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Odin: Nikki Haley is not a long shot, she’s our best shot

Matt Mynes // Photo Editor

Flags and signs wave in support of Nikki Haley during her campaign announcement on Wednesday, Feb. 15, 2023, at the Charleston Visitor Center.

On Feb. 14, former South Carolina governor and United Nations ambassador Nikki Haley announced to her Instagram followers that she is officially running for president of the United States.
To the surprise of absolutely no one, the Trump-led Republican establishment entered a frenzy of hatred. Haley-haters echoed the basic Republican attacks, such as calling her a “RINO” or lambasting the former governor for changing her mind on whether she should run against former President Donald Trump. Most notably, my fellow Republicans attacked her for her low polling numbers, effectively arguing that Nikki Haley will never become the president of the United States.
However, we must understand that such arguments have been made against many past presidents, and they are by no means new. Former President Barack Obama and the establishment proclaimed that “Trump will not become president.”
During the 2008 Democratic primaries, many voters thought that the fledgling senator Obama would never defeat the famous Hillary Clinton. The same thing was said about President Joe Biden in 2019 and 2020 when he was not faring well in the Iowa and New Hampshire primaries. Look where that got us.
Predictions about candidates not having a chance, especially over a year before the election, are completely absurd. While it is true that Haley is by no means the front-runner at the moment, things can most definitely change.
With her history in mind, it’s more than likely that she will increase her polling numbers. Let’s not forget that Haley defeated the longest-serving Republican member of South Carolina’s State Legislature by double digits. Then, as a relatively obscure candidate, she won her election as governor of South Carolina. Essentially, Haley is no joke, and when she runs, she most definitely intends to win.
Her record coincides with this mindset, as Haley has never lost an election in her entire political career, which has spanned almost 20 years.
Now that it has been established that Haley has a chance at winning the 2024 presidential election, let’s look at the facts.
The Republican Party has not won the popular vote in a presidential election in seven of the eight past elections. The one election that the Republican Party won out of those eight was during the aftermath of 9/11 when the entire nation rallied behind former President George W. Bush.
To make matters worse, since President Trump was elected in 2016, the Republican Party has suffered major defeats across the nation in many of the most crucial elections.
In 2018, Democrats won the House of Representatives by a landslide. In 2020, President Biden won by over 10 million votes, something former President Trump refuses to acknowledge. In 2022, former President Trump had a losing endorsement record and contributed to the most lackluster Republican turnout in a midterm election year when the party should have won by large numbers.
Trump oversaw the first Republican presidential loss of the suburbs — a former stronghold for the party — since 2008, according to the Brookings Institute. The numbers were so staggering that former President Trump went from netting 1.2 million suburban voters in 2016 over Hillary Clinton to losing by 613,000 suburban voters to President Biden in 2020. This means the GOP lost ground in the suburbs by a whopping 1.8 million voters under Trump. The suburbs are crucial to the GOP’s playbook, and the party cannot continue without their support.
Thus, enter Haley. She not only has recognized this as an issue for the GOP, but she also has the capability to win these voters over to the Republican Party. Her ability to connect with other women as a trailblazer for females in politics and her recognition of our country’s need for “generational change” in politics will handily give the GOP the presidency in 2024.
Imagine this: Nikki Haley, a young female minority with common sense, conservative, not radical, values, against an 81-year-old Joe Biden. How do you think voters would feel?
Haley is young, she would be the first female president, she has conservative values with common sense and she has both executive experience and foreign policy experience. Compare that to Joe Biden: he will be over 80 years old, he oversaw a nation riddled with inflation, he failed to successfully pull U.S. troops out of Afghanistan with grace and his own party has no excitement for him.
With all of this in mind, the GOP would be stupid not to support Haley or a candidate of her likeness in the 2024 Republican Party primaries. She is an energetic winner, she will get the job done and she could be the GOP’s best shot to defeat Joe Biden.
I may be biased, but as a Clemson Tiger, I will never go against my own.

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