Could Nikki Haley still be a genuine alternative?

Trump's people keep demanding that Haley quit and accept his victory. But she won't do it.

Despite successive massive defeats against Donald Trump in the primary votes and the former President’s continued clean sweep that included her ‘home state’ of South Carolina and, at the weekend, the Missouri, Michigan and Idaho caucuses, Nikki Haley refuses to quit to remain the last remaining contestant to the former President’s Republican party nomination.

At the weekend, the 77-year-old former President continued his clean sweep of states that pushed him closer to securing the Republican presidential nomination. In contrast, Nikki Haley only just managed to secure her first victory, after winning the vote in the District of Columbia this weekend. She won 62.9% of the vote as against Trump’s 33.2%, and this makes her the first-ever woman to win a Republican primary. CBS reports that Haley will receive all 19 Republican delegates who were up for grabs in Washington DC, giving her 43 delegates nationwide – well behind Trump’s 247. However, the odds favour Trump, who is expected to secure the nomination for the 5th November presidential election.

Trump’s people keep demanding that Haley quit and accept his victory. But she won’t do it. She has re-committed to staying in the race until at least Super Tuesday – 5th March – when voters in 16 states will cast their ballots on the same day to choose about a third of the total delegates for the presidential nomination. “Just now, I’m not going anywhere, but I a woman of my word. I’m in this for the long haul. And this will be messy,” the former UN ambassador said.

Haley still has the support of several wealthy donors. She reportedly raised $16.5 million last month when her primary challenge to Trump was already clearly doomed. However, she recently received a hard blow when Koch network, financed largely by billionaire Charles Kock, said it would no longer spend funds to fund her presidential bid. The group no longer believes it can make a meaningful difference for her in the race.

Several Republics still see Haley as the obvious next-best choice if Donald Trump is eliminated from the race, resulting from scandal or a criminal conviction. If that should happen before November, then she will be the party’s only choice, which would unite behind her to challenge Joe Biden for the US Presidency.

Nikki Haley is staying in the race by appealing to the substantial number of Republicans who feel that Trump has hijacked their party. She warns that Trump is “more unstable and unhinged” than he was during his first term in the White House. When Trump urged Russia’s President Vladimir Putin to attack any NATO member who fails to meet the 2% target for defence spending, Haley told him: “Don’t take the side of a thug who kills his opponents.”

She believes that many politicians who now publicly embrace Trump privately dread him. “They know what a disaster he’s been and will continue to be for our party. They’re just too afraid to say it out loud,” she said.

Yes, Trump may postpone most of the pending trials and keep appealing the guilty verdicts long enough to remain out of prison and contest the election in November. It’s less likely that he will win it, although the American media do their best to make it look like a cliffhanger.

Donald Trump seems unbeatable, and his opponents have never looked capable of beating him. However, if he is convicted of a criminal charge or is incapable of contesting for some reason, many of his apparent supporters in the Republican Party could drop him from the ticket, mainly because they think he will lose them the election.

Haley and her allies argue her vote share says something about how Republicans view Trump and how the party will fare in November. It is a fact that many Republicans who support Nikki Haley say they could never vote for Trump, which could be a huge problem for his campaign against Joe Biden. They argue that her vote share says something about how Republicans view Trump and how the party will fare in November.

However, some observers believe they will only move against Trump if a viable alternative presidential candidate is available, and Nikki Haley is that candidate. Observers believe that is why the money keeps flowing to Haley’s campaign, although her chances of winning verge on the impossible.

Trump’s legal troubles are all-consuming as he will be in a courtroom all of March, April, May, and June. As such, Haley keeps asking whether one can win an election as these cases keep going and the judgments keep coming.

That is why Nikki Haley, who has said she does not think Trump can defeat President Joe Biden, still sees herself as a genuine alternative to the Republican vote. 

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