A long time ago, in a Republican Party far, far away, a seasoned former governor suggested a theory for winning the 2016 election.

The nominee must be willing to “lose the primary to win the general,” Jeb Bush advised, alluding to the tension between the demands of primary voters and the broader electorate. His adage didn’t hold up in that campaign: Bush did indeed lose the primary in 2016 to Donald Trump, badly, but then Trump rode a nativist, populist and grievance-laced message all the way to the White House.

Eight years later, Trump has only strengthened his grip on the Republican base, despite, or because of, his litany of legal troubles. His 30-point win in the Iowa caucuses this week signaled how fully he has remade the party in his image.

But to a dwindling number of Republicans willing to criticize Trump out loud, the tension Bush described rings more true than ever: Even as Trump has inspired extraordinary loyalty among the Republican base, the party lost the House, Senate and White House during his time in office.

In the final days before the New Hampshire primary on Tuesday, it’s an argument Nikki Haley and her supporters are explicitly making in her uphill bid for the nomination.

“Don’t you want someone who can win?” asks a new video from the Haley team titled “Haley wins, Trump loses.”

“The Republican Party has narrowed its base considerably because Donald Trump is a cult figure who basically does not attract large segments of the population but does attract a very fervent following,” former Senator Judd Gregg, a New Hampshire Republican who is supporting Haley, told me. “The party is becoming less and less the majority party and more and more a narrow base party, which has trouble winning elections in swing states.”

Trump’s beleaguered Republican detractors argue that the Trumpian vision is one of chaos, authoritarianism and bad political bets.

Americans for Prosperity Action, the conservative group backed by the megadonor Koch family, is campaigning hard for Haley, suggesting — among other messaging — that she is the most electable Republican, as my colleague Nick Corasaniti recently reported.

Some polls have shown Haley beating President Biden by a wider margin than other Republicans in a hypothetical general election matchup.

More immediately, she has some appeal among New Hampshire’s largest political constituency: independent voters. But as Jonathan Weisman, Nick and I wrote this week, that is a diverse and unpredictable group.

Former Gov. John Kasich of Ohio, who came in second in New Hampshire in 2016, noted the state’s record of upsets and surprises that have altered the course of campaigns.

“There is an element of capturing people’s imagination up there,” he said.

Of course, Kasich was less successful at that than Trump, losing to him in New Hampshire and dropping out of the race in May 2016. Kasich insisted that Trump’s influence would eventually fade. But, he allowed, “the Republican Party right now is Trump’s.”

Ever wonder what it feels like to be on the campaign trail with Donald Trump, Nikki Haley or Ron DeSantis? We’ve got the video for you. —Ashley Wu, Jon Huang and Michael Gold

Republicans are predicting that Tuesday’s vote could break New Hampshire primary turnout records.

The current Republican primary record of about 285,000 votes was set in 2016, when Donald Trump defeated a crowded G.O.P. field and set the tone for his eventual clinching of the party’s nomination. This year might even eclipse the roughly 297,000 votes that were cast in the Democratic primary in 2020.

The potential surge would represent a stark contrast from the meager turnout last week in Iowa’s Republican caucuses, which was the lowest in more than a decade as people contended with subzero temperatures.

Chris Ager, the chairman of the New Hampshire Republican Party, suggested that as many as 300,000 people could participate in the primary, the nation’s first, which is open to independent voters. That key voter bloc accounts for about 39 percent of New Hampshire’s roughly 900,000 voters, according to the secretary of state — the remaining electorate is split between Republicans and Democrats.

Some Republican groups have set even higher expectations for turnout on Tuesday, including Americans for Prosperity Action, a political network founded by the billionaire industrialist brothers Charles and David Koch. The group, which is supporting Ms. Haley, said its data partner was predicting that turnout could approach 330,000 voters.

Gov. Chris Sununu of New Hampshire, a Republican who has endorsed Ms. Haley, took a swipe at Iowa’s low turnout during an event for her on Tuesday night in Bretton Woods, N.H., where more than 100 people showed up during a snowstorm.

“Iowa didn’t do a very good job with it,” he said. “Voter turnout was very, very low in Iowa. But here in New Hampshire we understand what this is all about, and we understand the rest of the country is watching and praying that we get this one right.” —Neil Vigdor and Nick Corasaniti

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