Nikki Haley’s presidential campaign shifts focus in effort to catch Trump in final weeks before South Carolina primary

Does Haley have a path to the GOP nomination?

Does Nikki Haley still have a path to the Republican nomination?


Nikki Haley is trying out a new message in her bid for the presidency, as she tries to cut down Donald Trump’s lead in the upcoming primary in her home state of South Carolina, CBS News has learned.

The theme of the new campaign, which launches Thursday, is “A Great Day in South Carolina.” It highlights Haley’s record as governor from 2011 to 2017 while also redoubling efforts to “combat Donald Trump’s lies.” The details of the new campaign were first obtained by CBS News. 

“After defying predictions in New Hampshire, Haley will spend the next 23 days campaigning across the Palmetto State, reminding voters about her record of taking on the establishment and fighting for taxpayers over the political class,” Haley spokesperson Brittany Yanick told CBS News. “Good luck to Donald Trump if he tries to lie about Nikki’s record. South Carolinians aren’t buying it because it’s a great day in South Carolina.” 

The new effort comes at a critical time for Haley, since her home state may be her last, best chance to convince voters and donors that she’d be a stronger GOP candidate in a general election matchup against President Biden than Trump and that a Trump ticket would also hurt Republican prospects in the Senate and House. A Monmouth University-Washington Post poll released Thursday  shows Trump with a 26 point over Haley ahead of the South Carolina primary. 

The campaign will launch with a new 30-second-digital ad reminding South Carolina voters of her accomplishments during her tenure leading the Palmetto State. 

“The great people of South Carolina know I cut their taxes, they know I signed the toughest illegal immigration bill in the country,” Haley says in the ad. “They know I passed voter I.D. and tort reform and ethics reform and they know we moved 35,000 people from welfare to work.”

Haley’s message in the ad highlighting her record is one she has been delivering in recent campaign stops across South Carolina on the heels of her loss in the New Hampshire primary last week and her third-place finish in Iowa the week before that. Haley is trying to persuade South Carolinians that she can replicate her successes as governor on the national stage.

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