GOP presidential candidate Nikki Haley sidestepped questions about whether winning the South Carolina primary next month is necessary for her to remain in the 2024 race, vowing to remain former President Trump’s main rival for the GOP nomination until Super Tuesday.
After losing the Iowa caucuses and the New Hampshire primary earlier this month, Haley has maintained she will stay in the race as she hopes to pull off a strong showing in her home state of South Carolina next month. On NBC’s “Meet the Press,” she was hesitant to say whether a win in her home state was “do or die.”
“I think I need to do better than I did in New Hampshire. So this is a building situation …” she said before anchor Kristen Welker interjected to ask again whether she needed to win the state.
“It’s not about which state you get and which you don’t,” Haley added.
When pressed further on whether she needed to win her home state to “put some delegates on the map” for herself, Haley said she just needs to show she is building momentum, and that does not necessarily mean a win in the state.
“Well, we’ve got 17 delegates — he’s got 32. I’d say that’s pretty good to start. What I do think I need to do is I need to show that I’m building momentum,” Haley said. “I need to show that I’m stronger in South Carolina than New Hampshire. Does that have to be a win? I don’t think that necessarily has to be a win. But it certainly has to be better than what I did in New Hampshire, and it certainly has to be close.”
She said she needs to do well to give states on Super Tuesday “a reason to know that they can continue to see and have us fight on.” She also said she plans to stay in the race through the major presidential primary day, which is March 5.
When asked whether she plans to stay in the race until the Republican National Convention, which is in July, Haley responded: “I have every intention of going to Super Tuesday — through Super Tuesday. We’re going to keep on going, and see where this gets us. That’s what we know we’re going to do right now. I take it one state at a time. I don’t think too far ahead,” Haley added.
According to The Hill/Decision Desk HQ, Haley trails former President Trump in the South Carolina primary race by about 31 points.