Wednesday, May 22, 2024

United Nations

Nikki Haley ends White House bid, clearing path for a Trump-Biden rematch

March 6, 2024 6:35 PM IST

United Nations | Nikki Haley | Trump-Biden | Republican nomination | Presidential campaign

Former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley will suspend her presidential campaign on Wednesday, according to a source familiar with her plans, ensuring that Donald Trump will win the Republican nomination and once again face Democratic President Joe Biden in November’s election.

Haley will give a speech to address her future in the race, the source said, but she will not make an endorsement at that time. She will urge Trump to try to win the backing of her supporters, which include a significant chunk of moderate Republicans and independent voters, the source added.

Haley’s decision to suspend her campaign comes a day after Super Tuesday, when Trump beat her soundly in 14 of the 15 Republican nominating contests.

Haley lasted longer than any other Republican challenger to Trump but never posed a serious threat to the former president, whose iron grip on the party’s base remains firm despite his multiple criminal indictments.

The rematch between Trump, 77, and Biden, 81 – the first repeat U.S. presidential contest since 1956 – is one that few Americans want. Opinion polls show both Biden and Trump have low approval ratings among voters.

The election promises to be deeply divisive in a country already riven by political polarization. Biden has cast Trump as an existential danger to democratic principles, while Trump has sought to re-litigate his false claims that he won in 2020.

Haley had drawn support from deep-pocketed donors intent on stopping Trump from winning a third consecutive Republican presidential nomination, particularly after she notched a series of strong performances at debates that Trump opted to skip.

She ultimately failed to pry loose enough conservative voters in the face of Trump’s dominance.

But her stronger showing among moderate Republicans and independents – she won unaffiliated voters by a wide margin in New Hampshire and notched almost 40% of the vote in South Carolina – highlighted how Trump’s scorched-earth style of politics could make him vulnerable in the Nov. 5 election.

On March 3, she won the Washington, D.C., Republican primary with 62.9% of the vote, versus 33.2% for Trump. On Tuesday, her only win came in Vermont, a small, deeply Democratic state.

Biden has his own baggage, including widespread concern about his age. Three-quarters of respondents in a February Reuters/Ipsos poll said he was too old to work in government, after already serving as the oldest U.S. president in history.

About half of respondents said the same about Trump.

(Reuters)

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