Moderates and liberals support Haley in South Carolina, says new poll

Undeterred by a series of legal battles, former president Donald Trump maintains a substantial lead over Nikki Haley, his last remaining 2024 GOP competitor, in her home state of South Carolina, a new poll shows.

The Suffolk University/USA Today poll shows the former president with 63 per cent support from South Carolina primary voters — or those who said they are “very likely” to vote. The former South Carolina governor had 35 per cent support.

Mr Trump has an overall lead in the state but certain populations prefer Ms Haley over the Republican frontrunner, according to the poll.

Ms Haley wields a considerable lead — 59 per cent —with those who identify as liberals or moderates, compared to Mr Trump’s 38 per cent.

Similarly, the survey shows that among those who are voting in the Republican primary for the first time, Ms Haley holds a narrow lead, with 51 per cent support compared to Mr Trump’s 49 per cent.

Ms Haley has lost every primary race so far. In a slightly embarrassing defeat in Nevada, in which she ran against nobody due to the state’s disagreement over whether to hold a caucus or a primary, she lost to “none of these.”

Despite experiencing losses in Iowa, New Hampshire, and Nevada, Ms Haley has baulked at the idea that she would drop out. She will be giving a speech on Tuesday at noon in her home state.

“I’m not going to give up,” she reassured her supporters over the weekend.

“Why would I give up when 70 per cent of Americans have said they don’t want Trump or Biden in this election?” she added. “Why would I give up when 59 per cent of Americans say Donald Trump is too old and Joe Biden is too old?”

New Hampshire exit polls provided the former UN ambassador with a glimmer of hope. Mr Trump won the state’s primary by an 11-point margin, but the race exposed some demographic weaknesses in Mr Trump’s voter appeal.

In the same vein as the South Carolina poll, about 60 per cent of New Hampshire Republican primary voters who identified as independents supported Ms Haley, compared to 38 per cent who supported Mr Trump.

On top of this, women voters also were more divided about the two candidates, with 50 per cent of New Hampshire women voters supporting Mr Trump while Ms Haley garnered 48 per cent.

South Carolina’s primary is scheduled for 24 February.