Nikki Haley expected to drop out of presidential race


Nikki Haley will suspend her presidential campaign Wednesday after being soundly defeated across the country on Super Tuesday, according to people familiar with her decision, leaving Donald Trump as the last remaining major candidate for the 2024 Republican nomination.

Three people with direct knowledge who spoke on the condition of anonymity because they weren’t authorized to speak publicly confirmed Haley’s decision ahead of an announcement scheduled for Wednesday morning.

Her departure clears Trump to focus solely on his likely rematch in November with President Joe Biden. Haley notched primary wins in recent days in D.C. and Vermont, but the former president is on track to reach the necessary 1,215 delegates to clinch the Republican nomination later this month.

Haley’s departure would mark a painful blow to voters, donors and Republican Party officials who opposed Trump and his fiery brand of “Make America Great Again” politics.

She was especially popular among moderates and college-educated voters, constituencies that play a pivotal role in general elections, but represent a minority of Republican primary voters.

WATCH l Super Tuesday seems to confirm the inevitable: 

Big Super Tuesday for both Trump and Biden

With over a dozen U.S. states and one territory voting, Super Tuesday offers the largest number of delegates in the race for both the Republican and Democratic primaries, and as expected, both Donald Trump and President Joe Biden did very well.

Haley is not planning to endorse Trump in her Wednesday announcement, according to the people with knowledge of her plans. Instead, she is expected to encourage him to earn the support of the coalition of moderate Republicans and independent voters who supported her.

Lost donors in recent weeks

Haley was muted in her criticism of Trump until other candidates dropped out of the Republican primary. She spent recent weeks aggressively warning the GOP against embracing Trump, whom she argued was far too consumed by chaos and personal grievance to defeat Biden in the general election this fall.

Trump faces 91 criminal counts across four indictments, which Haley warned would threaten the party’s overall prospects in November.

“All of this chaos will only lead to more losses for Republicans up and down the ticket,” she said in a social media post last month.

Multiple polls forecast her defeating Biden by a greater margin than Trump, but she could not break through with the party’s passionate, Trump-loyal base.

Haley, 52, served as South Carolina’s governor from 2011 until she was selected by Trump to be U.S. ambassador to the United Nations, a move that surprised some observers given her lack of foreign policy experience at the time. She served for just under two years in the role, and appeared to be one of the few Trump cabinet departures to leave on amicable terms with the then-president.

Things got personal between the candidates last month after Trump criticized her husband, Michael, for not appearing on the campaign trail. Michael Haley is currently on deployment supporting U.S. Africa Command, as an officer of South Carolina’s Army National Guard.

LISTEN | Why one Republican who doesn’t support Trump is happy he’s on the ballot

As It Happens6:44This Republican is glad Trump’s back on the ballot, even though he’s not a supporter

The U.S. Supreme Court on Monday restored Donald Trump to this year’s U.S. presidential primary ballots. Mark Hillman, a former Republican state senator for Colorado, says he’s not a fan of the former president, but having him on the ballot is the right thing for democracy. He spoke to As It Happens host Nil Köksal.

Haley called the comments about her husband “disgusting.”

Haley continued on in the campaign even after losing her home state of South Carolina late last month, but influential donor Charles Koch and others said they would discontinue their contributions to her campaign.

Haley in 2021 said she wouldn’t run for president in the next cycle, but changed her mind. In her February 2023 launch, she said the country needed “generational change.”

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