Former Gov. Nikki Haley of South Carolina on Tuesday defied calls to drop out of the race for the Republican nomination, vowing to struggle on after a second straight defeat by the hands of former President Donald J. Trump.
In rousing remarks, Ms. Haley appeared forward to the approaching main contest in South Carolina, the place she is lagging far behind Mr. Trump in polls regardless of a home-state benefit.
“New Hampshire is first within the nation. It isn’t the final within the nation. This race is much from over,” Ms. Haley mentioned, including, “We’re going dwelling to South Carolina.”
Borrowing signature traces from her stump speeches, Ms. Haley famous how far she had come for the reason that race first opened, when she was polling at simply over 2 %, declaring herself “a fighter.”
“And I’m scrappy. And now we’re the final ones standing subsequent to Donald Trump,” she added.
Ms. Haley additionally turned up the warmth on Mr. Trump, the dominant front-runner within the Republican race who’s fighting 91 felony charges, criticizing him as equally dangerous for the nation as one other 4 years of President Biden. She additionally took another dig at Mr. Trump’s mental fitness and his 77 years of age.
“With Donald Trump you could have one bout of chaos after one other,” she mentioned. “This courtroom case, that controversy, this tweet, that senior second. You’ll be able to’t repair Joe Biden’s chaos with Republican chaos.”
In her ultimate Granite State appearances earlier than polls closed, Ms. Haley had rejected claims that Republican voters had already solidly united behind the former president, and pledged to not finish her bid irrespective of the outcome.
“I didn’t get right here due to luck,” she mentioned at a polling web site in Hampton, N.H., whereas flanked by supporters, including Gov. Chris Sununu, her high surrogate within the state. “I received right here as a result of I outworked and outsmarted all the remainder of these fellas. So I’m working in opposition to Donald Trump, and I’m not going to speak about an obituary.”
Mr. Trump, talking to supporters at his victory get together, mocked Ms. Haley for talking “like she received.” However “she didn’t win — she misplaced,” he added.
On Wednesday morning, Ms. Haley is predicted to talk throughout a Republican State Committee assembly within the Virgin Islands, which holds its contest on Feb. 8. She is then anticipated at a homecoming rally in Charleston, S.C.
Quite a few individuals near Ms. Haley are encouraging her to maintain going, many who’re deeply against Mr. Trump’s turning into the nominee once more.
Betsy Ankney, her marketing campaign supervisor, launched a memo early Tuesday morning capturing down strategies that Mr. Trump’s path to the nomination was inevitable. She pointed to the 11 of the 16 states that vote on Tremendous Tuesday which have “open or semi-open primaries” that may embrace unbiased voters and are “fertile floor for Nikki.”
Nevada will host a Republican caucus on Feb. 8, however Ms. Haley isn’t competing in that contest, as a substitute collaborating in a Republican main within the state two days earlier that awards no delegates.
Her marketing campaign has purchased over $1 million in tv promoting from Tuesday via Feb. 6, in response to AdImpact, a media-tracking agency.
And officers at her allied tremendous PAC, Stand for America, mentioned they, too, deliberate to forge forward.
Mark Harris, the lead strategist for the PAC, mentioned it was prepping tv, mail and digital promoting in a get-out-the-vote effort that might look just like the applications it took on in Iowa and New Hampshire, although as of Tuesday it had not but made these investments.
“We’re working the outsider candidacy, so this was by no means going to occur all magically in sooner or later, and so we’re going to maintain pushing forward,” Mr. Harris mentioned.
Because the summer season, Ms. Haley has predicted that the Republican nominating contest would end in a showdown between herself and Mr. Trump in her dwelling state. Her outward confidence in that situation has not faltered — not after she failed to position second in Iowa, not after her high rival for No. 2, Gov. Ron DeSantis of Florida, dropped out and endorsed Mr. Trump, not after a slate of South Carolina legislators this week joined Mr. Trump on the stump within the ultimate days of the New Hampshire race.
Her message to his allies and the information media: She has been right here earlier than.
“I received South Carolina twice as governor,” she advised reporters Friday at a retro diner in Amherst. “I believe I do know what favorable territory is in South Carolina.”
Maggie Haberman and Kellen Browning contributed reporting.