• Tuesday, May 21, 2024

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Nikki Haley rises as potential Trump rival in latest poll

Nikki Haley speaks during the Republican Jewish Coalition’s Annual Leadership Summit at The Venetian Resort Las Vegas on October 28, 2023 in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

By: Pramod Thomas

INDIAN AMERICAN Republican presidential candidate, Nikki Haley, is rising as the likeliest rival to Donald Trump for the Republican nomination, according to the latest poll.

Haley’s growing prominence in the Republican Party’s bid for the 2024 nomination becomes evident with her equal footing with Ron DeSantis, the Florida governor, in the latest Iowa poll, reported The Telegraph.

The former South Carolina governor shares second place with DeSantis, marking a significant shift from her previous standing behind him by ten points in August.

Recent polls in Iowa and New Hampshire showcased Haley’s upward trajectory, securing substantial support and closing the gap on DeSantis.

She is presently level with DeSantis with both attaining 16 per cent. Nonetheless, Trump remains the leading candidate, securing substantial support with 43 per cent of Republicans in Iowa and 49 per cent in New Hampshire, as per the polls.

Despite former vice president Mike Pence withdrawing from the race, Haley’s campaign has garnered strength, with similar foreign policy stances that could appeal to traditional Republicans.

According to reports, the former presidential candidate Will Hurd’s endorsement has further bolstered Haley’s position.

Her consistent and positively reviewed performances in debates have contributed to her steady rise, while DeSantis’ appeal seems to be fading.

Haley, 51, has gained a reputation in the Republican Party as a solid conservative who has the ability to address issues of gender and race in a more credible fashion than many of her peers.

She has also pitched herself as a stalwart defender of American interests abroad.

Financial data released by the Federal Election Commission indicates a narrowing fundraising gap between DeSantis and Haley.

Although DeSantis previously outpaced Haley in fundraising, recent figures suggest a reduced disparity in their campaign finances, with Haley also spending significantly less.

Recent pressures on DeSantis, evident from staff layoffs and key advisors leaving, contrast with Haley’s relatively steady campaign and financial management.

Additionally, amid the Middle East crisis, Haley has directed criticism towards former president Trump, portraying him as misguided on matters concerning the US and Israel.

However, Trump’s response to Haley’s ascent has been somewhat dismissive, referring to her as a “birdbrain,” while his campaign’s peculiar gesture involving a birdcage and bird food arrived at Haley’s hotel.

Haley responded with a social media post, indicating her nonchalance to such attempts.

During the campaign, she has been emphasising her relative youth compared to Biden and Trump, as well as her background as the daughter of Indian immigrants.

Eight Republican candidates are seeking the party’s nomination to take on Democratic US president Joe Biden, who is running for reelection in the November 2024 presidential contest.

The third debate of candidates will take place in Miami next week. NBC News announced it will host the event at the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County.

DeSantis, Haley and tech entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy appear to have the support needed to make the debate stage. Former New Jersey governor Chris Christie and US senator Tim Scott of South Carolina also appear to have a solid shot of being there, according to recent polls.

(with inputs from Reuters)

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