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Nikki Haley’s refusal to exit race seen as helping Trump: Report

By Mandy Donalds
January 27, 2024

In the midst of the ongoing Republican primary battle, Nikki Haley’s decision to stay in the race is influencing former President Donald Trump's campaign dynamics.

The Republican primary contest has taken an interesting turn with former U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley's refusal to suspend her campaign, despite increasing pressure for her to do so.

This decision is sparking debate about its impact on Trump's campaign. Observers are discussing ways in which Haley's continued presence in the race could actually be benefiting Trump, especially as the primaries move forward, as reported by FOX News.

Haley's persistence in the GOP primary

Haley's determination to stay in the GOP primary race is drawing attention for various reasons.

Some believe that her persistence could ultimately aid former President Trump, particularly in the context of media coverage and voter engagement. This perspective is gaining traction among political analysts and conservative commentators.

On the Ruthless podcast, John Ashbrook, a former staffer to Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY), addressed why Trump's team wants Haley to drop out. Their goal is to consolidate support behind Trump as the clear GOP frontrunner.

However, Ashbrook also highlighted the potential benefits for Trump with Haley staying in the race, especially in terms of media attention and the portrayal of Trump's dominance over his Republican opponents.

Ashbrook said:

Because a conflict between Donald Trump and another Republican has to be covered by the press. And it actually makes Trump look pretty good that he dominates his Republican opponents...

Media coverage and political strategy

The dynamics of media coverage in the GOP primary race are playing a significant role.

According to Ashbrook, once Trump becomes the nominee without internal conflict, the mainstream media's focus might shift dramatically towards his legal challenges rather than his presidential campaign. This shift could have significant implications for how the public perceives the former President.

Ruthless co-host Josh Holmes added another dimension to the discussion.

He suggested that Haley's campaign could be reaching a segment of the electorate that Trump's campaign might not be addressing.

Holmes emphasized the importance of engaging with voters who have economic concerns under the Biden administration and who might feel overlooked by the Republican Party.

Trump's dominance in the GOP race

Trump has shown a strong performance in the GOP race, achieving historic wins in states like Iowa and New Hampshire.

His support in these states has surpassed 50%, showcasing his popularity among Republican voters. Haley, on the other hand, has had notable success too, particularly in the New Hampshire primary where she exceeded expectations.

Despite fewer polls having been conducted in South Carolina, the trends so far indicate a strong lead for Trump.

Haley, being a former governor of the state, is still trailing significantly in the polls. This scenario is evolving with other GOP rivals having suspended their campaigns, potentially altering the dynamics of voter support.

Haley's general election strategy

Haley's campaign strategy focuses on her perceived strength in a general election matchup against President Joe Biden.

She has emphasized her comparative advantage over Trump in hypothetical polls and has also brought age and mental acuity into the campaign discourse. This approach is aimed at differentiating her from both Biden and Trump.

Supporters of Trump, however, argue that the prolonged GOP primary could be draining resources that could be more effectively used against Biden. They also critique Haley for her foreign policy stances, indicating a divide within the party on various issues.


  • Nikki Haley's continued participation in the GOP primary is sparking debate about its impact on Trump's campaign.
  • John Ashbrook and Josh Holmes discussed the potential benefits of Haley's presence in the race, including media coverage and voter outreach.
  • Trump's dominance in early primaries highlights his strong support base, while Haley's strategy focuses on her strengths in a general election.
  • There is a concern among Trump's supporters about the prolonged primary depleting resources and creating internal party conflicts.