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Trump wins in South Carolina – Haley stuns the Republicans

2024-02-27T03:12:45.804Z

Highlights: Trump wins in South Carolina – Haley stuns the Republicans. Haley personifies discontent and frustration among the Republican wing. Trump allies stunned: Haley will continue to run at least until Super Tuesday on March 5. Some supporters are happy to see her continue to be the voice of the conservative wing of the GOP's old guard, which Trump has pushed aside and done little to woo or appease as he heads into the general election campaign. But Haley's supporters include exactly the kind of moderate and independent voters the Republican Party will be fighting for in November.



As of: February 27, 2024, 3:36 a.m

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Nikki Haley also loses to Donald Trump in South Carolina, but continues to run.

She is increasingly becoming the voice of Republican frustration.

Columbia – She finished third in Iowa.

In New Hampshire she lost by double digits.

In Nevada - where Donald Trump's name was not on the primary ballot - Nikki Haley trailed "none of these candidates" by more than 30 points.

Haley has now suffered another setback in the one-sided race for the Republican presidential nomination, losing to Trump by about 20 points in her home state of South Carolina.

Nevertheless, she promised to carry on.

“In the next 10 days, an additional 21 states and territories will take the floor,” Haley said Saturday evening.

“You have the right to a real election, not a Soviet-style election with only one candidate.

And I have a duty to give them that choice.”

Haley personifies discontent and frustration among the Republican wing

As the latest Republican candidate to run against Trump, Haley has drawn polarized reactions as she has become a vehicle for the deep dissatisfaction some in the party feel about a renewed face-off between Trump and President Biden.

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Haley, who is more of a symbolic reservoir for these sentiments than an obstacle in Trump's path to the nomination, has positioned herself as the leader of a vocal minority.

She said Saturday that her result of around 40 percent was "not a tiny group" but a sign that "a large number of voters in our Republican primary" still want an alternative to Trump.

Trump allies stunned: Haley will continue to run at least until Super Tuesday

Their decision to continue at least until Super Tuesday on March 5 has angered Trump and his allies and stunned many political observers.

They point out that there is little evidence that she has a chance of winning in any individual state, let alone the primaries as a whole.

Her recent defeat in South Carolina - where Haley served as governor for six years - increases pressure on her to exit in the name of party unity, especially as she escalates her criticism of Trump.

An official at the conservative political network run by billionaire Charles Koch, which sought to defeat Trump in the primaries, announced Sunday that the network would not provide further funding for Haley and would instead focus on lower-tier races.

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Nikki Haley represents Reagan wing - chances of winning slim

But even as primary season humiliations pile up for Haley, some supporters are happy to see her continue to be the voice of the conservative wing of the GOP's old guard, which Trump has pushed aside and done little to woo or appease. as he heads into the general election campaign.

“Those of us who are in the Reagan wing of the party want her to stay in office because we want to remind people that we still exist,” said Eric Levine, a Haley donor.

“We will not win without the Reagan wing of the party, and Nikki Haley represents that wing.”

Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley speaks during a South Carolina Republican primary party Saturday in Charleston, SC.

© Melina Mara/The Washington Post

Further head-to-head races between Haley and Trump are likely to underscore how thoroughly the former president has reshaped the party and overwhelmed its traditionalists.

The polls in numerous Super Tuesday states see Trump well ahead, and Trump's team expects him to win the nomination by mid-March.

“It shows how weak this wing of the party is,” GOP strategist Bob Heckman said of the camp behind Haley.

Trump needs Haley's supporters to win the election in November

But Haley's coalition includes exactly the kind of moderate and independent voters the Republican Party will be fighting for in November.

“The very voters who support Nikki are the ones Trump needs in the general election,” said Fergus Cullen, a former New Hampshire GOP chairman who describes himself as a “Never Trump” Republican.

Haley allows them to express their reservations, just as Democrat Jerry Brown was a vehicle for expressing his reservations about Bill Clinton in 1992.

