Donald Trump

Brian Snyder / Reuters

At a rally in Milford Tuesday night, Donald Trump said he was fine with finishing second in the Iowa caucus, and that second would be a fine result for New Hampshire, too.

But Trump's local supporters remain bullish on his chances to win here.

You scarcely needed to put the question to attendees at Donald Trump’s first post-Iowa campaign event; all you had to do was look at the long line than snaked through the parking lot of the Hampshire Hills Athletic club to know that for Trump’s local backers, his loss in Iowa is no deal breaker.

Allegra Boverman / NHPR

New Hampshire voters head to the polls next week with plenty to think about. And many of them have been thinking, comparing, contrasting, deciding, and un-deciding on candidates for a while now. NHPR has been following up with a handful of voters through the campaign to hear how their final decisions have been shaped by a long primary season. Today we hear from three of them.


Allegra Boverman for NHPR

"On the Policital Front" is our weekly check-in with NHPR's Senior Political Reporter Josh Rogers.

Donald Trump has not only caused deep divisions in the GOP establishment, but he's also exposed a stark divide within the evangelical community.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Donald Trump was back in New Hampshire Friday. The GOP front-runner congratulated himself for skipping the GOP debate in Iowa and went after Republican rival Ted Cruz. 

Trump told a capacity crowd at a hotel ballroom that "in theory" he would have rather done the debate because he's leading, but believes his decision paid off.

"I took a chance and we did something, and I don't know the end result. I heard went we up but we did the right thing. We did the right thing because we did something great for veterans."

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

With the New Hampshire primary just two weeks, away every presidential campaign is turning towards a basic goal: make sure supporters turn out to vote. For GOP frontrunner Donald Trump the challenge is persuading the crowds who pack his rallies to actually show up on primary day.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Donald Trump used a rally in Farmington to urge backers to turn out on primary day and show the world his campaign is a movement. 

Farmington is not a town that sees many would-be presidents.

Trump drew a crowd of more than 1000 to the town’s high school gymnasium.

Trump’s main message was straightforward: Get out and vote.

" Don’t worry about polls, because there is only one poll that counts, Feb 9th for you people and Feb 1st for Iowa."

If you had to name a state where Donald Trump's political rise has caused the greatest disruption, New Hampshire would be a good pick. Trump has led every poll taken there since June — while tearing up the traditional Republican playbook for winning in New Hampshire.

Trump has avoided the retail politicking that most other campaigns view as a must-do in favor of large rallies. He has never even spent two days back to back in the state campaigning.

NHPR file photos

With every day that passes leading up to the New Hampshire primary, the pressure builds on Republican presidential hopefuls looking to make a splash here.


The presidential primary has now reached the final two-week stretch before Iowans meet to caucus on Feb. 1, but Texas Sen. Ted Cruz is spending some of those precious final days making a swing through New Hampshire.

Unlike Iowa, where Cruz is neck and neck with Donald Trump, New Hampshire is a state where Trump dominates, leading the rest of the pack by nearly 20 points in recent polls.

But Cruz said he believes the campaign is entering a "different phase," where voters will take a closer look at candidates' records — particularly Trump's.

Paige Sutherland/NHPR

 

Ted Cruz is accusing his Republican rival Donald Trump of exhibiting inconsistent conservativism, suggesting he is not prepared to be president.

Cruz accused the billionaire investor of becoming "rattled" and "dismayed" by the Texas senator's gains.

The war of words between Cruz and Trump intensified in recent days, with Trump continuing to question Cruz's eligibility to be on the ballot given his Canadian birth and for not disclosing loans hereceived from Citibank and Goldman Sachs for his 2012 senate race.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Donald Trump was characteristically adamant at a recent town hall meeting in Claremont, New Hampshire.

"All I do is tell the truth. I tell the truth."

NHPR/Michael Brindley

Republican presidential candidate Sen. Rand Paul has pledged to do everything he can from keeping current front-runner Donald Trump from becoming the GOP nominee.

"I think he’s a bad messenger. I think he sends a bad message," the Kentucky Senator said during a campaign stop in Londonderry Saturday. "I think his message is not on limiting power; it’s on give me power. I think that’s a real problem and I’m going to do everything I can to make sure he’s not the nominee."

But Paul also says he'll back Trump if he's the eventual nominee.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Sen. Kelly Ayotte seems to be growing tired of the constant questions about whether she'll support Donald Trump if he's the eventual Republican presidential nominee.

"I think it's a favorite question of the press to ask all of us what we think about Trump, but we are a long way away from Feb. 9," she said Wednesday, when asked about whether she'll support the billionaire businessman.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Donald Trump used a campaign stop in Windham to continue his spat with the New Hampshire Union Leader newspaper Monday. A Trump also went after former Governor John Sununu. 

