Nikki Haley, former South Carolina governor and UN Ambassador, is rising to the top of the GOP nomination race at the perfect time.
Haley is still far from challenging Donald Trump at the national level. Haley’s performance in two debates and the Israeli-Hamas conflict becoming a major campaign issue has allowed GOP voters to take a second glance.
Haley went from a mere three percent to nearly 16 percent in New Hampshire. In Iowa, Haley went from an asterisk (a small mark) to over 10 percent. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis no longer targets Donald Trump during his campaign. He’s attacking Haley.
Establishment Republicans are increasingly calling for the field of GOP presidential candidates to be narrowed down to just one candidate to take on Trump. Nikki Haley is the candidate.
What’s the purpose? Trump is leading by 50 points, right? Donald Trump faces 91 criminal accusations. No matter whether you believe they are bogus or fabricated, or if it’s part of a conspiracy to bring down the former president, these charges are real. No matter what anyone believes, the charges are true. Trump will face at least four criminal trials before the end.
Do we know how Republican voters would react if Trump were convicted and sent to prison? We don’t. Speculating about it is pointless. Voting for a felon convicted of a crime is not an unprecedented situation.
Charles Diggs was convicted in 1978 of fraud for a scheme to pay kickbacks to his employees. He was re-elected to Congress a month after his prison sentence.
Diggs resigned from his position in June 1980 after the Congress convicted him in 1979. It is unclear what Trump would say if convicted and tried in any of his trials.
Haley’s supporters think that this puts her in the forefront as the best option for Trump. It’s also unclear whether that is true.
Whit Ayres is a Republican pollster who has been in the business for many years. He said that this news came at a good time. “Sometimes, the direction of movement can be as important as absolute standing — and she is going up while the other candidates either go down or remain flat.”
Haley has been gaining ground on DeSantis in Iowa despite Florida Governor Barnstorming and spending more money there.
Haley’s popularity has soared since the first debate with New Hampshire voters. She went from 3 percent in August to 19 percent and is now solidly second.
Ayres stated that “the rise is real.” It reflects not only her debate performance during the first two debates but also her performance at the podium.
Haley would only have a realistic chance of winning the nomination if Trump and her were the two remaining candidates. If not, we would see a repeat of 2016, with non-Trump candidates split into several groups and blocking any challengers from getting ahead of the frontrunner.
Haley’s candidacy is an interesting side-story to the Trump campaign until that time.