This week, Nikki Haley, a Republican who is running for president in 2024, will hold two political events in New Hampshire that will highlight retail politics in the crucial early primary state. Haley is the first Republican to formally challenge former President Donald Trump for the party’s nomination.
With Trump already in the race, Haley’s stops in the Granite State will establish the basis for her recently launched campaign. Haley, a former governor of South Carolina and the country’s ambassador to the UN during the Trump administration, may soon be joined by others who are rumored to be thinking about running for president in 2024, including Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, and former Vice President Mike Pence.
“In seven of the last eight presidential elections, we came in last in the popular vote. Although our cause is just, we have not been able to gain the trust of the majority of Americans “Haley made this statement during her first campaign event on Wednesday in Charleston, South Carolina. That stops today, I suppose.
New Hampshire, why?
For candidates for president, New Hampshire is crucial. In 2024, the state will play host to its first Republican primary.
According to Tom Rath, a longtime Republican consultant in the Granite State and a former member of the National Republican Committee, New Hampshire also gives a special chance for Haley, who will be competing against more well-known Republicans like Trump and perhaps DeSantis.
Rath, a seasoned adviser to presidential candidates like George W. Bush and Mitt Romney, said of Haley’s stops in New Hampshire, “This becomes Act One.” You must exhibit strength and establish a candidacy with a message and strategy that can be applied elsewhere.
Some aspects of the Granite State that might work in Haley’s favor as she seeks to make headway in the early stages of her campaign include:
Due to the open primary system in the state, independents who might not typically vote Republican could influence the outcome of the election if they choose to participate in the GOP primary. Such voters might support Haley.
Being the sole woman in her primary field can be advantageous to her. There have been numerous instances of female candidates triumphing in statewide contests in New Hampshire, including current senators Maggie Hassan, Jeanne Shaheen, and Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H.
Republicans in New Hampshire “have been able to go shopping” for 8 years
Retail politics in its purest form are also practiced in New Hampshire’s primary, where candidates can interact directly with voters and begin building a name for themselves there, according to Rath.
Haley’s campaign trips also aren’t intended to win over hard-right conservatives, who, according to Rath, have already sworn fealty to the previous president. She will instead make every effort to position herself as the best Trump replacement.
Dante Scala, a political science professor at the University of New Hampshire, hypothesized that GOP voters in New Hampshire could be eager to choose a nominee once more. Scala pointed out that if the contest has gotten off to a slow start, Haley might have a special benefit by entering it after Trump.
Republicans in New Hampshire haven’t been able to shop for eight years, he noted.
According to Scala, the state’s retail politics could motivate GOP voters. “You get to shop, see all the candidates, and interact with them in person. Republicans haven’t had the opportunity to accomplish it in a very long time.”
Early polling indicates Haley’s opposition
According to a University of New Hampshire poll from late January, DeSantis is in the lead in the early GOP contest; 42% of probable GOP primary voters pick DeSantis as their top choice.
Trump was chosen by 30% of respondents as their top option.
About 8% of respondents said Haley was their top pick.
The margin of error for the survey is plus or minus 3.3 percentage points.
Notwithstanding the polling results, a lot can happen in the year before the primary, particularly for a candidate like Haley in New Hampshire who has a chance to win over a sizable share of anti-Trump voters.
Rath thinks that because the state has an open primary, anti-Trump Republicans and independents who could have voted for President Joe Biden in the 2020 election could end up constituting a sizable voting bloc for potential GOP candidates.
Several voters are potentially anti-Trump independents rather than longtime Republicans, according to Rath. “(Haley) might provide that group access. I’m not sure if current polls would indicate that.
In Scala’s opinion, it might not be a good thing that she is the only woman running for president in New Hampshire. He cited current senators Maggie Hassan, D-N.H., and Jeanne Shaheen, D-N.H., both of whom had served as governors, as well as former senator Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H., when he said that the state is “well habituated” to electing women.
Haley Wednesday acknowledged her standing as the underdog, saying, “I’ve been underestimated before.” That’s always enjoyable.
In her opening rally for her 2024 campaign, Haley asks for a new generation, preferably her own
When she and her advisers started talking about her potential campaign weeks ago, the 51-year-old Haley made “new generation” her motto.
The newly-minted Republican contender has focused her generational criticism on President Joseph Biden, who is 80 years old, but it could also be directed at Donald Trump, who is 76.
Haley demanded “mandatory mental capacity testing for legislators over 75 years old” and term limits for members of Congress.
Haley tried to keep the focus on Biden and her ambitions to succeed him during her address, just briefly mentioning Trump (she highlighted that he appointed her as U.N. ambassador).
In the video from the day before, Haley stated that the Washington elite “has failed us over and over and over again” and added that Republicans had lost the popular vote in seven of the last eight elections.