Haley finishes second in NH, but she’s not going anywhere
|Published: 01-23-2024 9:26 PM
Former Gov. Nikki Haley may not have pulled off the upset she’d hoped for in Tuesday night’s Republican primary, but she reassured supporters in Concord that she’s not going anywhere.
“New Hampshire is first in the nation,” she said, “it is not the last in the nation. This race is far from over.”
The Associated Press called the race for former President Donald Trump soon after 8 p.m. when the final polls closed. As of 9 p.m., he leads Haley, 53.5%-45.5%.
But with her home state of South Carolina next on the primary calendar in roughly a month, Haley conveyed a sense of optimism that like she’d done in previous elections, she could pull off an unexpected win.
“When we get to South Carolina, Donald Trump’s gonna have a harder time falsely attacking me,” she said. “The great people of South Carolina know I cut their taxes. They know I signed the toughest illegal immigration bill in the country. They know we passed voter ID and tort reform and ethics reform, and they know we moved 35,000 people from welfare to work.”
The electorate in the next contest will look far different than the one that turned out in New Hampshire on Tuesday. Exit polls suggest that roughly half of Tuesday’s electorate was comprised of independent voters. Haley won 61% of those voters, according to The Washington Post. But among Republicans — who will make up a far larger percentage of the South Carolina electorate — Trump dominated, 74%-25%.
Still, Haley made mention of Trump’s repeated verbal slips on the campaign trail recently. This weekend, he erroneously stated multiple times that Haley was responsible for not sending enough security to the U.S. Capitol during the Jan. 6 insurrection; he was referring to former House Speaker Nancy Pelosi. He’s also previously stated that President Joe Biden would get the United States into World War II and that he defeated President Barack Obama in the 2016 election.
Trump has also repeatedly insisted that he would ace any mental competency test thrown his way.
“If he thinks that, then he should have no problem standing on a debate stage with me,” Haley said.
Trump has refused to debate any of his primary challengers throughout the campaign. And while his path to the nomination grew even easier after a win in New Hampshire, Haley’s determined to keep fighting.
“South Carolina voters don't want a coronation, they want an election,” she said. “And we’re going to give them one.”