She is not leaving. Highlights from Nikki Haley’s effort to stay in the GOP race against Trump

KIAWA ISLAND, SC (AP) - Nikki Haley's The team is preparing to face a home state embarrassment in South Carolina's Republican presidential primary on Saturday. Conventional wisdom suggests that he will be forced to leave school. But it may not be implemented in 2024.

Before a major speech Tuesday, Haley told The Associated Press that she would remain in the race no matter what, at least until the other 20 states vote through Super Tuesday on March 5. This is when Donald Trump's MAGA movement is furious that she is denying it. drop out. After all, she is the last major candidate standing in his way of the nomination.

The Associated Press spoke to Haley and several senior campaign officials and donors about their strategy ahead of the big speech. Here are some things about how and why she plans to stay in the race:

Haley is aware that there is speculation that she may be out on Tuesday. But she told The Associated Press she isn't going anywhere until at least after Super Tuesday. Yes, that's even if she's sick of it Donald Trump Saturday in his home state's South Carolina primary.

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Mississippi Valley State University drum majors marching bands parade down Jackson Avenue during the traditional Krewe of Zulu parade on Mardi Gras Day on Tuesday, Feb. 13, 2024, in New Orleans.  (AP Photo/Matthew Hinton)

“Ten days after South Carolina, 20 other states will vote. I mean, this isn't Russia. "We don't want someone to go in and get 99% of the votes," Haley said. "What's the rush? Why is everyone so nervous about me being out of this race?”

If you don't believe him, his team has provided new information about his post-South Carolina plans.

She is spending more than $500,000 on a new television ad campaign that starts Wednesday in Michigan. Their post-South Carolina itinerary includes 11 different stops over seven days in Michigan, Minnesota, Colorado, Utah, Virginia, Washington, DC, North Carolina and Massachusetts.

The program also includes at least 10 high-dollar private fundraising events.

Just don't ask Haley which primary state she's going to win.

It's a fair question for those who say they have a legitimate path to winning the Republican presidential nomination. But Haley and his team aren't ready to answer that question specifically. Or maybe they can't. That's because polls show that given Trump's grip on the Republican Party, he is a major underdog in almost every state — even the state where he lives and twice served as governor. Was elected in.

Remember, Republican primary elections are typically decided by the party's most active partisans – not by the broad swath of moderates and independents who are more influential in general elections.

When Haley was asked during an AP interview about her specific chances of victory, she gave a fiery response.

"Instead of asking me which states I will win, why don't we ask how he will win the general elections after spending an entire year in court?" He said.

Still, Haley's team says there are a number of states where she could be competitive with Trump — particularly those with open or semi-open primaries that allow a broader collection of voters to participate, rather than just staunch Republicans. Allow.

By the way, one of them is South Carolina, which allows voters to participate in any presidential primary they want — as long as they only vote once.

Stop us if you've heard this before, but most presidential candidates don't drop out if they lose; When they run out of money they leave their studies. Of course, the conditions are related. Who wants to waste money on a loser?

But somehow, as the deficit continues to mount, Haley is raising money at the strongest rate of her political career.

Traditional Republican donors such as Eric Levin, who hosted a fundraiser in New York for Haley earlier this month, said they are betting big if Haley can withstand Trump's legal burden and propensity for major mistakes and scandals. If they remain patient then somehow they will get a chance.

It also has a greater emotional appeal. Many in the party are unwilling to surrender to Trump's MAGA politics, even if the math is in his favor.

Or as Levin puts it, "We are not ready to fold our tents and pray for Donald Trump."

Haley's campaign raised $5 million in fundraising after finishing second in New Hampshire, which included stops in Texas, Florida, New York and California, according to campaign spokeswoman Olivia Perez-Cubas. His campaign raised $16.5 million in January alone – his best fundraising month ever. She raised another $1 million in 24 hours after Trump last week attacked her husband, a military man currently serving overseas.

Trump dabbles in legal issues

As Trump calls Haley names like "stupid" and "birdbrain," Haley is turning her attention to the Republican former president's legal troubles.

Repeatedly, he attacked Trump for spending as much — or more — time in the courtroom during the campaign. He predicted that Trump's political position would change dramatically if he was convicted before Election Day, while he expressed concern that the Republican National Committee would become a personal "piggy bank" for his legal fees.

"People are not waiting six months while these court cases are going on," Haley said. “He will be in court throughout March, April, May and June. How can you win the general elections when these cases keep going on and decisions keep coming?”

And she didn't exactly agree with Trump that all of the 91 felony charges against him were politically motivated.

“I think some people are very politically motivated. Some, he has to defend himself,” she said, drawing a clear distinction.

Some Republicans want Haley to remain in the race until the party's national convention in July. But Haley said she isn't thinking too much about her strategy beyond Super Tuesday. She also declined to say whether she would drop out of the race if Trump crosses the 50% delegate threshold to formally become the party's presumptive nominee.

At the current rate, that's likely to happen sometime in March.

She also declined to comment when asked if she would help Trump campaign if he ultimately wins the GOP nomination.

"I don't know what action I'm going to take in terms of this, but I've always said that even though I have problems with President Trump, I have more problems with Joe Biden," Haley said.

And finally, we asked her if she would 100% rule out running on a presidential ticket with No Labels, a centrist third-party group that is actively soliciting potential candidates. She came close to taking herself out of the argument, but it didn't seem like it would be the kind of answer that would put the question to rest forever.

“I haven't had a single conversation with No Labels. He has sent me signals that he wants to talk. "I've told them I'm not interested in talking," Haley said. "I'm running as a Republican. "My focus is to be in this as a Republican candidate and win as a Republican."

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