Republican strategists interviewed by Fox News Digital emphasized the importance of Nikki Haley establishing a “realistic path” for winning future primary elections in her pursuit of the presidency. Targeted Victory Vice President Matt Gorman stressed the need for Haley to define a clear trajectory for her campaign. Despite her losses in the Iowa caucuses and the New Hampshire primary, Haley remains committed to continuing her campaign as it heads to her home state of South Carolina, where a victory could be pivotal for her presidential aspirations.
Jimmy Keady, founder and president of JLK Political Strategies, highlighted President Trump’s dominance in the primaries, attributing it to voters’ positive memories of his presidency. Keady emphasized the importance of capitalizing on momentum to avoid fizzling out, anticipating a consolidation of support from Republican leaders in the coming weeks.
Matt Wolking, Axiom Strategies Vice President of Communications, analyzed the New Hampshire numbers, noting Trump’s strength among Republican voters. Wolking suggested that Haley cannot rely on non-Republican voters to win the primary and questioned her viability beyond March. Trump’s substantial victory in the New Hampshire primary further complicates Haley’s path forward, as she vows to continue her campaign through the South Carolina primary on Feb. 24.
Despite the challenges, Haley’s spokesperson, Olivia Perez-Cubas, emphasized their commitment to the democratic process, stating that the campaign does not seek coronations but elections. Perez-Cubas underlined Haley’s dedication to representing Republican primary voters and Americans opposed to a Biden-Trump rematch.
However, some GOP strategists, including Aaron Evans and John Ashbrook, expressed skepticism about Haley’s prospects. Evans argued that Haley’s loss in New Hampshire, a state where she was expected to perform well, signals a major setback. Ashbrook praised President Trump’s campaign operation and considered it a testament to his professional approach.
The strategists’ assessments followed Haley’s loss to Trump in the New Hampshire primary, where Trump emerged as the first Republican candidate to win competitive elections in both the Iowa caucuses and the New Hampshire primary since 1976. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis withdrew from the race two days before the primary, setting up a head-to-head contest between Trump and Haley. The Fox News Voter Analysis indicated a closer race in New Hampshire compared to the Iowa caucuses.