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14 Feb, 2023 14:15

Ex-top official enters 2024 US presidential race

With single-digit support in current polls, Nikki Haley will face an uphill battle against Donald Trump
Ex-top official enters 2024 US presidential race

Former US ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley has announced that she is running for president in 2024. Haley is the first Republican to challenge former President Donald Trump for the GOP nomination.

Despite stating in 2021 that she would “not run if President Trump ran,” Haley announced her candidacy in a video on Tuesday morning.

Haley opened the video by boasting of her immigrant heritage, before accusing China and Iran of human rights abuses. Considered an establishment-friendly figure by conservative pundits and Trump’s base, Haley promised to “strengthen our country” against “China and Russia.”

A foreign policy hawk, Haley differs from Trump most significantly on issues of war and peace. For example, despite vowing in her video to take on “the Washington establishment,” Haley’s position on Ukraine is almost indistinguishable from that of the administration of President Joe Biden. Haley has described the country’s conflict with Russia as “a war for freedom” and has demanded since March that the White House provide Kiev with fighter jets. 

Trump, by contrast, has condemned Biden for bringing the world “to the brink of World War III” by arming Ukraine, and claimed that he could have a peace deal worked out “in 24 hours.”

Trump and Florida Governor Ron DeSantis – who has not announced his candidacy – are overwhelmingly favored by Republican voters. Recent polls show the two within single digits of each other, although some surveys put Trump’s lead closer to 20 points. Haley scores between 1% and 3% in most polls, but an outlying survey by YouGov earlier this month shows her support at 11%.

That same poll found that Haley entering the 2024 race benefits Trump by drawing support away from DeSantis. According to the survey, DeSantis leads Trump by three points, but trails him by three if Haley runs.

Haley served as Trump’s ambassador to the United Nations from 2017 to 2019 and was governor of South Carolina from 2011 to 2017.