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Haley Campaign Press Release - Haley Campaign Releases State of the Race Memo

January 15, 2024

WEST DES MOINES, Iowa – With Nikki Haley's strong finish in the Iowa caucuses and as she heads to a one-on-one match-up against Donald Trump in New Hampshire, Haley campaign manager Betsy Ankney released a memo outlining the state of the race.

Read the full memo here or below.

To: Interested Parties
From: Betsy Ankney, Campaign Manager
Date: January 15, 2024
RE: State of the Race

As an ex-president, Donald Trump has always been running as a quasi-incumbent. Voters know what they think of Trump and whether they want more of him or prefer an alternative.

In Iowa, Trump frequently predicted a win by a 60-point margin. He won by 30%. In a state in which caucus voters are among the most pro-Trump of any electorate in America, he got 51%, and 49% preferred someone else. That's far from the ringing endorsement of Trump that the media portrays.

The race now moves to less Trump-friendly territory. And the field of candidates is effectively down to two, with only Trump and Nikki Haley having substantial support in both New Hampshire and South Carolina. That never happened in the 2016 nominating contest, when a larger field allowed Trump to win many primaries with pluralities rather than majorities.

Historically, incumbent presidents who have struggled in New Hampshire have failed to recapture the White House. In 1968, President Lyndon Johnson won 48% of the vote in the New Hampshire Democratic primary. He withdrew from the race 19 days later. In 1976, President Gerald Ford won 49% of the vote in the New Hampshire Republican primary. That set the stage for a protracted nominating contest and ultimately Ford's loss in the general election. In 1992, President George H.W. Bush won 58% of the vote in the New Hampshire Republican primary. That precipitated an extended nominating contest and ultimately Bush's loss in the general election.

Currently, Donald Trump's RCP average vote share in New Hampshire is 43.5%. That is historically bad, trailing far behind Johnson, Ford, and Bush's final numbers. Trump's weakness with Independents is well established. But a number in the low forties also indicates significant weakness with New Hampshire Republicans too.

The Iowa results and the New Hampshire polls show Donald Trump is more vulnerable than commonly believed. He is the polarizing figure he has long been. Trump and Biden are the two most disliked politicians in America. Around half of Republican primary voters want more of Trump and around half prefer an alternative. That is the picture of a seriously contested nomination.

With Nikki Haley as the last one standing against him, Trump has drawn a tough opponent.

  • By coming from far behind and outlasting 12 other candidates, Haley has shown the strengths, skills, and resources needed to go the distance in a long campaign.
  • As a successful Governor and Ambassador, Haley has the executive and national security experience a president needs.
  • As a proven conservative, Haley has done as much or more than Trump on immigration, debt, taxes, education, and a host of other issues of concern to primary voters.
  • As a member of Trump's Cabinet, who left the administration with glowing praise from Trump himself, claims that Haley is not in touch with the Trump wing of the party fall flat. In fact, Trump's own super PAC is advertising in New Hampshire that Haley is a strong supporter of the MAGA agenda.
  • At 51 years old, Haley presents the generational contrast with octogenarians Trump and Biden that most Americans are seeking. Unlike Trump and Biden, Haley is not consumed by grievances of the past. Voters don't see her as someone who will bring more chaos and negativity to the White House. Her vision of a strong and proud America is where the country wants to go.
  • Haley routinely performs better than Trump in head-to-head matchups against Biden. With Trump, it will be another nail-biter election, likely followed by endless legal disputes. With Haley, it will be a landslide. After the Biden-Harris disaster, Republicans want a winner.

As the race moves to New Hampshire, the choice before voters is clear: the rematch no one wants between Donald Trump and Joe Biden, or a new generation of conservative leadership with Nikki Haley.

Nikki Haley, Haley Campaign Press Release - Haley Campaign Releases State of the Race Memo Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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