Nikki Haley made a serious primary campaign decision. She decided not to face off directly against former President Donald Trump in Nevada.
That decision may end her chances in the run for the Republican Party nominee in the 2024 general election in November. Primary season kicks into a higher gear in February and starts racing once March rolls around.
Nevada tallies primary votes in early February and elections there are different than many other states. Nevada holds a primary election and caucuses, and Republicans can vote in both. Haley’s decision was to run in the primary election while Trump chose to participate in the caucuses.
Recent polling shows that Haley’s decision – which keeps her out of the caucuses against Trump – could cause her to lose to “none of these candidates” on the ballot.
From the Washington Examiner:
New polling released by Providence, a collaborative effort between Revere Solutions and DecipherAi, showed 59.2% of Nevada Republican primary voters saying they would select “none of these candidates” during the Feb. 6 GOP primary election, compared to 40.8% who would choose Haley.
A loss to “none of these candidates” could be devastating to Haley’s campaign going forward. Trump is the expected victor in the Nevada caucuses and would gain the state’s 26 delegates. The state GOP uses the caucuses, set for Feb. 8, and not the primary election to award delegates.
“Here’s my conclusion: If Nikki Haley’s going to lose to no one, how can she beat Trump? How can she beat Joe Biden?” Revere Solutions CEO Woodrow Johnston, who is not affiliated with any presidential campaign, told the Washington Examiner. “This whole narrative that she’s the best candidate against Joe Biden is really just kind of shattered because it’s like she can’t even beat literally no one.”
Haley’s path to the nomination looks bleak if she loses in Nevada. She has pledged to continue through the Feb. 24 primary in her home state of South Carolina. Recent polling shows Haley trailing Trump in the Palmetto State by a margin of 63.8% to 31.9%.
“If she goes through with the South Carolina primary, she’s going to be embarrassed, and then her political career is going to be over, at least for this cycle,” said Ford O’Connell, a Florida-based Republican strategist.
Trump trounced Haley by 30 points in the Iowa caucuses and bested her by 11 points in New Hampshire. She hasn’t campaigned heavily in Nevada like she has in South Carolina. An almost 30-point polling deficit against Trump in South Carolina may be too much for Haley to overcome.
O’Connell sees a Haley loss in Nevada followed by a decisive win for Trump in South Carolina as a potentially fatal campaign blow for Haley. He said the Trump campaign may use the losses to expose her inability to win major elections.
“So, I think this could be the one-two punch that ends it, that puts, finally, the Nikki Haley campaign to rest,” Johnston said.
- New polling showed that Nikki Haley may lose to “nobody” in the Nevada primary.
- One political strategist said her political career may be ending for this election cycle.
- Haley pledged to continue to South Carolina even as Trump holds a lead in the polls.
Source: Washington Examiner