Nikki Haley faces an ultimatum by her donors before she heads to New Hampshire after finishing third in Iowa.
A new report says that simply finishing second in the primary election of the cycle will not suffice. Her donors expect her to win New Hampshire or “seriously contend,” which would imply losing by a single digit.
After finishing third in the Iowa Caucus, former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley faces pressure from her top fundraisers, to either compete seriously with Donald Trump or defeat him outright, in next week’s New Hampshire Primary.
Andy Sabin told CNBC that he would like to see Haley succeed, but she faces a mountainous task. “As much I like Haley as I do, I’m not sure what Trump can do right now to stop himself.”
Haley’s supporters who spoke with CNBC admitted that the race may be effectively over for Haley if she doesn’t come in second place to Trump, or if she can pull off a surprise win in New Hampshire.
Haley spins her performance in Iowa into a positive by claiming that she exceeded expectations. This is not going to work in New Hampshire where Haley has invested massive resources into securing a win. I don’t think that a second-place finish would be sufficient. I think that she has to win the race outright to change the narrative of South Carolina, which is her home state.
In a hypothetical world, if we’re talking about her, she would need to win in New Hampshire and keep the race close in South Carolina to make it to Super Tuesday. But the word “hypothetical’ is a powerful tool. In my post-Iowa article on Haley and Never Trump, I explained that her problem was that she doesn’t have a ceiling of popularity unless the Republican Party can overcome the odds.
Ron DeSantis is still a popular candidate in the Republican Party, despite what a few bitter people may say online. Haley’s favorability among GOP voters is only 50 percent. How can someone win a race in which both sides are involved when that dynamic is hanging over their heads? It would be very difficult if not even impossible.
Haley’s main accomplishment, in the end, is to ensure that Trump is the nominee. After Alvin Bragg’s indictment, it was never a good idea to try and defeat the former president. This led to a sharp increase in support for him within the GOP. Haley never had the popularity to make that kind of a shot. Haley may be hoping to stay in the background and hope that something will happen at the convention to prevent Trump from being nominated. However, this scenario is highly unlikely.