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Spectator USA
Spectator USA
24 Feb 2024
Freddy Gray


NextImg:How will Nikki Haley fare in South Carolina?

Will Nikki Haley defy expectations and only lose by twenty points today? That seems to be closest thing to a point of contention as South Carolina heads to the polls for today’s dodo of a Republican primary. 

The polls have shown Trump’s enormous lead shrinking in recent days from well over thirty points to around twenty-five. Some well-informed reporters think that Trump’s lead has diminished because of his rude outburst about Haley’s spouse. 

“Where’s her husband?” Trump mused in February, in his off-the-top-of-his-head way. “Oh, he’s away. What happened to her husband? What happened to her husband? Where is he? He’s gone.”

Making jokes about people’s marriages is one thing; insulting a serving member of the military is another. 

Haley’s husband Michael is a major in the U Army and he is currently deployed in the Horn of Africa. Trump appeared to be making a snide reference to the rumors that Haley’s marriage is in trouble following more reports about her alleged infidelities in the past. Making jokes about people’s marriages is one thing; insulting a serving member of the military is another. 

Haley has jumped on the PR opportunity, repeatedly insisting that Trump had insulted all military families. That may have been over-egging. But women voters, we know, don’t respond well when Trump gets nasty. And there’s a lot of military bases in South Carolina. 

Still, Trump, being Trump, doubled down. “I think he should come back home to help save her dying campaign,” he said. He knows it doesn’t really matter. 

He will still win today, by a long way, in Haley’s home state. The Republican nomination process will continue to be a coronation. Trump will speak triumphantly today at the Conservative Political Action Conference in Washington DC and no doubt he’ll make more outrageous comments that no other politician would dare say.  

CPAC is yet another famous conservative event that has turned into a Trumpfest. Haley may stagger on to Super Tuesday, in ten days time, when fifteen states will vote in the primaries, but she seems unlikely to win anywhere. And party candidates who can’t win a single state don’t become the nominee. 

Trump is Republican America now. He has been for some time.

This article was originally published on The Spectator’s UK website.