Former South Carolina Governor and United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley announced her candidacy for the presidency on Tuesday. With the exception of former President Donald Trump, Haley is the only other candidate that has officially announced her candidacy for the Republican nomination.
However, there is a long line of Republicans besides Trump and Haley who are expected to launch 2024 presidential campaigns in the coming months, including Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, former Vice President Mike Pence, and former Maryland Governor Larry Hogan.
According to the Associated Press, Haley announced her bid for the presidency through a video posted on Twitter. “You should know this about me. I don’t put up with bullies. And when you kick back, it hurts them more if you’re wearing heels,” Haley said in the video. “I’m Nikki Haley, and I’m running for president,” she continued. She also called for “a new generation of leadership” in her announcement video, which some see as a dig towards her former boss, Trump.
Trump was quick to voice his opinions regarding Haley’s candidacy. “Nikki Haley had a hard time making the decision to run for president because she very publicly stated that she ‘would never run against the President. He did a great job and was the best President in my lifetime.’ I told Nikki to follow her heart, not her ambition or belief. Who knows, stranger things have happened. She’s polling at 1 percent, not a bad start!!!” said Trump on Truth Social on Wednesday.
Haley did previously state that she would not run against the former President, which has drawn criticism from Trump and his supporters.
Trump also criticized Haley for supporting cuts to Social Security and Medicare in the past. According to The Hill, Trump’s campaign sent out an email noting that Haley supported former Speaker of the House Paul Ryan’s (R-WI) plan to eliminate Medicare and turn it into a voucher system.
Haley has been very successful in her past elections. According to the Associated Press, she started her political career by defeating Larry Koon in a primary runoff for the South Carolina House in 2004. She ran unopposed in the general election and served three terms in that seat.
In 2010, she won the race for governor in South Carolina, making her the state’s first female and minority governor.
She won reelection in 2014 before going on to serve as the United Nations Ambassador to President Trump from 2017 to 2018. As Governor, Haley is primarily remembered for changing her stance on flying the confederate flag on the State House grounds following the 2015 Charleston church shooting, which resulted in the death of nine black parishioners. The flag was removed from the State House grounds shortly after the shooting.
Monmouth recently released their latest poll regarding the potential Republican nominee. The results show that when asked who they would like to see as the Republican nominee for president in 2024, most GOP voters see DeSantis and Trump, who both came in at 33 percent, as the only real contenders. Haley and a few others, including Senator Ted Cruz, Senator Rand Paul, and former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, are polling at 1 percent.
Former Vice President Mike Pence came in at 2 percent. Like Monmouth, many other polls are showing close contests between Trump and DeSantis.
However, polls out of Morning Consult and Marquette Law School both show that DeSantis seems to be more electable than Trump in a general election against President Joe Biden.
“Haley could be a wild card in 2024,” a senior political science student said of the politician’s announcement. “It’s very possible that she can draw away support from either Trump or DeSantis, which would more or less result in a much easier pathway to victory for one of them.”
Another senior political science student said, “Haley’s introduction into the race is a semi wildcard. It’s not a surprise, but I wouldn’t say it was expected. It will also be interesting to see which side of the Republican Party Haley panders too: whether it be its more extreme right wing, a moderate path, or a revival of the old liberal cadre.”
A sophomore homeland security student said, “Haley does not stand a chance of winning. Her polling is below 2 percent, and what is clearly obvious is that this upcoming Republican race is between Trump and DeSantis and nobody else. What will be interesting is seeing who Haley pulls votes from, as it can help determine certain swing districts in the 2024 election.”