Haley defiantly remains in 2024 primary race despite all polls showing Trump will be the nominee

 February 13, 2024

Former U.N. Ambassador and South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley has resisted the mounting calls for her to drop out of the 2024 Republican primary race and defiantly continues to run her campaign for the GOP nomination, local ABC affiliate WCIV reported this week.

That includes the continuation of a bus tour across her home state and taking critical shots against the frontrunner candidate, former President Donald Trump, ahead of South Carolina's primary election on Feb. 24.

Haley's longshot bid to supplant Trump as the party's standard-bearer thus goes on despite virtually all of the local and national polls showing that she will be decisively defeated, potentially in embarrassing fashion, by her former boss who, despite his legal troubles, is poised to once again by the Republican nominee in the November general election.

Haley still challenging frontrunner Trump

CBS News reported on a recent survey, conducted with YouGov, of nearly 1,500 registered voters in South Carolina and found that Palmetto State voters were far more likely to vote for the former president over their former governor in the upcoming primary election, by a margin of 65-30%.

The pollsters found that Haley being a native South Carolinian made no difference to around 75% of the state's voters, that around 76% classified her as not being part of Trump's "MAGA movement," and that Trump's prior record as president garnered substantially more approval that Haley's prior record as governor.

It was further revealed that most South Carolinians thought that Trump was more willing to "fight" on their behalf than Haley and that he was "tough" and "prepared" and a "strong leader" in comparison to Haley, who only bested Trump in the category of who was more "likable."

The poll also showed that voters largely rejected Haley's argument that Trump's legal woes were a reason to vote for her, that his being a convicted felon would disqualify him from being president, that her critiques of his mental fitness were "unfair," that his policies would be more helpful to them than hers, and that he had a better chance than her of defeating President Joe Biden.

All the polls show Trump on track for decisive victory in South Carolina primary

The results of that CBS News/YouGov poll, particularly its topline of former President Trump leading former Ambassador and Gov. Haley by 35 points, appear to be in line with other state-level and national polls that show a similar or even larger margin between the two candidates.

Indeed, the RealClearPolling average of 2024 GOP primary polls showed that, nationally, Trump has around 74.3% support from voters in comparison to just 18.1% for Haley -- a margin of 56.2 points.

As for South Carolina, an average of that state's polls gave the former president 63.7% support, which is more than 32 points higher than the former ambassador and governor's 31% support among her former constituents.

May still drop out before South Carolina primary to avoid embarrassing defeat

South Carolina's The State reported last week that while Haley has been insistent that she's "not going anywhere" and intends to remain in the Republican primary race, at least through Super Tuesday on March 5, many political pundits and former officials in the Palmetto State don't believe her and suspect she will eventually drop out of the race, perhaps sooner rather than later.

One key factor in those estimations is the belief that Haley will likely want to avoid a potentially embarrassing -- and possibly career-ending -- defeat in her home state in the coming weeks.

Those pundits further surmised that if Haley dropped out before likely losing South Carolina by double digits, she would be able to preserve her acquired status as a top candidate and fundraiser for future election cycles.

However, Haley seems intent on remaining in the race as an alternative to Trump, particularly if his re-election campaign falters or his legal woes bring him down, even if poll after poll shows that most GOP voters don't want her to be the party's nominee.

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