Facing a steep uphill climb against Donald Trump for the GOP presidential nomination, Nikki Haley heads to her home turf
On Saturday, Nikki Haley began a two-week bus tour across South Carolina, building momentum toward the state’s Republican presidential primary on Feb. 24, which marks the next key contest in the GOP nominating process.
“I’m excited for the Beast of the Southeast bus tour,” said former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley, who later served at the U.N. under former President Donald Trump’s administration. served as ambassador, in a social media post on Friday.
Haley faces a challenging path to securing the GOP nomination against her former boss, who maintains a commanding lead as he seeks a third consecutive bid for the White House.
This weekend, Trump will return to campaign in South Carolina for the first time in two months, coinciding with Nikki Haley’s Beast of the Southeast bus tour.
After his decisive victory in Nevada’s GOP presidential caucus on Thursday, Trump turned his attention to South Carolina.
“Can we declare victory already?” Trump excitedly asked his supporters at a celebratory event in Las Vegas, highlighting his sizable lead in the latest polls for the upcoming primary.
Trump’s victory in the Nevada caucus is all over the place. As the only major candidate in a contest run by a state party with the support of only registered Republicans, his victory was virtually assured.
U.S. Trump won a convincing victory in Nevada, where 26 delegates were up for grabs, shortly after winning the Virgin Islands GOP-run presidential caucus with a landslide.
Adding to his accomplishments, though not listed on the ballot, Thursday’s caucus in Nevada followed his victory in the state-defending Republican presidential primary just two days earlier.
Haley faced a challenging situation in the primary, as she lost the “none of these candidates” option by more than two-to-one. It should be noted that this primary did not allocate any GOP convention delegates.
In the primary, voters could not write in Trump’s name, but they could choose “none of these candidates.” US Newzs interviews with Trump supporters outside polling stations revealed that many chose this option.
“I don’t want to appreciate any of the above,” Trump joked to Haley on Thursday night. “I am one of them.”
Haley, who hasn’t campaigned in Nevada since October, played down the importance of this week’s primary and caucuses in the Silver State. In a US Newzs Digital interview in Los Angeles on Wednesday, she said she was not a focal point of her campaign and accused the caucus of being “rigged” in Trump’s favor.
Trump won a majority of the vote in the Iowa caucuses on Jan. 15, and a week later beat Haley by 11 points in the New Hampshire primary, marking a turning point as the nomination battle narrowed to a two-candidate race.
Despite pressure from some Republicans to withdraw her White House bid, Haley assured supporters in California this week, “I’m committed to staying in this race for a long time.”
South Carolina holds significance for Haley as his home state, with the former president benefiting from widespread support there. The state’s governor, nearly the entire congressional delegation, and several state legislators and local officials are among those supporting Trump.
Dave Wilson, a veteran Republican consultant based in South Carolina, emphasized Trump’s strong support in the state, pointing to a “groundswell” of support and highlighting the former president’s formidable “ground forces.”
“Nicky Haley is reintroducing herself to South Carolina,” observed the state’s significant population growth since Wilson’s tenure as governor, with nearly a million people moving in.
However, Wilson emphasized Haley’s formidable political history, saying, “Never underestimate Nikki Haley. Never count Nikki Haley out.”
Looking ahead, Haley reiterated, “Our focus is on South Carolina, Michigan, Super Tuesday.”
Michigan is scheduled to hold its primary on Tuesday, February 27, three days after South Carolina’s Republican primary. Following that, fifteen states, including important states like California and Texas, will hold Super Tuesday contests a week later.
Haley’s Wednesday campaign stop in California will mark her first visit to any of the Super Tuesday states so far.
The trip also included a series of fundraisers, and as US Newzs Digital initially reported on Wednesday, Haley raised $1.7 million during her two days in California.
Speaking to US Newzs Digital, Haley emphasized their prudent approach to campaign finances, stating, “We’re smart.” She highlighted the importance of financial management, noting that without careful resource management, one would not emerge as “the last man standing against Donald Trump”. She affirmed their focus on ensuring that the campaign is adequately resourced.