Trump at the Top of the GOP Field in South Carolina But Haley is Closing – According to a new poll released by CNN and conducted by SSRS, Donald Trump is the candidate to beat in the Republican Party’s primary in South Carolina. The former president even topped the state’s former Governor, Nikki Haley, with 53 percent supporting Trump, with 22 percent backing Haley.
Currently, 11 percent of the poll’s respondents said they’d support Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, while South Carolina Senator Tim Scott secured just six percent of supporters in his home state. No other GOP candidate had more than two percent support.
South Carolina is seen as a make-or-break moment for the field, as it is one of the earliest contests in the GOP nominating calendar – holding its Republican primary on February 24, after Iowa, New Hampshire, and Nevada. The former two states are reasonably solid “blue states.” Moreover, Trump’s support in the Palmetto State is slightly less than his leads in CNN’s recent national polls and in Nevada.
Haley on the Rise?
Though Haley still trails Trump in her home state by more than 30 points, she has seen a rise in the polls and has closed on DeSantis for second place behind Trump – and was tied with the Florida governor for second in an Iowa poll released on Monday.
The former UN ambassador and former South Carolina governor also came in second place in South Carolina in a Monmouth University-Washington Post poll released last month, where she trailed Trump by 28 points.
In addition, the CNN poll found that in South Carolina, Haley had room to grow her support – as almost 20 percent said they would consider her to be their second choice for the nomination, just behind the 24 percent who said they’d throw their support to DeSantis.
Scrappy Underdog Taking on Trump
On Monday, Haley officially filed the paperwork to appear on South Carolina’s 2024 presidential primary ballot. It came just days after the GOP field saw its biggest shake-up when former Vice President Mike Pence announced he would suspend his campaign.
Haley also acknowledged the commanding lead maintained by Trump, tell reporters on Monday, “I got one more felIa I gotta catch up to, and I am determined to do it. We’ll get it done.”
“I’ve always been the underdog. I enjoy that,” she added. “It’s what makes me scrappy. But no one’s going to outwork me in this race. No one’s going to outsmart me in this race. It is slow and steady wins the race.”
Haley was further asked if Pence could make a possible running mate.
“Right now I am not focused on running mates,” Haley responded. “I think I have to focus on Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina. So that’s what we’re doing. But look, I think we have an amazing, talented group of Republicans that would be great vice presidential picks.”
Author Experience and Expertise:
A Senior Editor for 19FortyFive, Peter Suciu is a Michigan-based writer. He has contributed to more than four dozen magazines, newspapers, and websites with over 3,200 published pieces over a twenty-year career in journalism. He regularly writes about military hardware, firearms history, cybersecurity, politics, and international affairs. Peter is also a Contributing Writer for Forbes and Clearance Jobs. You can follow him on Twitter: @PeterSuciu.