Haley’s not winning, but her campaign for president shows where Trump is weak

Published: 2 months ago

Reading time: 3 minutes

“Her performance in the primary so far shows that millions of Republicans are resistant to Donald Trump and his message," said Republican pollster Whit Ayres.

According to a recent article from The Boston Globe, Fred Johnson, a retired attorney from Bloomfield Hills, Michigan, voted for Donald Trump in both the 2016 and 2020 elections. However, Johnson has expressed dissatisfaction with Trump's lack of knowledge of the law and the history and tradition of the United States. Johnson recently cast a vote in Michigan's primary for former South Carolina governor Nikki Haley, but he is unsure if he will vote in the upcoming fall election, stating that he doesn't like either candidate [[1]].

While Trump won Michigan's primary with a significant margin over Haley, his performance in affluent and often college-educated areas like Bloomfield Hills has raised concerns among independents and moderate Republicans. Bloomfield Hills, a Detroit suburb, supported Trump in 2016 but narrowly backed Biden in 2020. In Oakland County, where Bloomfield Hills is located, Biden won by 14 percentage points in 2020, compared to Hillary Clinton's 8 percentage point lead in 2016. Haley performed relatively well in Oakland County, receiving 34 percent of the vote, highlighting Trump's challenges with affluent and educated voters in key areas [[1]].

Exit polls from South Carolina and New Hampshire also showed that Haley outperformed Trump among college graduates and voters who identified as independents. She narrowly beat Trump among voters earning more than $100,000 annually in New Hampshire and narrowly lost among that group in South Carolina. Haley's support was particularly strong in urban and suburban areas and along the coasts [[1]].

Republican pollster Whit Ayres suggests that Haley represents what remains of the Reagan-Bush coalition within the Republican Party. Her performance in the primary indicates that many Republicans are resistant to Trump and his message. However, it is still too early to determine if there is a real risk of Trump-averse voters siding with Biden in the fall. Ayres notes that many of these voters consider Biden to be too old, but various factors, including Trump's criminal trials and other events, could influence their behavior [[1]].

The Biden campaign is likely paying attention to the areas where Haley performed well, such as Oakland County and the Grand Rapids area. Political analysts believe that Biden has room to improve in these regions during the general election. However, it remains to be seen how the race will unfold and whether Trump-averse voters will ultimately support Biden [[1]].

In interviews conducted in several early primary states, some Haley voters expressed a strong aversion to supporting Trump in the fall. For example, Lindsay Pace, a pharmacist from Virginia, plans to vote for Haley in the primary but is considering supporting Biden in a rematch with Trump. Pace mentioned reading Liz Cheney's book and feeling that Trump is unfit to be president [[1]].

It is worth noting that Trump and his campaign have made little effort to reach out to these Trump-averse voters. In fact, earlier this year, Trump threatened to permanently bar anyone who donated to Haley from his Make America Great Again movement. Haley has made Trump's general election viability and his impact on moderates leaving the GOP a central part of her campaign. However, the Trump campaign believes that Republican voters have overwhelmingly supported Trump in the primaries and that the focus should now be on Joe Biden and the general election [[1]].

In conclusion, while some Trump-averse voters, particularly in affluent and educated areas, have shown support for Nikki Haley in the primaries, it is still uncertain how this will translate to the general election. Factors such as Trump's criminal trials and other events could influence the behavior of these voters. The Biden campaign is likely monitoring areas where Haley performed well, as they see potential for improvement in the general election. However, it remains to be seen how these dynamics will play out in the fall [[1]].


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