Primaries in the USA – What else will Nikki Haley’s election campaign bring? -News


Vice, Trump replacement or president in 2028: Despite the currently hopeless race, Haley could be aiming for this.

Nikki Haley wants to become the official Republican candidate for president. Today the primary election is taking place in South Carolina, where she was once governor. Your chances are bad. Is the election campaign still worth it?

Scenario 1: Donald Trump is out

Trump is 77 years old. If he wins the presidential election on November 5th, he would be 78 years old when he takes office. He would then even be a few months older than current President Joe Biden when he took office. Trump boasts of excellent health. But his health checks during his time in the White House revealed obesity and heart problems.


Donald Trump at a civil trial in New York. (Image from October 17, 2023)

Keystone/EPA/Spencer Platt

Then there are his legal problems. These include four criminal proceedings – including because of his attempts to overturn the results of the 2020 presidential election. In theory, Trump could even govern from prison. In addition, a possible conviction before the election is unlikely.

In the unlikely event that Trump fails, it would be Haley’s chance to fill the void. Then she depends on the support of his followers. Haley has recently attacked Trump quite clearly. But so far she has hesitated to clearly condemn him for his lies about alleged election fraud. This would alienate his followers.

Scenario 2: Haley becomes Trump’s running mate

As a rule, presidential candidates use their “running mate” to try to get someone to their side who appeals to groups of voters that they tend not to reach themselves. According to this logic, Haley would be the perfect candidate: She is a woman, the daughter of Indian immigrants and is considered more moderate than Trump.

Haley and Trump sit next to each other, Haley speaks, Trump looks to the side and listens.


Nikki Haley and Donald Trump have often sat together in the White House: Haley was the United States Ambassador to the United Nations under Trump for almost two years. (Image from October 9, 2018)

Reuters/Jonathan Ernst

In moderate New Hampshire, she won 43 percent of the vote in the primary, while Trump received 54 percent. The race made it clear once again that Haley is particularly popular with more moderate voters.

Haley herself has ruled out becoming Trump’s running mate. However, she had once ruled out running for president if Trump were to run.

Scenario 3: Haley runs as an independent candidate

Polls show that many Republican Haley supporters would not vote for Trump but for Democrat Biden if the race between Trump and Biden were rematched. If Haley were to run as an independent candidate, she could cost Trump the votes necessary to win against Biden.

People, mostly women, hold up Nikki Haley posters and shout.


Nikki Haley supporters at an event during the New Hampshire primary. (Image from January 23, 2024)

AP Photo/Steven Senne

According to observers, it is unlikely that Haley wants to achieve that. Because their political enemy remains Biden. Nevertheless, Trump probably also knows that Haley could deprive him of a victory. That gives her power.

Scenario 4: Haley wants to be in the White House in 2028

In the United States, a person can serve as president for two terms, whether consecutive or not. This means that if Trump wins the election in November, he would not be able to run again afterwards.

Ultimately, Trump could also lose to Biden in the November election. If she doesn’t switch to his camp before the election, a Trump defeat would be Haley’s “I told you so” moment, according to Elaine Kamarck from the US think tank Brookings. Haley could then pave the way for a generational change in the Republican Party – and would recommend running for office in 2028.

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