Trump May Actually Want Haley to Run in 2024

Yahoo News/YouGov poll shows ex-SC governor would steal big chunk of votes from Ron DeSantis
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 1, 2023 7:34 AM CST
Updated Feb 9, 2023 10:30 AM CST
Nikki Haley Is About to Launch Her WH Bid
Nikki Haley speaks during the Iowa Republican Party's Lincoln Dinner, on June 24, 2021, in West Des Moines, Iowa.   (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall, File)
UPDATE Feb 9, 2023 10:30 AM CST

Former President Trump says he recently told Nikki Haley to "go by your heart" in her decision to run for his old job in 2024, even though he's also a contender. Now, it looks like Haley's expected candidacy might actually help Trump, siphoning away support for yet another anticipated Republican challenger, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, and ultimately tipping the GOP nomination scales in Trump's favor, reports the Guardian. This scenario comes courtesy of a new Yahoo News/YouGov poll of nearly 1,600 US adults, held Feb. 2-6, that shows DeSantis with a 45%-41% lead over Trump, if the primary were to be held today. If Haley made it a three-way race, she'd draw 11% of voters, dropping DeSantis' number to 35%—leaving Trump with the victory at 38%. The poll found that even if the race opened up wider, with nine candidates, Trump would still narrowly eke out a win.

Feb 1, 2023 7:34 AM CST

Looks like the GOP roster of presidential candidates for the 2024 election is about to get a new entry. The Post and Courier reports that former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley is poised to run, with an expected Feb. 15 announcement of her candidacy. A source tells the AP that Haley will be sending out an email invite Wednesday to supporters for a launch event in Charleston, where the 51-year-old will express her Oval Office intentions. Haley, who served as the state's first woman governor, has been hinting at these plans online and in interviews for some time, including with a Jan. 20 tweet (now pinned) that notes: "It's time for a new generation. It's time for new leadership. And it's time to take our country back. America is worth the fight—and we're just getting started." Sources tell the Washington Post that Haley may also release a video this week in advance of her official launch.

It's not yet clear who else from her party will vie for the Republican nomination—Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, former VP Mike Pence, and former Secretary of State Mike Pompeo are among the possible contenders—but there's one big name that Haley, who served as the US ambassador to the United Nations during the Trump administration, will be facing off against: her former boss. Although in 2021 Haley indicated to the AP that she "would not run if President Trump ran," that stance has shifted, with Haley recently telling Fox News that "a lot has changed." Trump has apparently offered his blessing. Per the Post and Courier, the former president told reporters over the weekend that Haley had phoned him to alert him of her presidential plans, and he says he told her, "Go by your heart if you want to run." (More Election 2024 stories.)

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