Nikki Haley is staring down another resounding loss to Donald Trump

Nikki Haley

Nikki Haley has a strong support although Republican voters in North Augusta, South Carolina, crammed into the sunlit top floor of a municipal building three days prior to the state primary.

As the state’s former governor, Ms Nikki Haley gave the gathering an assured and newly combative stump speech. She made frequent and pointed jabs at her rival and the Republican frontrunner, former President Donald Trump – a tactic she had long avoided.

Nikki Haley


“He was literally unhinged,” she said at one point, remarking on his victory speech after the New Hampshire primary. “He’s obsessed with himself,” she added later.

In this room at least, Ms Nikki Haley’s pitch and criticism of the former president were landing. Her jokes received loud laughs, the applause breaks were long, and at least a dozen voters in attendance told the BBC they were all in on Ms Nikki Haley.

“She’s got an outstanding record,” said supporter Holt Moran. “She’s just the perfect person.”

But again and again, when asked if Ms Nikki Haley had a chance of winning the primary – or even another Republican contest down the line – each voter seemed to wince before saying no.

“Unfortunately not,” Mr Moran said.

Despite her publicly sunny outlook, the packed events, and beaming crowds, it will be nearly impossible for Ms Haley to find a path to the nomination. She has lost every contest to Mr Trump so far, and is likely to do so again on Saturday, this time in her home state.
Polls show the former UN ambassador is trailing by nearly 30 points in South Carolina and her odds are even worse in votes to come.

Barring a dramatic and unforeseen twist, Mr Trump will – for the third time in a row – be his party’s nominee. But Ms Haley has so far shown no signs of quitting.

So is Ms Haley’s enduring campaign a quixotic exercise or – as she says – a principled stand against Mr Trump? Or is she perhaps playing a longer game and laying the groundwork for future political ambitions? FOR MORE INFORMATION CLICK…

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