February 28, 2024

The Unwelcome Message From Nikki Haley

Her lonely and seemingly futile battle with Donald Trump may be just what the GOP needs.

For the past four weeks in South Carolina, Nikki Haley soldiered on gamely in her quixotic quest to defeat Donald Trump in her home state’s primary election. As predicted by just about everyone, she failed, losing to Trump by about 20 percentage points and picking up only three of 50 convention delegates.

She also picked up more than her share of ridicule and scorn. Trump, his campaign staff, legions of Trump faithful, and conservative media opiners berated her incessantly for raining on the Trump parade. They point out that, at this point, there is no viable path for her to secure the GOP nomination. Worse, many feel that her continued presence in the race is doing real harm.

The consensus view among Haley’s GOP critics is that she is selfishly preventing the GOP from unifying behind the resurgent former president — and that in doing so, she is aiding and abetting Joe Biden’s push for a second term.

That’s a bad look for any Republican politician. But maybe, just maybe, she is singlehandedly delivering a message that few in the GOP want to hear but that is pivotal to its prospects for electoral success in 2024.

It’s this: Trump’s oft-stated view that the Republican Party is “more united than ever before” is a mirage, and absent serious effort on his part to expand his base of support inside the party and among independent voters, he cannot win the general election.

For all the hype about his lopsided primary victories so far, they simply confirm what we already knew — Trump has a lock on his faithful core supporters. That’s a powerful base that can carry him over the top in the fight for the GOP presidential nomination, but it is not nearly large enough to put him back in the White House.

The South Carolina primary is a widely watched contest, a perennial indicator of candidate strength. Trump held a commanding lead throughout, and his win there was a foregone conclusion. The four-week lead-in to last Saturday’s ballot provided a made-to-order opportunity for him to reach beyond his base and begin to build a bigger tent. Instead, Trump being Trump, he and his surrogates devoted their full energy to relentless attacks on “Birdbrain” Nikki Haley.

He won handily, taking about 60% of the vote. But what’s baffling is Team Trump’s casual indifference about the other 40% of primary voters — the Haley supporters whom they insulted daily and whose votes they will need in a few months. Trump may be assuming that by this November, all will be forgiven, and Republicans will all fall in line and support him in toppling Joe Biden. And he’s probably correct on that score, provided, of course, that Biden remains the Democrat nominee — at this point, hardly a sure thing.

The tougher question for Trump is what it will take to broaden his base of support, both within and beyond the Republican Party.

Regarding GOP Trump support, I believe (based only on old-guy intuition) that the GOP electorate is currently split right down the middle — roughly one-half are die-hard Trump supporters, while the other half are voters loosely aligned by their uneasiness in supporting another Trump term, for a variety of reasons.

Some in that latter group (probably a very small fraction) are the so-called Never-Trumpers who will not vote for Trump under any circumstances. But the much larger fraction are conscientious voters who agree with Trump’s positions and who admire his strengths but who continue to believe that he’s the wrong choice for the GOP in 2024. That’s perhaps because of his temperament, or because he would be limited to one term (a lame duck on day one), or maybe just because they realize that a widely reviled (fairly or not) candidate will have great difficulty winning the general election.

Further, I believe that the sentiments of that group, the ones uneasy with but potentially open to a Trump candidacy, mirror very closely those of many independent voters coast to coast — i.e., the ones who ultimately carry the day in this and nearly every presidential election.

Most importantly, I believe that a substantial number of those GOP and independent voter populations can be won over by a presidential nominee who will offer the inspiration, policy positions, and leadership needed for our country to recover from its four-year tailspin under Joe Biden.

The Trump train is picking up steam, remarkably so in the face of so much bitter opposition. Trump’s policies are right for our country. He has the energy and stamina obviously lacking in our current president. If selected as the GOP standard-bearer in the 2024 election, he will be able to win the presidency if — and only if — he taps fully into the available support not already in his camp. If he succeeds, give a nod to Nikki Haley.

Who We Are

The Patriot Post is a highly acclaimed weekday digest of news analysis, policy and opinion written from the heartland — as opposed to the MSM’s ubiquitous Beltway echo chambers — for grassroots leaders nationwide. More

What We Offer

On the Web

We provide solid conservative perspective on the most important issues, including analysis, opinion columns, headline summaries, memes, cartoons and much more.

Via Email

Choose our full-length Digest or our quick-reading Snapshot for a summary of important news. We also offer Cartoons & Memes on Monday and Alexander’s column on Wednesday.

Our Mission

The Patriot Post is steadfast in our mission to extend the endowment of Liberty to the next generation by advocating for individual rights and responsibilities, supporting the restoration of constitutional limits on government and the judiciary, and promoting free enterprise, national defense and traditional American values. We are a rock-solid conservative touchstone for the expanding ranks of grassroots Americans Patriots from all walks of life. Our mission and operation budgets are not financed by any political or special interest groups, and to protect our editorial integrity, we accept no advertising. We are sustained solely by you. Please support The Patriot Fund today!

The Patriot Post and Patriot Foundation Trust, in keeping with our Military Mission of Service to our uniformed service members and veterans, are proud to support and promote the National Medal of Honor Heritage Center, the Congressional Medal of Honor Society, both the Honoring the Sacrifice and Warrior Freedom Service Dogs aiding wounded veterans, the National Veterans Entrepreneurship Program, the Folds of Honor outreach, and Officer Christian Fellowship, the Air University Foundation, and Naval War College Foundation, and the Naval Aviation Museum Foundation. "Greater love has no one than this, to lay down one's life for his friends." (John 15:13)


“Our cause is noble; it is the cause of mankind!” —George Washington

Please join us in prayer for our nation — that righteous leaders would rise and prevail and we would be united as Americans. Pray also for the protection of our Military Patriots, Veterans, First Responders, and their families. Please lift up your Patriot team and our mission to support and defend our Republic's Founding Principle of Liberty, that the fires of freedom would be ignited in the hearts and minds of our countrymen.

The Patriot Post is protected speech, as enumerated in the First Amendment and enforced by the Second Amendment of the Constitution of the United States of America, in accordance with the endowed and unalienable Rights of All Mankind.

Copyright © 2024 The Patriot Post. All Rights Reserved.

The Patriot Post does not support Internet Explorer. We recommend installing the latest version of Microsoft Edge, Mozilla Firefox, or Google Chrome.