“It is Trump’s failure to familiarize these people with him.

... That’s his problem and that’s his responsibility,” Cullen said.

Haley's allies acknowledge she faces difficult odds but see her fight as important.

“There are reasons to run other than winning,” said an official at the SFA Fund, the pro-Haley super PAC, who spoke on condition of anonymity to discuss the race more candidly.

The official said Haley's campaign has become more of a "crusade."

Trump is happy about a united party - Haley is keeping other options open

Trump focused on the general election in his victory speech Saturday night in South Carolina.

“I just want to say that I have never seen the Republican Party as united as it is now,” he said to cheers from the many Republican officials who stood behind him.

Prominent Republicans, even some critical of Trump, have rallied behind the former president as his re-election appears inevitable.

Trump was visibly upset with Haley last month after she promised to continue campaigning beyond New Hampshire, even threatening that anyone who continued to donate to her would be "permanently expelled" from his camp.

Former US President Donald Trump.

© Laura Brett/Imago

Haley took a cautious approach to Trump throughout most of her campaign, telling voters that she was more electable and that "rightly or wrongly, chaos follows him."

She said she would support Trump as the GOP nominee even if he was convicted in his pending criminal cases, and at one point she dodged a question about whether she would serve as his running mate, fueling speculation that she wanted to keep that path open .

Trump fires, Haley counters: “Don’t be afraid of Trump’s retaliation”

However, as the field thinned and Trump turned his fire on Haley, she sharpened her arguments.

She questioned Trump's mental fitness.

She criticized Trump for saying he would encourage Russia to “do whatever they want” with NATO members with whom he is unhappy.

She hit back hard after Trump mocked her husband's absence from the campaign trail.

(He is volunteering in Djibouti with the South Carolina Army National Guard.) She rejected Trump's "America First" policies, recently saying, "It's not 'America First' to bankrupt Social Security by does nothing to fix it.

“I have no desire to kiss the ring.

"I'm not afraid of Trump's retaliation," she said in a recent speech, as many Republicans accused her of damaging her political career by expanding her campaign against Trump and sharpening her criticism.

In that speech - which was intended to explain why she's not dropping out - Haley cited polls showing that most Americans are unhappy with a rerun of the election between Trump and Biden.

They deserve a voice, she said: “I will fight until the American people close the door.”

Haley remains Plan B – not all Republicans support that

Some Republicans see a practical benefit in keeping Haley on the campaign trail as long as possible in case a dramatic event results in Trump being unable to run again.

“If something happens, she’s the one who can pick up the pieces,” Levine said.

“It makes sense for her to stay in the race and continue collecting delegates.

She has the money to do this.

But it's not clear that even a conviction in one of Trump's trials would sideline him, because the cases have largely served to motivate Republicans.

Some Republicans are particularly eager to put the primary behind them entirely because Trump and his allies are lagging Biden in fundraising.

Haley and her allies have continued to raise money at a pace that has given her some edge, they say - a point of frustration for some Trump supporters.

“It's time to rally around the potential candidate,” said Dan Eberhart, a GOP donor who supported Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis in the presidential bid but then opted for Trump after DeSantis dropped out.

Haley initiates discussion about Republican party orientation

Tom Davis, a South Carolina state representative who supported Haley, argued that it was "healthy" for Haley to spark a broader discussion about the Republican Party.

Some look at the change under Trump and support the conservatism Haley has championed, such as U.S. involvement abroad.

“Haley is the last person to run against Donald Trump in this primary to have a broader conversation about what kind of party we want to be,” Davis said.

Dylan Wells contributed to this report.

About the author

Hannah Knowles

is a national politics reporter at The Washington Post covering campaigns.

She previously reported for the Post's general division.

We are currently testing machine translations.

This article was automatically translated from English into German.

This article was first published in English on February 26, 2024 at the “Washingtonpost.com” - as part of a cooperation, it is now also available in translation to readers of the IPPEN.MEDIA portals.

Source: merkur

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