Poll: It's All Over in South Carolina but the Voting

Trump has huge lead over Nikki Haley, as she insists she's staying in the race no matter what
By Polly Davis Doig,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 20, 2024 12:24 PM CST
Poll: It's All Over in South Carolina but the Voting
Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley speaks at a campaign event on Monday, Feb. 19, 2024, in Greer, SC.   (AP Photo/David Yeazell)

South Carolina elected Nikki Haley governor two times, but a new poll suggests that Republican voters are not inclined to send her to the White House. Haley faces former President Trump in the Republican primary in her home state on Saturday, where she had hoped to save face after poor showings in previous votes, but face-saving doesn't look to be in the cards, according to a new Suffolk University/USA Today poll that finds the former UN ambassador trailing her former boss in double digits. However, Haley made clear on Tuesday that even a big loss won't cause her to drop out. The gist:

  • Among very likely voters: Trump leads Haley by 63% to 35%.
  • Among military families: Trump leads Haley by 65% to 33%. This despite his slam on Haley's husband for being "gone" during the campaign—when Michael Haley is serving overseas in the military.
  • Favorable opinions: Of those with a favorable opinion of Trump, 90% are likely to vote for him. Haley's comparable numbers are 65%.
  • Possible silver lining for Haley: Among liberals and moderates, she holds a lead of 59% to 38%. Among first-time GOP primary voters, she holds a slim 51% to 49% lead.
  • Staying in: Haley said Tuesday she is not leaving the race no matter what happens in her home state. "Ten days after South Carolina, another 20 states vote," she said, per the AP. "I mean, this isn't Russia. ...What is the rush? Why is everybody so panicked about me having to get out of this race?" The New York Times notes that she also said in her Greenville speech that "I feel no need to kiss the ring," adding, "I have no fear of Trump's retribution." Another line: "Do we really want to spend every day from now until November, watching America's most two most disliked politicians duking it out? No sane person wants that."
(More South Carolina primary stories.)

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