© 2024 South Carolina Public Radio
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00
0:00
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
South Carolina Public Radio's offices will be closed Monday, May 27, in observance of the Memorial Day holiday. Our local news and programming will return Tuesday, May 28.

Nikki Haley to hold rally in Greenville County this week as she heads into the SC Republican presidential primary

FILE - Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley speaks to voters at a town hall campaign event, Monday, Feb. 20, 2023, in Urbandale, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall, File)
Charlie Neibergall/AP
/
AP
FILE - Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley speaks to voters at a town hall campaign event, Monday, Feb. 20, 2023, in Urbandale, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall, File)

After losing to President Donald Trump in the New Hampshire GOP presidential primary race, former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley is looking ahead to her home state, hoping for a bounce-back victory.

“It’s time to put the negativity and chaos behind us. Our fight is not over, because we have a country to save,” Haley posted on X formerly Twitter following her New Hampshire defeat.

Now, all eyes turn to South Carolina. According to FiveThirtyEight, Trump has a substantial 37.2% differential lead over the Bamberg, SC native.

The battle to win votes in the Palmetto State may be a tough one for Haley. Although she won 75% of moderate/liberal voters in New Hampshire, according to the National Election Pool exit pool, South Carolinians are more conservative with just 19% of voters in the state’s 2016 GOP primary identifying as moderate/liberal.

Haley will hold a rally at the Mauldin High School gym in Greenville County on Saturday, Jan. 27.

There are mixed views from members of the Greenville County Republican party ahead of Haley's event at one of the state's largest high schools.

“It is always exciting to be in the primary season and to see the candidates place a priority on our lovely state - specifically, our neck of the woods in the upstate,” said Greenville County Republican Party 4th Vice President Griffin Callahan.

“While I will not be supporting Nikki Haley in the primary, as I have significant disagreements with her on foreign policy, social policy, and overall demeanor and thought process for running against President Trump, I am glad that she is ensuring that the voters of South Carolina are being informed on all that she stands for and ensuring she gets her message out to as many voters as possible,” added Callahan.

Meanwhile, Greenville County Democratic voters are appreciative about the focus Haley is bringing to the area but cautious about what a Haley presidency would mean for the nation.

“Nikki Haley's visit to Mauldin High School is an awesome opportunity for learning, and I hope she takes advantage of engaging American history teachers, gaining insights into the intricate ties between the Civil War and slavery,” said Greenville County District 25 candidate Derrick Quarles.

During a December 2023 campaign event, Haley did not explicitly say the cause of the Civil War was slavery; a voter asked the former South Carolina governor "What was the cause of the United States Civil War?"

She replied that the cause was "basically how government was going to run, the freedoms, and what people could and couldn't do."

"I think it always comes down to the role of government and what the rights of the people are," Haley continued. "And I will always stand by the fact that, I think, government was intended to secure the rights and freedoms of the people."

After Haley gave her answer, the voter told her that it was "astonishing" that she answered "without mentioning the word 'slavery.'"

“Like most reasonable Americans, I am concerned about the soul of our nation - we need a President who will work for all Americans, particularly the middle class and those who need assistance most,” Quarles added.

The Haley campaign team has an uphill battle ahead in the next 30 days, especially with numerous national and local politicians throwing their support behind Donald Trump, including Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC), whom Haley appointed to the United States Senate in 2012.

“We need a president who sees Americans as one American family, and that’s why I came to the very warm state of New Hampshire to endorse the next president of the United States, President Donald Trump,” Scott said during a New Hampshire rally for President Trump.

“She is not presidential timber,” Trump said of Haley during the same rally. “Now when I say that, that probably means that she’s not gonna be chosen as the vice president.”

Haley has not given up on the presidency, sighting that she is the best Republican presidential candidate.

“With Donald Trump, Republicans have lost almost every competitive election. We lost the Senate. We lost the House. We lost the White House. We lost in 2018. We lost in 2020, and we lost in 2022,” Haley said after the New Hampshire primary.

“The worst-kept secret in politics is how badly the Democrats want to run against Donald Trump. They know Trump is the only Republican in the country who Joe Biden can defeat.”

Marcus Flowers is an award-winning content producer who specializes in various topics.