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Why is Nikki Haley refusing to quit GOP race? It’s the math

via PBS
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Nikki Haley, the last Republican challenging Donald Trump for the 2024 GOP nomination, faces a significant lead by Trump in polls.

Despite this, she is determined to continue campaigning, citing the delegate math and upcoming primaries.

“I refuse to quit,” Haley said. “I feel no need to kiss the ring. I have no fear of Trump’s retribution. I’m not looking for anything from him.”

Haley’s team acknowledged the challenging road ahead, especially with winner-take-all contests looming.

Speculation has arisen regarding Haley’s potential strategies, including weakening Trump for the general election or positioning for a comeback in 2028.

“You need 1,215 delegates. Coming out of New Hampshire, [Trump] had 32, I had 17,” Hailey said. “We’ve got multiple states after South Carolina — within 10 days, we’re going to have hit 20 states. Let it happen.”

“Don’t discount that I ended up with 20% in Iowa when y’all said I wouldn’t make it,” she said. “Don’t discount that I got 43% in New Hampshire, and don’t discount me now.

“Why would I get out as long as we keep it competitive?” she added.

Haley hinted at a legal shift that could sway Republican delegates at the convention.

While Haley’s path to victory seems slim, the possibility of Trump facing criminal indictments adds a layer of uncertainty to the race.

“Instead of asking me what states I’m gonna win, why don’t we ask how he’s gonna win a general election after spending a full year in a courtroom?” Haley said. “People are not looking six months down the road when these court cases have taken place. He’s going to be in a courtroom all of March, April, May and June. How in the world do you win a general election when these cases keep going and the judgments keep coming?”

Various commentators commented on Haley’s tactics and potential scenarios in her bid against Trump.

“[Haley] is wagering that Trump cannot keep his composure. … And that a majority of voters, already embarrassed and exhausted by Trump, will be more so if he has a testosterone spill when she relentlessly needles him about being afraid to debate someone with two X chromosomes. … Trump’s operatives cannot know what he does not know: what he will say next. One of Haley’s tasks is to trigger him,” George Will wrote.

“If Haley can keep getting a respectable share of the vote against Trump — if she can perhaps even win a couple of primaries on Super Tuesday (Hey, fellow Virginians, time to step up!) — she can keep going. Which will increase the number of Americans who’ll hear her increasingly strong and trenchant criticisms of Trump, who’ll observe the disgusting behavior of Trumpists and Trump in response, and who’ll recoil from Trump in November,” William Kristol said.

“The No Labels group that has contemplated backing a third-party ticket for president should recruit Nikki Haley. … No Labels is a bipartisan effort to offer candidates who would appeal to a broader swath of voters, including moderates and independents. Haley has designed her campaign around being that kind of candidate, which has turned off the far right of the GOP — the ones who traditionally show up for primaries. It will be a different story in the general election,” Ingrid Jacques said.

“Trump has ‘changed her brand-thinking.’ Instead of gunning for some sort of role in MAGA world, Haley can portray herself as the last person standing in the war against Trumpism — a position that many men before her have fought for and failed to achieve. If she can do that, she can consolidate a leadership future for herself, post-Trump,” Elaine Godfrey said.

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