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Despite Two Defeats, Nikki Haley Attempts to Portray Success in the Republican Presidential Contest

Republican presidential candidate former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley speaks during a campaign event at The North Charleston Coliseum, Wednesday, Jan. 24, 2024, in North Charleston, S.C. (AP Photo/Sean Rayford)

“We went out there, did our thing, and conveyed our message, and then Donald Trump threw a temper tantrum,” remarked Nikki Haley.

Former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley, a Republican presidential candidate, addressed a crowd during a rally in Concord, N.H., on Tuesday, Jan. 23, 2024, following losses in both Iowa and New Hampshire to Donald Trump.

Despite setbacks in both states, Haley is attempting to spin the defeats as a triumph and is determined to prevent a “coronation” of Trump as the 2024 Republican nominee.

The upcoming states in the primary race may pose further challenges for Haley. Speaking at a rally in North Charleston, South Carolina, she expressed satisfaction with her second-place finish in New Hampshire, considering the initial lack of support for her campaign.

Nikki Haley

Nikki Haley (Credits: ABC News)

“We were thrilled,” Haley told supporters, highlighting her campaign efforts and contrasting them with what she characterized as Trump’s temperamental response on primary night.

While Haley improved her performance compared to the Iowa caucuses, where she finished third, her expectation of a strong showing in New Hampshire did not materialize. Trump won by a substantial margin, prompting questions about the future of her campaign.

Undeterred, Haley affirmed her commitment to continue, virtually addressing Republican voters in the U.S. Virgin Islands before returning to South Carolina.

The Wednesday night event in South Carolina served as both a homecoming for Haley and the kickoff for her campaign in the influential first-in-the-South GOP voting state. Despite her determination, South Carolina remains firmly in Trump’s camp, with widespread endorsements from key Republican figures.

Senator Lindsey Graham, a prominent Trump supporter, suggested that, practically speaking, the primary is over in favor of Trump.

Outside Haley’s rally, Trump supporters made their presence known, indicating the challenge she faces in securing support.

The super PAC supporting Haley highlighted President Joe Biden’s initial struggles in the 2020 Democratic primaries, drawing a parallel to her situation. However, the comparison overlooks key factors, such as the significant role of Black voters in Biden’s ultimate victory.

Despite Trump’s early wins, Haley’s super PAC insisted she has a viable path to the GOP nomination, emphasizing South Carolina as the next battleground. They plan to encourage conservative-leaning and Republican-leaning independents to participate in the open primary.

The super PAC expressed confidence in their strategy and resources, noting that donors remain committed for the long haul. Mark Harris, the chief strategist, mentioned plans for extensive TV ads, mailers, door-knocking, and outreach in South Carolina.

Following the rally, Haley announced raising $1 million since her post-primary speech in New Hampshire, with donations coming from all 50 states, primarily in amounts of $200 or less.

Responding to Haley’s fundraising success, Trump issued an intimidating message on social media, declaring a ban on contributions to Haley and emphasizing his “America First” stance.

As discussions with donors continue, the super PAC remains optimistic about securing the necessary resources to sustain the campaign. Despite challenges, Haley’s supporters are energized by her fighter mentality and determination not to give up.

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