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Nikki Haley Defies Calls To Withdraw From Presidential Race, Heads to Michigan for Primaries

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Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley says it’s not “the end of our story.” The one-time Governor has refused to withdraw from the race despite calls from Republicans. Following Donald Trump’s easy primary victory in South Carolina, her home state, Haley has faced calls to step down from the race.

However, Haley remains committed to seeing her presidential bid through. Defying calls from South Carolina Republicans to exit the race, Haley traveled to Michigan on Sunday, February 25, 2024. After arriving at Michigan, which holds its primary on Tuesday, February 27, Haley addressed a hotel ballroom packed with hundreds of supporters.

Following her South Carolina loss to Trump, Haley’s campaign said she raised $1 million “from grassroots supporters alone.” The former Governor’s team said it “demonstrates Haley’s staying power and appeal to broad swaths of the American public.”

However, despite the alleged support from the grassroots, Haley’s loss to Trump dealt a blow to her campaign. The loss triggered the end of support for Haley’s campaign from Americans for Prosperity, the political arm of the Koch network.

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ALSO READ: Nikki Haley Warns Trump’s Court Cases Will Doom Republicans in the Coming Elections

In a memo, AFP Action senior adviser Emily Seidel wrote that the group “stands firm behind our endorsement” of Haley. However, the memo noted that it would “focus our resources where we can make the difference,” redirecting spending toward the U.S. Senate and House campaigns and away from Haley’s presidential bid.

“Given the challenges in the primary states ahead,” Seidel wrote. “We don’t believe any outside group can make a material difference to widen her path to victory.” Notably, AFP Action endorsed Haley’s campaign in November 2023. The group promised to commit its nationwide coalition of activists and virtually unlimited funds to help her defeat Trump.

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However, with Trump’s Saturday win in the first-in-the-South contest, things are not looking good for Nikki Haley. Trump has swept every primary or caucus on the GOP early-season calendar that awards delegates. His victories have left little maneuvering room for Haley, his former U.N. ambassador.

“I have never seen the Republican Party so unified as it is right now,” Trump said in a victory night celebration in Columbia. Regardless, Nikki Haley insists she is sticking around. With the growing pressure from Republicans to abandon her candidacy and let Trump be the party’s forerunner, Haley persists. 

Trump’s victory echoes Republicans’ wish for him to focus entirely on President Joe Biden in a 2020 rematch. However, Nikki Haley is not letting go without a fight. While speaking to a room full of supporters in Michigan, Haley gave the roughly half-hour speech typical of her events.

ALSO READ: “I Don’t Think He Should Be President,” Nikki Haley Condemns Trump Ahead of State’s Primary

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However, she added a few touches specific to the Michigan audience. Calling Biden’s incentivizing of electric vehicle programs “corporate welfare,” Haley condemned the unfairness of any requirement to switch to electric. “What about the fact that maybe we all don’t want to drive an electric car?” Haley asked the crowd.

“Have you seen how expensive they are?” Furthermore, Nikki Haley reiterated that she nearly notched 40% in South Carolina. She claimed it shows the stark percentage of voters who don’t favor Trump. According to the former Governor, it would make it hard for him to win the general election.

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