know, that makes it sound like an election, I repeat: it’s not, it’s a drill), and is usually paid for by the state’s election team. The public votes, in a secret ballot, for the person they would like to become president (again, I know, not the actual election).

Basically a primary election is an election which narrows down the field of people competing for the Presidency. This is how the political party decide who to select for the final race…last night Trump came ahead of the other Republican favourites, Ted Cruz, Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio. While Bernie Sanders came in well ahead of Hillary Clinton, who’s the other Democrat favourite.

The idea is that, at some point, candidates who aren’t doing very well will drop out of the race and the party will clearly be able to identify it’s candidate. Primaries basically take the temperature of a candidate’s popularity in the real world.

Why Does The New Hampshire Primary Matter?

New Hampshire have been holding their primary early since 1975, which is at least a week before other states. But, it matters not because it’s first but because, in primaries, the politicians who want to become president have to interact with voters, answer questions and generally be accountable to the people who will elect them.

They can’t hide behind broad and general (ultimately meaningless) jargony slogans like ‘Putting People First’ or ‘It’s Time To Change America’, they actually have to talk to the people they want to represent.

So Does The New Hampshire Result Predict A Victory For Trump In The Long Run?

In short, probably not…

If you’ve ever seen the west wing you’ll know how nuts everyone goes over New Hampshire. The people of New Hampshire like to think that they select presidents, that they’re a kind of political crystal ball into which the world looks to see the presidential future but they’re not…

New Hampshire might get a lot of hype but, at the end of the day, it’s only one out of 50 American states. And, compared to the rest of the country, it’s disproportionately white and rural. It’s no surprise that Trump trumped Hillary C and Bernie Sanders in this one because the state, is generally, a Republican-friendly one: white, middle class and conservative.

Should We Be Worried? Could Donald Trump Actually Become President Of The United States?

The thing is, up until now, the general consensus has been ‘don’t believe the hype’ when it comes to Trump. But, last night, for the first time, he did actually win something tangible, as opposed to just doing well in an opinion poll. It was his first victory over the other front-runners in the presidential race.

But his victory has come despite a series of serious blunders: that little Fox News menstruation incident, anyone? Calling Senator Ted Cruz a ‘pussy’? Wanting to build a wall next to the border with Mexico, remember that? Saying the police in London are scared because of the city’s Muslim population, managed to block that one out yet?

It’s too early to tell whether this one victory will carry Trump to the White House. And, certainly, the New Hampshire primary is by no means definitive but one thing’s for sure: this political parody of a well-dressed American billionaire ‘bro’ is popular. It’s worrying that someone who has been so openly sexist (on national television) and xenophobic without showing any remorse is getting votes in spite of that, particularly when running alongside other seasoned, experienced and talented politicians.

You should take comfort in the fact that the Democratic candidate, Bernie Sanders, who has described himself as a ‘socialist’won a clear victory over his direct rival, Hillary, in a countries where they used to arrest people on suspicion of even being a ‘socialist’ sympathiser. Sanders is just as anti-establishment as Trump, but in different ways.

However, it does suggest that even the best efforts of heavy weights like Madeleine Albright and writer Gloria Steinem, alongside celebrities like Lena Dunham who have both backed Clinton and encouraged young women to do the same, Hillary isn’t quite doing it and, if she is, it hasn’t translated into votes yet (although, arguably, Gloria Steinem saying that young women were only backing Sanders so they could meet ‘boys’, probably didn’t help.)

In his victory speech last night, Trump said ‘the world is going to respect us again’. That remains to be seen, what last night really shows us is this: it’s all still up for grabs. South Carolina and Nevada will be the next states to hold elections.

Like this? You might also be interested in:

Donal Trump Makes Sexist Remark

MPs Are Debating Whether Donald Trump Should Be Banned From The UK

Hillary Clinton Will Run For President And Make Gender Issues A Key Part Of Her Campaign

Follow Vicky on Twitter @Victoria_Spratt

This article originally appeared on The Debrief.

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