Nikki Haley bets it all on Super Tuesday after dismal primary night down south

Nikki Haley bets it all on Super Tuesday after dismal primary night down south

COLUMBIA, S.C. — Nikki Haley isn’t giving up.

Despite a dismal primary performance in her own home state of South Carolina, the former U.N. ambassador is making good on her promise to stay in the GOP presidential primary race and is placing her bets on next month’s Super Tuesday contests when 15 states — or just over a third of all delegates — are up for grabs.

‘America will come apart if we make the wrong choices. This has never been about me or my political future. We need to beat Joe Biden in November. I don’t believe Donald Trump can beat Joe Biden,’ Haley told a crowd of supporters gathered at her election night watch party in Charleston, South Carolina on Saturday.

‘I said earlier this week that no matter what happens in South Carolina, I would continue to run for President. I’m a woman of my word. I’m not giving up this fight when a majority of Americans disapprove of both Donald Trump and Joe Biden,’ she said, arguing voters in Michigan and the Super Tuesday states deserved to have a choice as they head to the polls over the next 10 days.

Haley now heads to Michigan, where GOP primary voters will have their say next Tuesday, but with less than a third of the state’s 55 delegates at stake. The rest will be determined at 13 congressional district meetings scheduled to be held on March 2.

What little polling has been done suggests Trump could hold a strong lead in the state, but regardless of that outcome, Haley’s campaign appears set to make Super Tuesday the final stand against Trump’s juggernaut status in the Republican Party.

On that day, March 5, voters in Alabama, Alaska, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Maine, Massachusetts, Minnesota, North Carolina, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont and Virginia will all head to the polls to decide between Trump and Haley.

In a press call with reporters on Friday, Haley campaign manager Betsy Ankney announced a seven-figure ad buy across the Super Tuesday states, the strongest sign ahead of the South Carolina primary that Haley would follow through with plans to stay in the race regardless of Saturday’s outcome.

In his South Carolina victory speech, Trump also said he would continue fighting to win over voters in Michigan and the Super Tuesday states.

‘It’s an early evening and a fantastic evening,’ Trump told a crowd of supporters gathered at the South Carolina state fairgrounds in Columbia, the state capitol, just minutes after polls closed and he was declared the victor.

‘Celebrate for 15 minutes, but then we have to get back to work,’ he added.

When it comes to the delegates needed for either candidate to clinch the Republican nomination for president, Haley faces an extremely steep climb to make the race competitive. 

Trump, who entered the South Carolina primary with 63 delegates to Haley’s 17, could likely reach the 1,215 delegates needed to clinch the nomination by late March — at the earliest — given the number of delegates up for grabs in the states set to vote between now and then, as well as how those delegates are awarded.

Fox News’ Rémy Numa and the Associated Press contributed to this report.

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