Nikki Haley In Fight For Survival In GOP Primary

Former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley is launching a vigorous campaign in her home state before moving to other states ahead of the Super Tuesday contests on March 5. Although Haley faces a significant polling deficit behind front-runner Donald Trump, her campaign remains optimistic about her chances. Haley’s strategy has been to appeal to voters seeking an alternative to the current president, and her team believes there is still ample time to close the gap.

However, the short turnaround from South Carolina’s primary to Super Tuesday poses a new challenge for Haley. Retail politics dominate in the Palmetto State, but after that, she will have to rely heavily on fundraising to sustain her campaign. With a third-place finish in Iowa and a second-place finish in New Hampshire, Haley has gained 17 pledged delegates compared to Trump’s 32.

Super Tuesday will be critical for Haley and other candidates, as 874 delegates are up for grabs. The primaries in California and Texas, with 169 and 161 delegates, respectively, are particularly crucial. Currently, polling averages show Trump leading Haley by significant margins in both states.

While several high-delegate states hold their contests later in the calendar, including Florida, Illinois, Ohio, New York, and Pennsylvania, Haley is currently focusing on her home state for the next few weeks. She aims to highlight her six-year governorship, which ended seven years ago, and garner support from independents and Democrats in the open primary.

Americans for Prosperity Action, a super PAC funded by the Koch brothers, supports Haley in South Carolina with various campaign efforts. After South Carolina, Haley plans to visit Michigan, Washington, DC, Idaho, and North Dakota. Her campaign also emphasizes the presence of open or semi-open primaries in many Super Tuesday states, which they believe will provide fertile ground for Haley.

Despite skipping the Nevada caucus on February 8, Haley’s campaign has been actively building state leadership teams and raising funds. Since New Hampshire, they have raised over $4 million in online grassroots donations, with 60,000 new donors pledging their support. The campaign has scheduled at least ten fundraisers in the coming weeks, including California, Texas, New York, and Florida events.

Ultimately, Haley’s chances of reinvigorating her campaign start in her home state. Her performance in South Carolina will be a key indicator of how voters in other states perceive her. Haley’s campaign understands the importance of presenting a winning image to garner support from undecided voters looking for a strong candidate.