Donald Trump has never been shy about taking pokes at New Hampshire's Republican elite. And within two minutes of taking the stage, Trump was deriding the N.H. Union Leader and its publisher Joe McQuaid.

"Its really a dishonest paper, though. It's terrible."

www.unionleader.com

NHPR's Senior Political Reporter Josh Rogers joins Morning Edition most Monday mornings for "On the Political Front."

The New Hampshire Union Leader has been booted as co-sponsor of the lone New Hampshire GOP presidential debate.  The network’s explanation: the Union Leader’s editorials going after GOP frontrunner Donald Trump.

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Businessman Donald Trump is heading back to New Hampshire for a rare daytime campaign rally.

Trump is scheduled to address voters before noon on Monday. His rallies are often held at night, drawing huge crowds and voters who begin waiting in line early in the day for a glimpse of the bombastic GOP front-runner.

His Monday event will be held at the Castleton Banquet and Conference Center in Windham.

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Donald Trump rallied supporters in Claremont Tuesday night. The GOP front-runner ended things with a rapid fire answers to shouted questions from the audience, and some off the cuff shouting of his own.

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is dismissing a terrorist propaganda video that uses part of one his stump speeches.

"They use other people," he told CBS' Face the Nation in an interview aired today. "What am I going to do? I have to say what I have to say. And you know what I have to say, there's a problem."

Many Republicans may have sided with Donald Trump's controversial proposal to ban Muslims from entering the U.S., but his rival Jeb Bush predicts that the GOP faithful will eventually oppose the plan and see it his way.

"Trump clearly banning all Muslims would actually be so counterproductive in our efforts to destroy ISIS that it's foolhardy," the former Florida governor told NPR's Steve Inskeep in an interview Wednesday in Boston. "I mean, it's beyond ridiculous; it's quite dangerous."

Cheryl Senter, NHPR

Joseph McQuaid, publisher of the New Hampshire Union Leader, might’ve kicked the proverbial hornet’s nest when he penned a front-page editorial calling Republican frontrunner Donald Trump “a crude blowhard with no clear political philosophy.”

But the newspaperman was simply continuing his outlet’s long-running tradition of cutting presidential candidates down to size. 

Paige Sutherland/NHPR

When Donald Trump took the stage in Nashua Monday night, he was greeted by hundreds of people sporting red “Make America Great Again” hats, waving Trump signs and this song, "We're Not Gonna Take It," by Twisted Sister.

During his hour and a half stump speech, the GOP presidential candidate addressed his standard points: building a wall along the southern border, defeating ISIS and bashing the media -- this time the local media.

AP / Flickr/CC

New dynamics have entered the GOP race, with terrorism and national security topping voters' concerns. And the race itself is shaking up, with a slightly smaller group of contenders and the party's establishment openly worried about the staying power of Donald Trump. We'll recap the debate highlights and dig into the issues. 

GUESTS:   

A day before the last Republican presidential debate of the year, two Republican candidates held rallies near the Las Vegas strip, less than a mile apart. In spite of their proximity, the events had almost nothing in common.

Marco Rubio was in a medium-size hotel ballroom, with a few hundred people in attendance. It seemed, at first, that Rubio might struggle to fill the room, as supporters came in slowly. But fill it did.

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"On the Political Front" is our weekly check-in with NHPR's Senior Political Reporter Josh Rogers.  

Natasha Haverty

Last night Presidential Candidate Donald Trump came to Portsmouth for a few minutes, to pick up an endorsement from the New England’s police union. 

Editor's Note: Some readers might find some of the language below offensive.

This post was updated at 11:30 a.m. ET

Donald Trump has made his most outrageous statement yet in a string of beyond-the-pale utterances.

Allegra Boverman for NHPR

Tonight Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is scheduled to campaign in Portsmouth. The visit comes in the wake of his call for a “total and and complete shutdown” of Muslims entering the United States.

Trump will start the evening meeting with the New England Police Benevolent Association. This is his first campaign stop in the state since his proposal to bar Muslims from the country.

Chris Jensen for NHPR

Senator Kelly Ayotte, New Hampshire’s top Republican elected official, says she disagrees with GOP candidate Donald Trump’s call to ban Muslims from entering the country.

“I do not believe that there should be a religious test in terms of how we decide who’s coming to our country," Ayotte said. "There needs to be a factual, risk-based assessment. We’ve not had a religious test for this and that certainly seems inconsistent with the First Amendment to me.”

But when asked whether she would support Trump if he wins the Republican nomination, Ayotte didn't rule it out.

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