Trump’s Bid to Knock Out Nikki Haley Falls Short in New Hampshire

In a recent twist of events, Donald Trump’s plan to swiftly eliminate Nikki Haley from the Republican presidential race hit a snag as the former South Carolina governor pledged to continue despite Trump’s victory in New Hampshire. Trump’s goal was to clear the path for a head-to-head battle with Democratic President Joe Biden, but Haley’s resilience has prolonged the internal GOP contest.

Trump strategically secured the endorsement of influential South Carolina Senator Tim Scott just days before the New Hampshire primary, aiming to signal party unity and force Haley’s exit. However, Haley, standing behind her claim to be the best candidate against Biden, remains undeterred.

While Trump succeeded in securing Scott’s support, Haley’s unexpected coalition of Republicans and independents in New Hampshire highlighted potential challenges for Trump in winning over a broader voter base beyond his core supporters. A University of New Hampshire poll suggested that 28% of likely Republican voters believed Trump harmed the country during his term.

Despite this setback, Trump maintains a substantial lead over Haley in South Carolina, according to polling averages. Trump’s enduring popularity among Republicans, driven by his policy achievements such as tax cuts and a tough stance on China, poses a significant hurdle for Haley.

Haley’s campaign manager sees Super Tuesday as a potential turning point, emphasizing the openness of many states to a Trump alternative. With $4 million allocated for TV ads in South Carolina and ongoing donor support, Haley appears determined to press on, positioning herself as a backup plan should Trump face legal challenges that could impact his candidacy.

In a surprising show of support, Trump gained endorsements from South Carolina figures, including U.S. Representative Nancy Mace, despite their previous strained relations. This underscores the consolidation of the Republican establishment around Trump, who is pushing for an early end to Haley’s campaign.

In essence, Trump’s attempt to sideline Haley before the South Carolina primary has not gone according to plan, setting the stage for a more extended intra-party battle. The unexpected twists and turns in this political drama underscore the complexities of the GOP landscape as it navigates internal divisions and prepares for the broader electoral contest ahead.

[Source: Reuters, with adaptations for clarity]

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