The New Hampshire primaries bring many people from within the state and outside of it to Manchester and bordering cities for big events every four years. This year’s events consisted of rallies and other events by Donald Trump, Nikki Haley, Dean Philips, and Marianne Willamson. Tons of different variations of press tried to get the attendees’ stories and figure out just why they were there and who they are planning to vote for in this upcoming election.
When it comes to each of these candidates, their supporters take very different approaches to how they view their favorite. Steve and Colleen from Fairfield County, Conn. mentioned a few reasons why they are voting for Haley in this election. “I think this is the last best chance to have someone other than Trump as the nominee,” Steve said.
When it comes to Haley’s supporters, a lot of them are choosing to back her because they see her as their last chance to avoid a second Trump presidency.
“I think Nikki is more in tune with newer technology and newer things that are happening in the environment and business. I think the other two are very historic in their approaches and don’t look to new approaches to solve problems,” said Colleen, referring to Haley’s rivals, Donald Trump and Ron DeSantis.
These two supporters of Haley explained that they were very pleased to see that she wasn’t being rude to others in the way that Trump has been in the past. Steve said that even though he was a two-time Trump voter, he didn’t want someone who could be considered a bully to be back in office.
On the flip side, Trump supporter Kristen Jackson spoke about how passionate she was when she first started to follow Trump’s campaign back in 2016.
“I’ve never felt patriotism before and when I went to my first Trump rally it was the most beautiful unity, and the most life changing experience ever,” Jackson said.
She felt that Trump’s campaign is truly showing what it means to care about and support the American people.
Jackson was also asked about why she specifically thinks Trump is a better candidate than current President Joe Biden.
“I don’t think Biden likes America,” Jackson said. “ I feel like he has other interests and he’s in it for power and money, when Trump doesn’t need that. He’s actually in it because he loves the country.”
Jackson, and many other Trump supporters believe that voting for Trump is the only way to create a better version of America. Almost all of the people attending his rally had Trump 2024 attire, signs, or both while at the Haley and Phillips rallies those items were a lot scarcer.
Within the media it is no secret that supporters of Trump tend to go all out. Whether it consists of planning extremely patriotic outfits, making videos and songs to show their support, and even going to every single rally to support Trump, they are never shy about their passion towards the former president.
New York Times journalist Jonathan Swan points out the differences when attending an event run by the Trump administration, versus the Haley administration.
“A couple hundred people, no crude shirts, neat sweaters and glasses, very little Haley paraphernalia, and I couldn’t see anybody wearing American flag gear,” Swan said in the 2024 Election article in the New York Times.
Like Haley, most of the other candidates’ supporters took a much more laid-back approach and acknowledged the pros and cons of all the parties involved. A lot of it is because of the way Trump interacts with his crowds versus the other politicians.
Every candidate focused on a different style of event that spoke true to their character.
Trump’s events were very loud and chaotic and consisted of him speaking in circles about his past presidency and what he wants to do next. Most of it consisted of him degrading other candidates and getting the crowd riled up. People start the day standing in line for hours to see Trump speak and end it feeling energized and empowered.
Phillips accepted many questions and had brief conversations with people during his meet and greet and really focused on connecting with the crowd about what he wants to do to invoke change. He spoke to the crowd of people like they were his friends instead of supporters.
Haley did not take questions, but still met a lot of her supporters and gave them autographs. She had a very passionate way of speaking and knew how to resonate with her audience. Like Trump, she also came after her competitors, but didn’t linger on it for too long.
With Willamson’s events in, she often let supporters hold the microphone when asking questions and telling their personal stories. She would follow up asking if she had properly answered their questions and if she hadn’t she would listen to what they had to say and respond. The supporters felt safe and comfortable asking tough questions and expressing how they felt concerning different issues.
When it comes to a Trump event, these things don’t happen.
Don Murphy, a Trump supporter that attended a Nikki Haley rally, traveled from Catonsville, Md. to see a lot of the different events. He travels to New Hampshire every four years to attend the primaries and this year was no different.
Murphy voted for Trump in the last two elections and expressed his feelings about how people tend to like Trump due to their disillusionment and dislike for Congress.
“Trump is a grenade rolled under the door and I like that… I love that because I’m not a big fan of government in general,” Murphy said.
Trump is a spectacle, a phenomenon for Republican voters. While Haley’s policies aren’t far off from his, he has the power to instill fear, hope, and desire into everyone who hears him speak.
Make America Great Again, or MAGA, is a political movement, and brand, that he started when he was campaigning back in 2016. This simple phrase was created by Ronald Raegan, but Trump repurposed it for this movement which led to millions of individuals backing his conservative immigration, economic, and LGBTQ+ policies and ideals. His supporters view him as someone to aspire to become rather than a competent individual to run the country.
This movement is unique to the Trump campaign and brings in a lot of devoted supporters because of that fact. The other candidates’ campaigns don’t have the flare aspect that Trump can bring to the table, which makes him appeal to a lot of individuals especially on the Republican side.
While Donald Trump may be loved by some and hated by others, there is no question what an internet sensation he has become. His fans have his back through thick and thin and although it may be seen as unconventional at times, it might be just what some of the other candidates need to get them ahead of the game.
Steve and Colleen at a Nikki Haley rally at the Keene Country Club in Keene, NH, on Jan. 20, 2024.
Kristen Jackson, and spouse, in line for former President Donald Trump’s rally, outside of Grappone Center in Concord, NH, on Friday, Jan. 19, 2024.
Presidential candidate Nikki Haley greeting supporters at Gilbert H. Hood Middle School in Derry, NH, on Jan. 21, 2024.
A Marianne Willamson rally attendee asking a question at Soel Sistas LLC, in Concord, NH, on Sunday, Jan. 21, 2024.
Don Murphy supporting his wife’s Nikki Haley campaigning, outside of her rally on Saturday, Jan. 20, 2024.
Presidential candidate Marianne Williamson addressing a crowd during a Q&A at Soel Sistas LLC in Nashua, NH, on Saturday, Jan. 21, 2024.
A merchandise bus parked outside of the Trump rally inside of Grappone Center in Concord, NH, on Friday, Jan. 19, 2024.