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The Student Voice of Forest Hills Central

The Central Trend

The Student Voice of Forest Hills Central

The Central Trend

The Student Voice of Forest Hills Central

The Central Trend

By dropping out of the race for nomination, Nikki Haley had a massive effect on the 2024 presidential election

Former Republican candidate Nikki Haley during her presidential campaign this year.

On Tuesday, Mar. 5, 2024, Nikki Haley faced a major loss to former president Donald Trump in the ‘Super Tuesday’ primary elections. On the day following her extreme loss, Haley suspended her presidential campaign and left Trump as the last remaining major candidate for the 2024 Republican nomination.

In the final stretches of her campaign, Haley warned the Republican party against Trump, stating that he was too consumed by personal grievance to win the general election over President Joe Biden. After leaving the race, Haley grew no more supportive of Trump. In a speech given in South Carolina, instead of endorsing Trump, she openly challenged him to gain the support of the moderate Republicans and independent voters who had supported her during her campaign.

“It is now up to Donald Trump to earn the votes of those in our party and beyond who did not support him,” she said, “and I hope he does that. At its best, politics is about bringing people into your cause, not turning them away. And our conservative cause badly needs more people.”

Haley is a former Governor of South Carolina and UN ambassador. Although the loss she faced on Super Tuesday was drastic, she became Trump’s first significant rival when she joined the race in Feb. 2023.

Haley’s suspension left the Republican party divided, especially with Trump’s statement that all Haley donors would be permanently banned from his movement.

She was most popular among moderates and college-educated voters, both of which are groups who play a pivotal role in the general election. Haley’s suspension left the Republican party divided, especially with Trump’s statement that all Haley donors would be permanently banned from his movement.

The night of Super Tuesday, Trump declared that the Republican party was united behind him, and the next day his campaign falsely claimed that Haley had endorsed his candidacy. Haley’s spokesperson, Olivia Perez-Cubas, quickly responded to Trump, saying, “Unity is not achieved by simply claiming, ‘We’re united.’ Today, in state after state, there remains a large block of Republican primary voters who are expressing deep concerns about Donald Trump. That is not the unity our party needs for success.”

By staying in the campaign as long as she has, Haley drew enough support from college-educated voters to reveal how weak the support for Trump was in those areas. After the suspension of Haley’s campaign, Trump extended an invitation to all Haley supporters to “join the greatest movement in the history of our nation.” However, Trump has gained little support from those groups, and his previous renouncement of Haley donors lost even more support for his movement.

Following Haley’s suspension and Trump’s statements, Biden took advantage of the precarious Republican situation, acknowledging Trump’s previous rejection of her supporters and welcoming any voters who had backed Haley.

“Donald Trump made it clear he doesn’t want Nikki Haley’s supporters,” Biden said in a statement. “I want to be clear: There is a place for them in my campaign. I know there is a lot we won’t agree on, but on the fundamental issues of preserving American democracy, on standing up for the rule of law, on treating each other with decency and dignity and respect…I hope and believe we can find common ground.”

By dropping out of the race, Haley has pushed multiple groups of voters to vote Democratic and ultimately for President Biden in November. Groups of independents that had been targeted to vote for Haley over Trump in the primaries are now being persuaded to support Biden, subsequently affecting the eventual outcome of the entire presidential election.

Although she is now leaving the 2024 presidential contest, Haley made history during her campaign. When she beat Trump in the District of Columbia and Vermont primary elections, Haley became the first woman to win a Republican primary contest. Along the way, she has also set herself up with a strong and elevated national profile that will be helpful if she decides to run again in the future.

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About the Contributor
Evelyn Alt
Evelyn Alt, Copy Editor
Evelyn is a sophomore entering her second year on The Central Trend. Outside of school, she enjoys reading and hanging out with her friends. Her other interests include playing with her cat, Minerva, and going to Barnes and Noble with her sister, Millie. She is excited for another year writing on The Central Trend staff and looking forward to everything in her future. Favorite color: red Favorite food: anything chocolate Favorite season: Summer Favorite books: The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue by V.E. Schwab and If We Were Villains by M.L. Rio  

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