4 exit poll numbers that explain Trump’s New Hampshire primary win

Former President Donald Trump’s dominance among the GOP’s base voters fueled his victory in the New Hampshire primary on Tuesday, according to NBC News exit poll results. 

While former United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley managed to win independent, or “undeclared,” voters, Trump’s wide margins among self-identified Republican and conservative voters were too vast to overcome. Just like last week’s Iowa caucuses, the New Hampshire primary also underscored how Trump’s ardent supporters have taken over the Republican base.

Here are four numbers from the NBC News exit poll that help explain Trump’s win:

1. Trump’s GOP margin

Three in four New Hampshire GOP primary voters who self-identified as Republicans supported Trump, and they comprised a majority of the electorate (51%). Haley won 60% of voters who described themselves as independent, but by a 22-point margin compared to Trump’s 49-point advantage among Republicans. 

2. Conservatives dominated electorate

Self-described conservatives dominated the primary electorate, with 66% of voters describing themselves as such. Trump won 70% of them. Haley won 73% of self-described moderates, besting Trump a roughly three-to-one margin, but they made up a smaller share of the electorate (28%). 

3. The new, pro-Trump GOP base

In the Trump years, the GOP has found success among non-college educated voters, and the former president handily won this group on Tuesday night. Voters without college degrees made up a majority of the electorate (52%).

Among voters without college degrees, Trump won 66%, while only 32% voted for Haley. Trump’s performance among that group is also up 24 percentage points compared to 2016, when he won 42% of those voters.

Although they made up smaller shares of the electorate, Trump also won among other groups that make up the GOP base, including winning 66% of voters with an income of less than $50,000; 70% of white evangelical or born-again voters; and 51% of voters over 65 years old.

4. Trump’s edge on top issues

The top two issues for New Hampshire GOP primary voters were the economy (37%) and immigration (31%) — and Trump bested Haley on both of those issues.

The former president won 54% of voters who said the economy was their top issue and 78% of voters who said immigration mattered most to their vote. 

Exit poll results also showed that one of Haley’s key messages on the campaign trail was not a top priority for primary voters. Haley has made her case that she is best positioned to defeat President Joe Biden in November, but just 14% of primary voters said that quality mattered most to them. And even among those voters, Trump still had the most support, with 59% supporting the former president and 39% backing Haley.

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