Nolte: Nikki Haley Thinks Home State of SC Will Save Her – She’s Down 30 Points

Former Gov. Nikki Haley (R-SC) believes she can steal the GOP nomination from former President Trump in her home state of South Carolina.

The math says differently.

Far-left NBC News lays out Haley’s cunning plan this way:

The former South Carolina governor has staked her hopes of wresting the 2024 Republican presidential nomination from former President Donald Trump on the idea that she can survive January contests in Iowa and New Hampshire that will thin the GOP field and then defeat him in a one-on-one battle here in her backyard.

“So far,” adds NBC News, “she hasn’t made the sale.”

I should say not.

In the Real Clear Politics (RCP) average poll of South Carolina primary polls, The Donald is currently 30.5 points ahead of his second-place challenger, Haley — 49.3 percent to 18.8 percent.

Since July, RCP has listed seven polls out of South Carolina. Trump has not dipped below 46 percent in a single one of those polls. In the three most recent polls, he sits between 51 and 53 percent.

Before I talk more about Haley’s math issue in South Carolina, let’s look at Iowa and New Hampshire, the two primary states that vote first.

In the RCP average poll of Iowa primary polls, Trump is up 29.7 points. His closest challenger, Gov. Ron DeSantis (R-FL), sits at 17.3 percent to Trump’s 47 percent. Haley is in third place at 14.3 percent.

In the RCP average poll of New Hampshire primary polls, Trump is up 27 points. His closest challenger, Haley, sits at 18.7 percent to Trump’s 45.7 percent.

So Trump is up…

  • +29.7 in Iowa at 47 percent.
  • +27 in New Hampshire at 45.7 percent.
  • +30.5 in South Carolina at 49.3 percent.

Former President Donald Trump arrives to speak at a campaign rally in Hialeah, Fla., Wednesday, Nov. 8, 2023. (Lynne Sladky/AP)

And here’s the math…

All that’s required to win an election is 50 percent of the vote plus one more vote.

Forget the fact that Trump tends to underpoll. For example, in 2016, polls had Trump leading the New Hampshire primary race with 31.2 percent support. He ended up winning with 35.3 percent. In the 2016 primary, South Carolina polls had Trump ahead with 31.8 percent. He won with 32.5 percent. He did underperform polling in Iowa by four points (28.6 percent to 24.3 percent) and lost to Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX), but near the end, that race was an up-and-down street fight between the two. There is no up or down in Iowa today. Trump never had a comfortable Iowa lead in 2016. Today, he’s up nearly 30 points.

But let’s say Haley’s plot works, and it’s just her and Trump in South Carolina on primary day (which is unlikely). Trump is currently sitting with 49.3 percent support in South Carolina, which means he needs less than one point of support from the DeSantis, Tim Scott, and Vivek Ramaswamy camps to come his way. Haley would need 36 points!

That’s not going to happen.

The only primary Haley is kind of winning right now is the media primary. Haley understands the corporate media love a horse race, so she’s (quite effectively) spinning DeSantis as a loser and setting herself up as number two.


Number two is still behind by nearly 30 points.


Number one (Trump) is romantically close to 50 percent — which is the only number that counts.

Another issue hurting Haley is that the corporate media are desperate for Trump to win the nomination. The fake media believe Biden’s chances of reelection are best against Trump, and the desire to keep a Democrat in the White House is more important to the media than 1) facts, 2) morality), 3) fair elections, or 4) the clicks that boost advertising revenue during a hot primary race.

If Trump were gone and DeSantis was up 30 in these early primary states, the corporate media would do what they always do: attempt to turn the primary into a horse race by boosting Haley. In other words, the media would seek to shape and meddle in the primary rather than report on it. That’s not happening this year because the media want Trump, and Trump is winning.

Something else must be said: Nikki Haley is a terrible national politician. Only by comparison to the dreadful DeSantis campaign does she look anything close to competent. Haley thinks it’s 2004. But…

It might be that she’s not running for the top spot. Instead, she’s holding on to her establishment credentials to become Trump’s VP pick, making the ticket more tolerable to all that establishment money and support in a general election. If that’s the play here, some of her mistakes make sense. But only some.

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