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Trump Trouncing Haley Days Before South Carolina Primary: Survey

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OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author's opinion.


Former President Donald Trump seems to be on a glide path to another major primary victory, this time in South Carolina, the home state of Nikki Haley.

According to a Suffolk University/USA Today survey released on Tuesday, Trump holds a large double-digit lead over Haley, a former governor of South Carolina and his one-time UN ambassador. Among those likely to vote in the Saturday primary, Trump leads Haley 63 percent to 35 percent, according to the survey, which was conducted Feb. 15–18, Fox News reported.

“The survey is the latest this month to suggest Haley faces a steep uphill climb in her home state,” the outlet reported, adding:

Getting past the top lines, the poll also indicates Trump with a massive 72% to 25% lead among Republicans questioned, with Haley holding a narrow 53%-46% advantage among independents.

While South Carolina’s GOP primary is open to all voters as long as they have not already cast a ballot in the Feb. 3 Democratic presidential primary, nearly two-thirds of those sampled by the poll indicated they were Republicans, with only 28% identifying as independents.

Independents helped fuel Haley’s 43% finish in last month’s New Hampshire GOP presidential primary, 11 points behind Trump.

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Despite losing the first four GOP presidential primary races to Trump and every single poll showing she’s headed for a blowout loss in her home state of South Carolina on Saturday, Haley vowed on Tuesday to stay in the race.

Haley gave what she dubbed a “state of the presidential race” on Tuesday afternoon, arguing that she plans to continue with her campaign.

“We’ve all heard the calls for me to drop out. We all know where they’re coming from: the political elite, the party bosses, the cheerleaders in the commentator world. The argument is familiar. They say I haven’t won a state, that my path to victory is slim. They point to the primary polls and say I’m only delaying the inevitable. Why keep fighting when the battle was apparently over after Iowa?” Haley began.

“Look, I get it. In politics, the herd mentality is enormously strong. A lot of Republican politicians have surrendered to it. The pressure on them was way too much. They didn’t want to be left out of the club. Of course, many of the same politicians who now publicly embrace Trump privately dread him,” she said.

She added: “They know what a disaster he’s been and will continue to be for our party. They’re just too afraid to say it out loud. Well, I’m not afraid to say the hard truth out loud. I feel no need to kiss the ring. I have no fear of Trump’s retribution. I’m not looking for anything from him.”

WATCH:

On Sunday, Haley refused to say whether she would support Trump in November if he wins the nomination.

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During an appearance on ABC with Jonathan Karl, the host tried on a few occasions to pin the former South Carolina governor and UN ambassador down over whether she’d support Trump if he became the nominee.

“I’m running against him because I don’t think he should be president,” she said, according to Politico.

“The last thing on my mind is who I’m going to support. The only thing on my mind is how we’re going to win this,” the outlet added.

After Karl tried again to pin her down on a response, Haley replied, “I’m going to run, and I’m going to win, and y’all can talk about support later. Right now, you can ask him if he’s going to support me when I’m the nominee.”

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While not a complete reversal, the shift in rhetoric signals a change in perspective.

Previously, she had stated that she would support Trump if he emerged victorious in the then-crowded primary.

“I would support him because I am not going to have a President Kamala Harris. We can’t afford that. That is not going to happen,” she said on CNBC in July 2023.

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