Former President Donald Trump holds a substantial lead over former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley (R) in her home state, according to a new poll. The polling result comes as Haley attempts to eke out a positive finish in the upcoming New Hampshire primary, which could be a make-or-break moment for her campaign.
According to a poll from Fabrizio, Lee and Associates, Trump currently brings in 64% of Republican primary voters in the state. In second place is Haley, who registers 25% support.
In a distant third is Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R), who has 8% backing.
As an early primary state, South Carolina is often one of the major sources of momentum for candidates heading into multiple future primaries.
The pollsters also asked Republicans who they would back in a direct race between Trump and Haley. The result was 68% supporting Trump and 28% behind Haley.
Furthermore, a majority of those who said that they backed Trump also said they would “definitely” support him in the primary, compared to 18% who said the same about Haley.
The Trump campaign lauded the polling result, stating that their candidate is “set to deliver a South Carolina smackdown to Nikki Haley.”
Haley is trailing in almost all New Hampshire polls ahead of next week’s primary election. One poll showed her tied with Trump. A solid finish in the state is necessary for her to be able to follow up in South Carolina.
Should the former South Carolina governor have a particularly negative result in New Hampshire, it is possible that she would exit the race rather than face defeat by Republicans in her home state.
Furthermore, Trump received a crucial boost from another major figure in the state’s politics. Sen. Tim Scott (R-SC) gave an enthusiastic endorsement of the former president, snubbing his former presidential primary opponent Haley.
Scott said that Trump would “close our southern border” and “will stop the crime in the streets.”
“We need Donald Trump!” he said.
We need a president who will close our southern border.
We need a president today who will stop the crime in the streets.
We need Donald Trump!
That is why I am officially endorsing Donald J. Trump for President of the United States.
— Tim Scott (@votetimscott) January 20, 2024
Haley had appointed Scott to the United States Senate.
Trump was also endorsed by a number of other prominent state officials. He is currently supported by Sen. Lindsey Graham (S-SC) and South Carolina Gov. Henry McMaster (R).