Nikki Haley reveals playbook for beating Donald Trump and winning the GOP presidential nomination

EXCLUSIVE– Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley may be far behind former President Donald Trump in the latest 2024 GOP primary polls, but she says her emphasis on candidate-to-voter, retail style politics can help her capture her party’s presidential nomination. Haley told Fox News that she’ll “show a lot of momentum” when her initial fundraising figures are filed in the coming days. Haley, a former two-term South Carolina governor who served as ambassador to the United Nations during the Trump administration, launched her presidential campaign at a kickoff event in her home state early last month. To date, she remains the only major contender to join Trump as a declared candidate as the GOP presidential field slowly takes shape. Asked at a town hall event on the campaign trail Tuesday evening in New Hampshire how she’ll defeat Trump — who remains the polling front-runner for the nomination at this early point in the 2024 cycle — Haley said, “when you look at the situation that we have, President Trump has 25% of Republicans. It’s a hard 25 percent. They are Trump or no one.’” NIKKI HALEY TO VISIT SOUTHERN BORDER IN TEXAS AFTER UNVEILING PLAN TO TACKLE MIGRANT CRISIS “There are 75 percent other Republicans there that are looking for a place to be,” she emphasized. Haley, who in the six weeks since she launched her campaign has held ten town halls in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina — the first three states to vote in the GOP presidential nominating calendar — highlighted that “I am here and I’ve been here multiple times and I’ll keep coming back.” “You’ll get tired of seeing me. But it’s because I want you to go tell your friends and family, I heard her at the next town hall you need to go. And let me tell them. And let me earn their support,” Haley said. “We’re going touch hands over and over again. And I’m doing the same thing in Iowa and I’m doing the same thing in South Carolina.” Apparently taking aim at Trump without naming him, Haley said: “I am not going to focus on doing big rallies… You have to go and answer the hard questions. You have to go face-to-face. You can’t fly in and fly out. I believe the American people want you to earn their vote.” Small scale candidate-to-voter retail politicking has long been a tradition in Iowa and New Hampshire, which for half a century have led off the primary and caucus schedule. But Trump, during his 2016 run for the GOP nomination, changed the playbook. GREENE, GAETZ TAKE SHOTS AT PRESIDENTIAL HOPEFUL NIKKI HALEY DURING TRUMP RALLY OVER FOREIGN POLICY, APPEAL While Trump was known for his large rallies during his successful 2016 presidential campaign and his unsuccessful 2020 re-election bid, he rarely made small stops to talk with voters at restaurants, diners, coffee shops, fast-food joints, or town hall settings. But during trips so far this year to Iowa, Ohio, and South Carolina, the former president has set aside time to engage in some small-scale interactions. Longtime Republican strategist David Carney said that retail politics remains very valuable and still “does matter.” “What does retail politics does is get people to meet you,” Carney, a veteran of numerous presidential campaigns, noted.  But he also pointed out that “Trump is different. He’s not a traditional candidate. He’s 100% known. People either love him or hate him.” Carney said the real question going forward for Haley and the other actual and potential Republican contenders is “how you beat the other guys. How do you become the alternative to Trump?” Haley has yet to release any initial fundraising figures from her campaign. But with the end of the first quarter of fundraising coming up at the end of the month, her team will soon be filing their first report with the Federal Election Commission. Asked by Fox News Digital in an exclusive national interview following the town hall about her fundraising, Haley called it “good” and said “we’re going to continue. It’s only been six weeks and I think we’ll show a lot of momentum as we go into the [second] quarter.” Fundraising, along with public opinion polling, is a key metric in gauging a candidate’s strength and popularity. Small dollar grassroots fundraising in particular is seen as a measure of a candidate’s resonance with the electorate.
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