Voters are running out of time to “Pick Nikki”.

Signs for former United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley at the Country Lane Lodge in Adel, Iowa. January 15, 2024. (Photo: Gage Skidmore)

Haley Sticks in Trump’s Craw After Losing in New Hampshire,” hoped reporter Philip Wegmann for Real Clear Politics after former SC Governor Nikki Haley’s Tuesday loss in the New Hampshire Republican Primary.

The much-ballyhooed New Hampshire primary contest, in which the Nikki Haley campaign invested heavily and campaigned hardest, ended Tuesday night in a crushing defeat for the former South Carolina governor.

“Nikki Haley smiled through her loss, congratulated Donald Trump on his win here, and then burned bridges with the former president,” noted Wegmann for RCP. “It was her strongest denunciation yet, proof that, at least in that moment, Haley had no plans to surrender her White House ambitions.”

“He earned it, and I want to acknowledge that,” Nikki Haley said in her post-primary concession speech — where she vowed to fight on despite the disappointing loss.

“They’re falling all over themselves saying this race is over,” Haley told her supporters. “Well, I have news for all of them: New Hampshire is first in the nation, it is not the last in the nation. This race is far from over. There are dozens of states left to go.”

“Every time I’ve run for office in South Carolina, I’ve beaten the political establishment,” Haley said. “They’re lined up against me again, that’s no surprise. But South Carolina voters don’t want a coronation, they want an election.”

Haley has certainly had her fair share of detractors in this race.

The Nikki Haley Boomlet Is Proof of a Bored Press Corps,” Jack Shafer scoffed for Politico on November 28, 2023, categorizing her campaign as a “meaningless position as the second-place finisher in the race.”

Haley has faced this criticism since the beginning of the race, in which the real Republican Party front-runner — Donald Trump — never once bothered showing up for a televised debate.

With Trump’s decisive win in New Hampshirecalls have been growing for Haley to drop out.

“Congratulations to President Trump on his decisive victory tonight in America’s first-in-the-nation primary!” House Speaker Mike Johnson said in a statement. “Our House Republican leaders and a majority of Republican Senators support his reelection, and Republican voters in Iowa and New Hampshire have strongly backed him at the polls.”

“It’s now past time for the Republican Party to unite around President Trump so we can focus on ending the disastrous Biden presidency and growing our majority in Congress,” said Speaker Johnson.

“I think the Republican primary, for all intents and purposes, is over tonight,” Vivek Ramaswamy told Jesse Watters for FOX News after the results were in.

Mr. Ramaswamy, after dropping out of the race last week, has been throwing his support wholeheartedly behind Donald Trump ever since.

“If you want to seal the border, if you want to restore law and order in this country, if you want to defeat the deep state, if you want to fight inflation, if you want to revive national pride in this country, if you want to revive our national identity in this country, if you want to make American great again,” Ramaswamy told an ecstatic crowd of Republican Party primary voters before introducing former President Donald Trump.

Republican voters in New Hampshire certainly seemed ready to rally behind Donald Trump.

In 2020, Trump set a new Republican Party record for most votes received in the New Hampshire primary. This week, Trump surpassed that record, hitting 130,741 by 10:45 p.m.

Trump’s final 2024 tally in New Hampshire was 169,276 votes.

Nikki Haley was able to put on a strong showing against Donald Trump, despite his robust Republican Party support, due mainly to independent, unaffiliated, and Democratic Party voters who crossed party lines to cast their vote for Haley.

“70% of Nikki Haley voters in New Hampshire were not registered Republicans,” revealed a CNN exit poll.

Trump’s voters in the New Hampshire primary were comprised of 70% registered Republicans, and 27% registered undeclared. Haley’s primary voters were comprised of the opposite mix: 70% registered undeclared, 27% registered Republicans.

Whether these unaffiliated voters and disaffected Democrats will be willing to support Haley in the general election — should she manage to become the Republican Party candidate by some miracle — is another matter entirely.

“It was a strategic vote — I wouldn’t vote for her in a general election,” one NH primary voter told reporters while news entertainment personality Rachel Maddow laughed approvingly from the studio. “A vote for Haley helps diminish Trump’s influence.”

Other New Hampshire voters told CNN the same thing.

But the primary race is also much more than just a question of policy or ideology — or even Donald Trump.

It’s also a question of money.

Every dollar the Republican Party spends on Nikki Haley’s all-but-doomed bid to defeat Donald Trump in the 2024 Republican Party primary is a dollar they don’t spend on the real contest: Defeating President Joe Biden in November.

Republicans Waste $167M in Losing Effort to Defeat Trump in New Hampshire, Iowa,” complained Wendell Husebo for the popular conservative news outlet, Breitbart.

“The massive amount of money spent in the first two primaries of the 2024 cycle shows how strong former President Donald Trump’s grassroots support is around the nation,” noted Husebo. “Trump spent just $34.1 million in both states.”

According to Breitbart, Haley spent $31 million in her New Hampshire primary bid alone.

Beating incumbent President Joe Biden will be no easy task for Republicans in 2024. The Republican Party is going to need every last red cent, whatever the polls say about Biden’s reelection chances at this point in the race.

Voters are often disenchanted with their Democratic Party incumbent after one term; that doesn’t mean they will vote Republican in November, to say nothing of voting for Donald Trump. Even former President Barack Obama — who enjoyed a high level of popularity relative to Biden or Trump — struggled in the polls leading up to his reelection in 2012.

Nikki Haley Says She’s Only Just Begun to Fight, But She Is Wrong,” concluded Ben Mathis-Lilley for the progressive news outlet Slate on January 23, 2024.

“Exit polling in New Hampshire found that Trump won registered Republican on Tuesday by fifty points,” Mathis-Lilley emphasized. “Strange things have happened in American politics recently, but the Republican Party awarding its nomination to someone who is losing its voters by 50 is not going to be one of them.”

“So, probably, give or take a Glenn Youngkin trial balloon that will get shot down with a cannon by actual voters, November’s matchup is all but officially set between Biden and Trump,” he predicted before intoning: “General election 2024 is underway — may God help us all.”

Each and every one.

(contributing writer, Brooke Bell)