What are Nikki Haley’s chances in the US presidential election?
Nikki Haley, a former governor of South Carolina turned US ambassador to the UN under former President Donald Trump, announced that she is running to secure the Republican nomination for president in 2024. “I’m Nikki Haley and I’m running for president,” she said in a video statement.
The 51-year-old described her biography as one of a proud daughter of Indian immigrants who became governor in her home state of South Carolina. The video, shot in the town of Bamberg, South Carolina, where she was born, sought to cast the former governor turned ambassador as a younger alternative to Trump, who is currently 76 years old. “It’s time for a new generation of leadership — to rediscover fiscal responsibility, secure our border, and strengthen our country, our pride and our purpose,” she said in the video announcement.
What more do we know about Haley? Haley’s rising star came with a reputation as being a plain-spoken conservative. In the Trump administration, she was often cast as the face of diversity as a woman of Indian heritage in a Cabinet that was largely white and male. Her time in the Trump administration ended in 2018 and since then she has alternatively praised the Trump administration and admonished him for his personal behaviour. She was known to push back against him when she served in his Cabinet. Haley has criticized Trump’s efforts to subvert the outcome of the 2020 election but in the 2022 midterm election she did campaign for several candidates who denied the 2020 results.
Who else is seeking the Republican nomination? So far only Trump and Haley have formally announced their bids. Some analysts expect her announcement will trigger others, as more potential candidates are expected to announce in the coming weeks and months. Florida Governor Ron DeSantis is widely believed to be planning to compete. Former Vice President Mike Pence is also expected to make a run for the presidency. A Reuters/Ipsos poll released on Tuesday showed Trump leading by a double-digit margin over his closest rival, DeSantis. Trump had the support of 43% of registered Republicans, whereas DeSantis trailed with 31%, Pence with 7% and Haley only picked up 4%. The poll was conducted from February 6-13 with a sample of 1,465 registered Republicans nationwide, and a 3% margin of error. Other Republicans who are expected to make an announcement include US Senator Tim Scott of South Carolina, New Hampshire Governor Chris Sununu and the former governor of Arkansas, Asa Hutchinson.