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Saturday, May 25, 2024
Gov & Politics

Nikki Haley Is About to Run Straight Into Trump’s Firewall

Haley could pull off an upset in New Hampshire—but the rest of the primary calendar consists of Trump country.

Welcome to Trail Mix, your 2024 election sanity guide. See something interesting on the trail? Email me at [email protected].

This week, we look ahead to a major challenge facing Nikki Haley, even if she pulls off an early primary upset. Plus, an overview of the candidates’ closing messages before the first votes are cast.

BUILT THE WALL

Even if Nikki Haley’s dream scenario comes true—a strong finish in Iowa’s caucuses and an upset win in New Hampshire—she’s going to run headfirst into a lethal obstacle.

Call it the great Trump firewall.

After the early primary states, contests loom in late February and early March across a slate of states where the former president has a dominant upper hand—and where anyone else would have to work fast to establish any organization.

Donald Trump’s strength in delegate-rich states like Texas, North Carolina, and California—all of which vote on Super Tuesday, March 5—has GOP operatives foreseeing a swift end to this anticlimactic primary campaign, even if Haley, or potentially Ron DeSantis, manage to beat expectations.

“Right now it is very hard to map out where either Nikki or Ron beat Trump in any state,” a former senior Trump administration official looking to support a different candidate told The Daily Beast.

In past competitive primaries, campaigns have invested early in communications and organizing muscle for states voting on Super Tuesday and beyond. But Trump’s popularity across the board has meant that his challengers have had to go all-in on Iowa, New Hampshire, and South Carolina, in hopes of piercing his air of inevitability early and attracting quick donor investment in later states.

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This article was originally published on The Daily Beast and partially republished here, with permission.

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