Nikki Haley Says She'll Vote for Trump - Will Her Voters Do the Same?

AP Photo/Carlos Osorio

Former South Carolina Governor/UN Ambassador/Presidential Candidate Nikki Haley has finally announced whether or not she is going to be casting a vote in November, and who that vote will be for.


For months, Haley has not committed to voting for former president Donald Trump, despite many conservatives calling for her to. Republican candidates had pledged to support the eventual nominee, but Haley's silence was causing concern and frustration as the country careened closer to the November election.

On Wednesday, however, Haley finally made her choice known.

Former UN ambassador and GOP presidential candidate Nikki Haley said Wednesday that she will vote for former President Trump in November, a shake-up to the 2024 race.

Why it matters: Haley's nod could give Trump a boost as he's repeatedly struggled to court her voters in recent GOP primaries, even after she suspended her presidential campaign.

  • Haley has continued to draw about 20% in GOP primary contests, creating a warning sign for Trump's campaign.
  • She also drew double-digit vote shares in key suburban counties in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin and Georgia, areas that could determine the election.

Haley announced her intention to vote for Trump during a conversation at the Hudson Institute.

"I will be voting for Trump," she said at the event. "Having said that, I stand by what I said in my suspension speech. Trump would be smart to reach out to the millions of people who voted for me and continue to support me."


Trump and Haley traded nasty barbs during the campaign, though neither shared a debate stage. The former president refused to take part in debates, while Haley used those stages, as well as other public comments, to go after Trump. While Haley succeeded in winning a not-insignificant number of moderate Republicans (and some Democrats in the more open-primary contests), Trump was virtually unstoppable in the primaries.

Haley's biggest successes then, however, are Trump's biggest weaknesses now: Suburban voters, even Republican ones, are hesitant when it comes to the former president. Suburban moms, in particular, trend more toward incumbent president Joe Biden rather than Trump.

Still, the last piece of the puzzle in unifying Republican voters may be in place with Haley's announcement. High-frequency voters who are registered Republicans are more likely to vote along party lines, and no matter how many of those voters were Haley's during the campaign, her announcement of support increases Trump's chances of keeping those voters.

Current polling indicates that this is most likely an election where maintaining your own base is just as important, if not more important, than winning independents. Several polls show moderates and independents are not excited about this election, and Biden in particular is losing support among his strong voting blocs - including Black and Hispanic voters.


Haley's show of support could give Trump a greater edge in that department, and concerns over immigration, crime, and the economy/inflation might help him cross the finish line in November.

Many conservatives have expressed their disappointment, frustration, and even anger with Haley and her campaign. Wednesday's announcement may not heal those wounds, but they do help bring the party back together.


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