Nikki Haley Says She’ll Vote for Trump, but He Needs to Woo Her Voters

Former President Donald Trump and Nikki Haley
Matt Rourke/AP; Peter Zay/Anadolu via Getty Images

  • Nikki Haley said she’ll vote for Trump but says he needs to reach out to her supporters.
  • Her supporters have continued to vote for her in primaries even though she dropped out in March.
  • Trump faces challenges with suburban voters, John Dorman reported and needs to woo Haley voters.

Former UN Ambassador Nikki Haley exited the GOP presidential primary on March 6 but pointedly declined to endorse the frontrunner and now-presumptive nominee, former President Donald Trump, saying he needed to win over her voters.

More than two months later, she said on Wednesday at the Hudson Institute that she would indeed vote for Trump — while again signaling that he will have to do more to reach out to her voters.

“Trump would be smart to reach out to the millions of people who voted for me and continue to support me and not assume that they’re just going to be with him,” she said. “And I genuinely hope he does.”

And the numbers bear her out.

In state primaries that have taken place since Haley dropped out, her voters have not all jumped ship. As my colleague John Dorman wrote earlier this month, this was evident in the recent Indiana primary, where Haley took 21% of the vote.

Dorman writes:

Similar to results in states like Virginia and North Carolina, Trump performed strongly in Indiana’s rural counties. However, the former president still has a suburban problem, as evidenced by his numbers in the Indianapolis area, with many moderates and GOP-leaning independents continuing to be leery of his 2024 candidacy.

In a tight election, it comes down to turnout. In 2020, Biden won Pennsylvania, a key swing state, by about 80,000 votes, and he beat Trump with a little more than 11,000 votes in Georgia. In 2016, Trump beat former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton by about 22,000 in Wisconsin, but Biden won the state in 2020 with around 20,000 votes.

If Trump doesn’t woo Haley’s voters — key voters in suburban areas — and they stay home from the polls, that could hurt him in key swing states.

According to an April Axios report, “In Chester County, Haley won 25% of the vote; in Delaware, she won 23%; in Montgomery, she won 25%, and in Bucks, 19% of the vote went to Haley.”

In Wisconsin and Georgia, Haley took double-digit shares of the votes in key counties.

Trump cannot win without these suburban voters, Vince Galko, a Pennsylvania GOP strategist, told Axios at the end of April, “especially in states like the Rust Belt states of Pennsylvania and others.”

For the moderate suburban voters who have been swaying toward Haley only time will tell if they will follow her decision and also vote for Trump.

The last time Haley called on Trump to reach out to her supporters, he instead insinuated that they were “Radical Left Democrats” before asking for their support.


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