Washington: Indian-American Nikki Haley, the former two-term governor of South Carolina, is the last one standing against Donald Trump, the leading Republican presidential candidate, her campaign said on Tuesday as it released another advertisement in New Hampshire where the next primary is scheduled for next week.
The Iowa results and the New Hampshire polls show Trump, 77, is more vulnerable than commonly believed. He is the polarizing figure he has long been, Betsy Ankney, campaign manager of 51-year-old Haley said in a State of the Race Memo, a day after the former US Ambassador to the United Nations came a strong third in the Iowa Caucus of the Republican presidential race.
The Iowa Caucus traditionally kicks off the primary race as it moves to all of the 50 States over the next few months before culminating in the party delegates nominating the winner of these primaries in the Republican National Convention which is scheduled to be held in July in Wisconsin. Trump, her former boss and the former president, handsomely won the Iowa caucus with 51 per cent of the total votes counted.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis came second with 21.2 per cent of the votes with Haley closely following him with 19.1 per cent of the votes. Indian American entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy announced to drop out of the race with a dismal showing of 7.7 per cent of the votes.
Haley, though she came third after Trump and DeSantis, strongly believes that she has the pathway to victory, as the primary now moves to New Hampshire next week and her home State of South Carolina next month, which Ankney said less Trump-friendly territory.
“Trump and Biden are the two most disliked politicians in America. Around half of Republican primary voters want more of Trump and around half prefer an alternative. That is the picture of a seriously contested nomination,” Ankney said in a campaign memo. In New Hampshire, Haley is polling strong and is far ahead of DeSantis.
Tuesday morning, her campaign released a new ad “Better Choice” in New Hampshire, which paints a clear contrast between the drama and chaos of Trump and Biden, and Haley’s vision for a strong and proud America.
“Biden has rained chaos down on America, but you can’t beat Democrat chaos with Republican chaos,” said Haley spokesperson Olivia Perez-Cubas. “The choice for Granite Staters is clear: two names from the past who are consumed by the past, or a new generation of conservative leadership with Nikki Haley. Trump and Biden are the two most-disliked politicians in the country. There’s a better choice, and that choice is Nikki Haley,” he said.
According to her campaign manager, Haley routinely performs better than Trump in head-to-head matchups against Biden. With Trump, it will be another nail-biter election, likely followed by endless legal disputes. “With Haley, it will be a landslide. After the Biden-Harris disaster, Republicans want a winner,” he claimed and noted that historically, incumbent presidents who have struggled in New Hampshire have failed to recapture the White House.
In 1968, President Lyndon Johnson won 48% of the vote in the New Hampshire Democratic primary. He withdrew from the race 19 days later. In 1976, President Gerald Ford won 49% of the vote in the New Hampshire Republican primary. That set the stage for a protracted nominating contest and ultimately Ford’s loss in the general election. In 1992, President George H.W. Bush won 58% of the vote in the New Hampshire Republican primary. That precipitated an extended nominating contest and ultimately Bush’s loss in the general election.
“Currently, Donald Trump’s RCP average vote share in New Hampshire is 43.5%. That is historically bad, trailing far behind Johnson, Ford, and Bush’s final numbers. Trump’s weakness with Independents is well established. But a number in the low forties also indicates significant weakness with New Hampshire Republicans too,” Ankney said.
Trump, who political pundits believe would be the party’s nominee against President Biden, said that his historic victory makes it clear that Iowans want a return to secure borders, a prosperous economy, and world peace.
“Nikki Haley and Ron DeSantis, on the other hand, failed despite spending tens of millions of dollars in Iowa,” the Trump campaign said.