With nearly 90% of votes tallied, former U.S. President Donald Trump is maintaining a slim lead of only 10 points over his competitor, former South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley. This contrasts sharply with earlier predictions of a 32-point landslide victory for Trump. While the counting is ongoing, media reports suggest that Haley still holds a slight chance of surpassing Trump, but he remains confident in securing New Hampshire.
Despite the narrow margin, Haley is steadfast, stating she "refuses to quit" and believes she can still outperform Trump. She plans to focus on her home state of South Carolina next week and has rallies scheduled in California, New York, and Florida.
New Hampshire boasts a substantial number of independent voters, along with moderate Republicans supporting Haley, contributing to the closely contested race. Super Tuesday states share similar demographics.
Haley has fundraising events lined up in California, New York, and Florida, and she is organizing a rally in her home state on Wednesday, according to NBC reports.
Undeterred by setbacks, Haley is determined to press forward, emphasizing her fighting spirit despite Trump's pivot towards a general election focus. Following a second-place finish in New Hampshire, she pledged to continue her campaign, expressing confidence in her path forward.
In a rallying cry, Haley stated, "This race is far from over. There are dozens of states left to go, and the next one is my sweet state of South Carolina."
Acknowledging the challenges faced by Republicans under Trump's leadership, she highlighted losses in various elections and underscored the Democrats' desire to face Trump in the general election.
As of Tuesday night, Haley had planned fundraising trips to New York, California, and Florida. A rally in Charleston was scheduled for Wednesday, and she had already initiated a $4 million ad buy.
Despite Trump's criticism accusing Haley of attracting Democratic support, her supporters remain steadfast, citing her ability to defy odds in a crowded race against better-funded and higher-polling opponents.
"Nikki Haley shocked the world before. She did it numerous times in South Carolina politics," remarked Alex Stroman, the executive director of the South Carolina Republican Party, highlighting her past successes. With South Carolina's open primaries, allowing Democrats to participate, the competition remains dynamic.
While Trump attempted to undermine Haley's standing in the lead-up to New Hampshire, her supporters emphasize her resilience, adopting the mantra of "slow and steady wins the race" as they continue to build momentum in each primary. Bill Strong, a donor and member of Haley's campaign executive committee, expressed confidence in their strategy of gradually gaining voters and donors.
(With Agency Inputs)