Tuesday, February 06, 2024 by Laura Harris
A recent poll reveals that former President Donald Trump has emerged with a commanding 35-point lead over his last remaining Republican primary opponent, former Gov. Nikki Haley, in her home state of South Carolina.
The poll, conducted by Fabrizio, Lee and Associates for the pro-Trump MAGA Inc. PAC and published by The Messenger, shows that Trump enjoys a strong 66 percent support among likely South Carolina Republican primary voters, more than doubling the 31 percent of Haley.
The support for Trump is a combination of 59 percent of respondents who will “definitely” vote for him and six percent who “probably” will. Meanwhile, support for Haley comprises seven percent of those who “probably” will and 24 percent who “definitely” will. The remaining four percent are undecided, and even if they all vote for Haley it is unlikely to change the outcome of the primary.
However, when voters are informed that former Rep. Liz Cheney (R-WY) endorsed Haley, her support drops to 29 percent, while support for Trump remains unchanged. The poll also explored the impact of an anti-Trump ad from the Haley campaign, but it appears to have little sway over voters. Even among those who viewed the ad, 64 percent expressed support for Trump, while 33 percent backed Haley. (Related: Nikki Haley moves up, now behind only Donald Trump in New Hampshire poll; DeSantis lands at third place.)
The poll, sampling 600 likely primary voters from Jan. 28 to 29, with a margin of error of plus or minus four percentage points, further highlights that over two-thirds of all respondents approved of Haley’s performance as governor. However, even among those who gave her positive marks, Trump still leads 56 percent to 40 percent.
“Despite her positive job approval and millions in attack ads against President Trump, Republican primary voters in South Carolina remain unswayed by Haley’s weak attempts to change their minds. South Carolina solidly remains Trump country,” noted the memo accompanying the poll results.
Trump has already secured victories in Iowa and New Hampshire for the Republican nomination. The GOP field has witnessed rapid consolidation, with prominent party figures advocating for unity behind the 45th president.
On Jan. 31, Haley only received 43 percent of the vote in New Hampshire, compared to 54 percent for Trump. The Iowa caucuses on Jan. 22 also showed similar results, with Trump receiving 51 percent and Haley 19 percent. Despite this, Haley has declared her intention to stay in the Republican primary race through Super Tuesday on March 5.
“The political class and the media want to give Donald Trump a coronation. That isn’t how this works. While members of Congress, the press and many of the weak-kneed fellas who ran for president are giving up and giving in – we aren’t going anywhere,” said Betsy Ankey, Haley’s campaign manager.
However, political analysts, including Northeastern University associate professor Nick Beauchamp, suggest this strategy may be a mistake.
According to Beauchamp, the decision to persist in the race might damage the long-term reputation of Haley, especially considering that polls show her trailing Trump in her home state of South Carolina. The state is known for its conservative stance, with fewer moderate and independent voters compared to New Hampshire.
“Staying on until Super Tuesday might be kind of just foolish in terms of maintaining your long-term reputation. There’s so little chance of [Trump] not being the nominee, that sort of ‘wait-and-see’ strategy just doesn’t work very much,” Beauchamp said.
Follow VoteRepublican.news to learn more about the candidates in the GOP presidential primary.
Watch this clip from Fox Business discussing how Haley could get disastrously defeated in South Carolina.
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