Nikki Haley’s Potential Impact on Donald Trump

How Nikki Haley Could Do ‘Real Damage’ to Donald Trump

Ahead of the highly anticipated Super Tuesday’s outcome, Republican strategist Sarah Longwell weighed in on the potential impact of Nikki Haley, a contender for the Republican presidential nomination, withholding her endorsement of Donald Trump.

As voters across 16 states and one U.S. territory gear up for the Democratic and Republican presidential primaries on Tuesday, the focus remains on President Joe Biden and former President Donald Trump as they strive to solidify their positions.

Nikki Haley, seen as the only significant challenger to Trump in the Republican race, is hoping to gain momentum on Tuesday after securing her first primary win of the season in Washington, D.C., last Sunday.

However, polls indicate that Trump is poised for substantial victories across all 16 GOP primary contests on Super Tuesday, with some projections suggesting he could secure about three-quarters of the votes in certain states.

Nikki Haley
Nikki Haley (Credits: Reuters)

In a recent interview with CNN, Longwell discussed the potential scenario of Haley exiting the race post-Super Tuesday, emphasizing that if she were to withdraw and continue withholding her endorsement of Trump, it could significantly impact him.

Longwell explained that Haley’s refusal to endorse Trump creates a “permission structure” that allows criticisms of Trump to resonate and influence voter decisions.

“I believe she will drop out after this, and my sincere hope is that she refrains from endorsing Donald Trump because that would legitimize the criticisms she’s been articulating to the Republicans who admire her and have been convinced of his unsuitability,” Longwell remarked. “By withholding her endorsement, her critiques of Trump remain valid and can inflict real damage.”

In recent weeks leading up to Super Tuesday, Haley has escalated her criticisms of Trump, branding him as unfit for office and predicting his defeat in the general election against Biden.

Longwell’s remarks followed Haley’s assertion that she no longer feels bound by a pledge made to the Republican National Committee (RNC) to support the GOP presidential nominee.

To participate in primary debates organized by the RNC last autumn, every candidate was required to sign a pledge committing to support the eventual Republican nominee.

During an interview with NBC News on Sunday, Haley was pressed by host Kristen Welker on whether she felt obligated by the pledge. Haley’s response seemed to evade the question, implying that she did not feel bound by it.

“No, I think I’ll make whatever decision I choose to make, but that’s not something I’m currently pondering…When you all ask Donald Trump if he would support me, then I will address that,” Haley stated.

Despite facing pressure to withdraw from the race, Haley has pledged to continue her campaign. Last week, Trump took to Truth Social to ridicule Haley’s efforts, predicting a poor performance for her on Super Tuesday.

“Haley suffered a significant defeat last night, losing the Great State of Michigan by over 42 Points,” Trump wrote. “Anticipating an even worse outcome on Super Tuesday, if that’s conceivable. I’m leading every State by over 60 Points! People don’t like her, and they recognize, according to the polls, that she cannot defeat Biden or any Democrat!”

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