Despite two losses, Nikki Haley is trying to claim victory so far in the Republican presidential race


NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (AP) — Despite losing both to Iowa and new Hampshire To Donald Trump,nikki haley Yet he is trying to present those losses as victories and is promising Trump’s “coronation” as the 2024 Republican nominee.

However, the road to voting in the next states may not be easy.

“The political class wanted us to believe this race was over before it even started,” Haley said. Posted Tuesday night on X, following a speech in which she said she was not prepared to give up any ground. “You proved them wrong, and I’m very grateful.”

But Haley was hoping for a strong showing in New Hampshire, a state where her efforts to appeal to independents and more liberal-leaning Republicans appeared to be taking root. Trump still won by double digits on Tuesday night, leading some to wonder whether she would continue.

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Haley has confirmed she will do just that, speaking virtually to Republican voters in the US Virgin Islands before flying to New Hampshire – where their caucuses are held on February 8. South CarolinaWhere he has planned an evening rally.

Wednesday night’s event serves two purposes for Haley. It’s a welcome gathering for the South Carolina resident and the start of his campaign The first GOP voting state in the South, which is has historically been influential In determining the party’s candidate. Since 1980, only one winner of South Carolina’s Republican ballot has lost the nomination.

since His 2016 primary victory This helped solidify Trump’s dominance in that year’s race, with South Carolina remaining loyal to him. For the 2024 campaign, he claims support From all but one of the state’s U.S. House Republicans, as well as the governor, lieutenant governor and both U.S. senators.

One of those senators, Lindsey Graham, praised Haley’s effort at the U.S. Capitol on Wednesday but predicted her loss in her home state, saying, “Trump is in a commanding position in South Carolina.” “I think for all practical purposes, the priority is up.”

Ahead of New Hampshire’s vote, the super PAC supporting Haley’s candidacy quickly pointed out that President Joe Biden, the Democrat she hopes to face in the general election, has not been successful in several contests ahead of his 2020 bid. but ultimately won the nomination. However, this comparison does not take into account the fact that black voters drove Biden’s eventual victory after reaching the South, a factor that was not expected to weigh heavily in the GOP primary.

Nonetheless, during a call with reporters on Wednesday, Mark Harris, chief strategist for that super PAC, SFA Inc., insisted that despite Trump’s two early wins, Haley still has “a path to go” to the GOP nomination.

Declaring South Carolina the next “battleground” of the campaign in a direct Trump-Haley contest – nevadaThe GOP caucuses are on Feb. 8, but Trump has already claimed victory there because Haley is not participating — Harris said its open primary means any Democrat who wants to compete in her party’s contest on Feb. 3 If he chooses not to participate, he may choose to support Haley. In the February 24 voting.

“We’re going to make every effort to encourage those conservative-leaning and Republican-leaning independent candidates to vote in the primary,” Harris said, noting that the super PAC is running TV commercials. Will be involved in the “Millions of Dollars” campaign. In South Carolina over the next month, they will also send mailers, knock on doors and do other outreach.

Asked about talks with donors following the New Hampshire results, Harris said the group is confident it will have the resources needed.

Harris said, “Our donors have been engaged in this for a long time. Our strategy was to narrow the field to two by South Carolina.”

He said he is encouraged by the enthusiasm he is seeing.

“People are excited, and I’m confident we’ll have the resources we need to continue the fight.”

Rick Gentillo in Washington contributed.

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