As former Governor Nikki Haley secured the second spot in the New Hampshire primary, calls for her withdrawal from the GOP race grew louder on Tuesday, particularly after former President Donald Trump emerged victorious. A significant faction within the Republican Party believes that Haley should exit the race to consolidate GOP resources for the primary objective of defeating President Joe Biden. Notably, Republicans expended over $167 million in unsuccessful attempts to defeat Trump in New Hampshire and Iowa, with plans for additional spending in upcoming primaries.
The recent exit of Governor Ron DeSantis from the race did not seem to improve Haley’s path to the nomination. DeSantis’s endorsement of Trump further unified support behind the former president, creating additional pressure on Haley to reconsider her fledgling campaign. In states other than New Hampshire, Trump maintains a commanding lead of no less than 30 points. Influential Republicans, including House Conference Chair Elise Stefanik, Senator Tom Cotton, and Governor Kristi Noem, congratulated Trump on his New Hampshire victory and expressed sentiments that Trump is the de facto GOP nominee.
Calls for Haley’s withdrawal intensified on social media, with figures like CEO of the Federalist Sean Davis urging her to drop out. He suggested that continuing in a race she cannot win, primarily to attack Trump, would signal being “fully owned by the left-wing Democrats.” Social media influencer Ryan Fournier echoed this sentiment, stating that it’s time for Haley to give up, considering her refusal to drop out despite claiming the race is far from over.
New York Times’ chief political analyst Nate Cohn emphasized that polling indicates Haley’s inevitable resignation from the race, allowing Trump to concentrate on defeating President Biden. Despite some backers expressing concerns over her outreach efforts to unaffiliated voters, Fergus Cullen, a former chairman of the New Hampshire Republican Party, asserted that it might be too little, too late for Haley’s prospects in the race.