Senator Blackburn urges Nikki Haley to drop out and support Trump

 January 25, 2024

Nikki Haley is facing pressure to drop out of the presidential race and endorse the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump, after losing her best chance at victory in New Hampshire's primary. 

Republican senator Marsha Blackburn (TN) urged Haley to "get out of the race" in a post on X.

"If the @GOP wants to defeat Joe Biden this November, @NikkiHaley must get out of the race. The party must unify and support @realDonaldTrump,” she wrote.

Haley urged to drop out

Many Republicans, including Trump, say the general election campaign is now in full swing and Haley's primary bid will only draw resources away from the effort to unseat President Biden.

"I think at this point, it’s appropriate to say it is time for the party to unify; it is time for us to get behind our nominee,” Blackburn told the Washington Examiner.

“Any time and any money we spend on primary efforts is going to be money we don’t have to spend on the general election, getting our message out, and getting people to the polls in November.”

Blackburn's prediction that “there’s no clear path for someone else” was vindicated when Haley lost New Hampshire by more than 10 points.

The state was widely seen as Haley's best opportunity to pull off an upset against Trump, given its more moderate mix of voters compared to states with more conservative primary voters.

Republican senators buckle to Trump

Haley is promising to stay in the race, despite the likelihood of an embarrassing loss to Trump in her home state of South Carolina, where she formerly served as governor.

More than half of Republican senators have now endorsed Trump's bid, including both senators from South Carolina, Tim Scott and Lindsey Graham.

The rising support is a sign of Trump's continued dominance of the institutional GOP, which has never supported him wholeheartedly - especially in the Senate.

The most notable holdouts are Mitch McConnell (R-KY) and John Thune (R-SD), the first and second highest-ranking Republican senators. Neither man is known for having a warm relationship with Trump.

“I’ve said all along I’ll support the nominee. So if he’s the nominee, I’ll do what I can to help the team win the presidency,” Thune said Wednesday.

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