In South Carolina, Donald Trump and Nikki Haley compete for support

It’s Nikki Haley’s moment. The Republican nominee for president in 2024 is receiving a lot of attention from the media, major donors are starting to show interest in her, and there is growing talk that she is ready to take on Donald Trump head-on.

However, there is reality and there is buzz. Haley, 51, will actually have a very difficult time defeating the outgoing president and winning the

Republican presidential nomination, but the sooner she and Trump, 77, are eliminated from the race, the better off she will be in this still-distant contest.

Elections expert Kyle Kondik of the University of Virginia Centre for Politics stated, “I don’t think you can look at the numbers right now and see much of a path for anyone other than Trump.”

A compilation of national opinion polls indicates that Trump leads her by almost fifty percentage points, with Florida Governor Ron DeSantis also in the running. In early Republican primary states like Iowa and New Hampshire, Trump also enjoys sizable leads.

Nevertheless, Haley has been rising in several polls due to her impressive debate performances. According to polls, she trails DeSantis in Iowa but leads him in New Hampshire.

In South Carolina, Donald Trump and Nikki Haley compete for support

Republican pollster Whit Ayres stated, “There is a narrow path” to win for Haley.

That route includes winning in her native state of South Carolina, where she served as governor, as well as placing highly in both Iowa and New Hampshire.

That would provide Haley the three main things she would need to defeat Trump: media attention, momentum, and money from contributors who oppose him.

After that, it would be a matter of attempting to compete in the larger states that give significant numbers of delegates later in the calendar, such Texas and California.

“Momentum matters a tremendous amount in these things,” Ayres stated. “Who performs well in the early stages determines a lot of things. That has a significant impact on states that follow.”

According to opinion polls, it will be difficult for her to win her native state of South Carolina: RealClearPolitics, a website that compiles poll data, indicates that Trump leads the field there by thirty points, with Haley coming in second.

After being hit with a slew of legal allegations related to his attempts to oust Democrat Joe Biden from office in 2020 and pay hush money to a porn star, Trump has become more powerful, winning over voters who had not previously been inclined to support him.


In order for Haley to stand a chance, the field must narrow to the point where she and Trump are the only contenders. This will provide Haley the opportunity to attempt and unite the party’s anti-Trump factions and possibly even steal some of Trump’s supporters.
Campaign manager Betsy Ankney cited polling that indicated Desantis was losing ground to Haley in Iowa and New Hampshire and Haley was strengthening in those states in a letter issued by Haley’s staff earlier in November.

Olivia Perez-Cubas, a Haley spokesman, stated that “the field has consolidated and will continue to consolidate in the coming weeks, and Nikki is gaining the most from that as the only candidate with momentum.”

Trump’s campaign has primarily focused its attacks on DeSantis thus far. If Haley’s ascent continues, the Trump campaign, pro-Trump social media influencers, and associated super PAC expenditure groups will probably launch a full-scale assault on her.
When asked if the campaign would soon focus on Haley, a Trump representative remained silent.
Most political observers concur that Haley would have the best chance of defeating Trump if she ran alone, without support from anybody else. However, even that would need a large and maybe unprecedented shift in Republican voter sentiment.


A large portion of the Republican voter base still finds great appeal in Trump’s freewheeling, anti-immigration rhetoric. Haley, on the other hand, is more of a conventional Republican establishment contender who has run on a platform of fiscal conservatism and tough foreign policy.

It’s unclear if Haley is gaining greater support for her beliefs or just for being different from Trump, even though she supports a more interventionist foreign policy and has taken a more hardline stance on abortions than the former president.
Haley, who was Trump’s U.N. ambassador, solidified her status as the establishment candidate on Tuesday when the powerful Koch network backed her and promised to use its extensive resources to advance her campaign.
Next week, when the fourth Republican debate takes place in Tuscaloosa, Alabama, Haley will have another opportunity to present her argument to a national audience.

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