Nikki Haley Gains Momentum Amid DeSantis Slump – Former United Nations ambassador Nikki Haley is gaining ground and emerging as a challenger to former President Donald Trump.
While Florida Governor Ron DeSantis has struggled to gain traction, Haley’s performances in GOP primary debates have garnered widespread praise, elevating her in primary polling and drawing increased attention from Trump himself.
Recent polling data has shown a rise in Haley’s popularity, positioning her as a strong contender. In New Hampshire, she secured second place behind Trump, with a 19 percent lead, as per polling from Suffolk University, The Boston Globe, and USA Today. Nationally, Haley is now in third place, closely tailing DeSantis in the race.
DeSantis Support Slumps, Nikki Haley Is Rising
Republican strategist Ford O’Connell told The Hill, “Nikki Haley’s rise or piqued interest, among particularly donors and Trump critics is due more to Ron DeSantis’s falling in the polls than anything else.”
Haley’s momentum received a significant boost when former GOP presidential candidate, former Rep. Will Hurd, endorsed her, emphasizing her ability to articulate a different vision for the country.
Conservative commentator George Will, in a column for the Washington Post, called on Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) to back Haley, further underlining her growing influence within the party. Haley’s campaign strategy has centered on intensive engagement with voters, particularly in early contest states like New Hampshire, where she has garnered substantial support.
Trump’s critics within the party have taken note of his focus shifting toward Haley as she gains ground in the polls. Despite Trump’s dominance in the polls, some speculate that his growing legal challenges may create an opening for an alternative candidate like Haley.
Despite the tough competition, DeSantis remains a significant player in the primaries. He downplayed Haley’s experience as a U.N. ambassador, emphasizing his disapproval of the U.N.’s actions regarding Israel. DeSantis’s strategic allocation of resources in Iowa, compared to Haley’s focus on New Hampshire, underscores the differences in their primary approaches.
While it remains a challenging feat for any candidate to surpass Trump’s lead in the primary race, Haley’s consistent rise suggests a changing landscape. As the 2024 election draws closer, the GOP primary promises to be a battleground where Haley and other challengers attempt to shift the party’s trajectory.
Rows With Ramaswamy
During last week’s second GOP debate, Haley fervently debated fellow candidate Vivek Ramaswamy over his foreign policy stances, effectively portraying her depth of experience in the field. This strategy has resonated with voters, leading to her surge in the New Hampshire polls.
In a notable confrontation, Haley criticized Ramaswamy’s view of TikTok as “one of the most dangerous social media apps,” expressing exasperation at his positions. Ramaswamy’s campaign even suggested he might skip future debates, as his support has remained in the single digits since.
Haley’s appeal has transcended party lines, with some registered Democrats switching their affiliations to vote for her in the Republican primary. This shift is a testament to her ability to resonate with a broad spectrum of voters.
The New Hampshire primary, set to take place in late January, is still several months away. While Trump maintains a strong lead, Haley’s surge is indicative of a changing political landscape. With her passionate and impactful performances, she is drawing attention and support from various corners, making her a contender to watch in the upcoming primaries
Georgia Gilholy is a journalist based in the United Kingdom who has been published in Newsweek, The Times of Israel, and the Spectator. Gilholy writes about international politics, culture, and education.