The Iowa Caucus is 10 days away, and all eyes are on the 2024 Republican presidential race. The long knives have come out for former U.N. Ambassador and South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley due to her recent surge in the polls.

“Nikki Haley’s rivals for the Republican presidential nomination are ratcheting up their attacks on her as Iowa’s first-in-the-nation voting draws closer,” The Washington Times reports. “The barbed news releases, attack ads and amped up back-and-forth come as the former South Carolina governor and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis battle for a distant second place to former President Donald Trump with less than two weeks until Iowa’s leadoff caucuses. DeSantis and Haley each appeared on CNN Thursday night for separate town halls in Iowa.”

The article goes on to say that the Trump campaign has shifted its attacks from DeSantis to Haley recently, “calling her a ‘sellout’ and criticizing her stances on taxes and the U.S.-Mexico border.” Haley’s campaign suggested this attention reflects Trump’s “concern that she is gaining on him.”

As a daughter of the South, one would think Haley would be polling better than her current 25% in South Carolina. Haley is ahead of Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, and tech entrepreneur Vivek Ramaswamy both in her home state and now nationally, but she is nowhere close to the former president. In most polls, Trump is still roughly 50 percentage points ahead of his opponents. Yet Haley continues her pretense that she is the most qualified and capable candidate for the presidency.

In a solo CNN Town Hall on Thursday, Haley was asked what her strategy was to overtake Trump in the polls. Haley led with how she supported Trump in the past, but then said America could not take any more turmoil and chaos, and that Trump is the chaos candidate.

“The reality is, rightly or wrongly, chaos follows him. … [Y]ou don’t defeat Democrat chaos with Republican chaos.”

Decision Desk HQ penned this analysis:

“Haley is running more of a confrontational campaign against the front-runner, painting the 77 year-old (who’s under four separate criminal indictments) as too controversial and mired in the past to win in November. Such tactics have allowed Haley to pull in a healthy share of the Never-Trump and Trump-skeptical Republicans, giving her what George H.W. Bush once memorably called ‘The Big Mo’.   

The pivotal question, however, is how many potentially Trump-adverse voters are actually even still in the Republican party. After all, while Haley’s support is growing, she’s still around 50 points behind Trump in the national averages.” 

An excellent question. Haley is running a 2012 campaign in a 2024 atmosphere. Love him or hate him, Trump’s voting bloc is loyal and committed to seeing him win the nomination. There are also independent and undecided voters who do not care for the Department of Justice and other entities who have been using the two-tiered justice system to target Trump and destroy his candidacy. With each new attack to remove him from the ballot and each indictment lawsuit, Trump’s numbers remain unaffected, and even rise higher.

But will Haley gain traction with voters in our state?

In 2020, Alabamians voted 62% for Trump over then-candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden. Fifty-five of Alabama’s 67 counties voted overwhelmingly to keep Trump as president, and Alabama continues to back Trump. Most recently, Trump received ringing endorsements from U.S. Rep. Jerry Carl (R-Mobile), Alabama GOP chairman John Wahl and U.S. Sen. Katie Britt (R-Montgomery).

Haley may be leading the pack for second place, but some recent controversies cement her image as a Republican elitist rather than an America First proponent. Haley’s Civil War comment was a major snafu, and more recently, a video has surfaced of Haley telling us how she feels about labeling illegal aliens as criminals.

Haley has also not taken a very favorable view of Alabama’s native son, Coach and U.S. Sen. Tommy Tuberville, due to his efforts to withhold Department of Defense nominations until Biden changed his abortion tourism policy in the armed services. On Thursday, Tuberville spoke with 1819 News Editor-in-Chief Jeff Poor on his weekly FM Talk 106.5's "The Jeff Poor Show," chiding Haley as a “neocon” and “adding she had never met a war that she did not like.” For his part, Tuberville is firmly in the Trump camp and is trying to convince the roughly 30 GOP Senators who have not endorsed him to cross that bridge.

Tuberville's lack of love for Haley was also evident:

"Nikki Haley is making a push but she's getting BlackRock and all the big corporations behind her," Tuberville added. "A lot of the Democrats are even pushing Nikki Haley because they see their guy can't make it, Joe Biden. And so, they're pushing Nikki Haley. … Joe Biden has got us on the verge of a world war but Nikki Haley, if she were to get in, she would just continue all of that. But she is not going to be our nominee. Donald Trump is going to be it."

Regardless of who the eventual nominee is, it is clear that Haley is running a campaign not only for the presidency but as a contender for vice president. And despite Trump’s criticism and attacks on Haley of late, Trump is still an unpredictable wildcard. Haley is a darker shade of former Vice President Mike Pence, not only in her establishment credentials but also because she is draped in corporate money and burdened by globalist ties. Pence seemed a logical choice for Republicans in 2016, but hindsight shows how well that turned out.

Given the record cited above, if Trump wins the GOP nomination, Alabamians and the rest of the nation should be very wary of the running mate he selects.

Jennifer Oliver O'Connell, As the Girl Turns, is an investigative journalist, author, opinion analyst, and contributor to 1819 News, Redstate, and other publications. Jennifer writes on Politics and Pop Culture, with occasional detours into Reinvention, Yoga, and Food. You can read more about Jennifer's world at her As the Girl Turns website. You can also follow her on Facebook, Twitter, and Telegram.

The views and opinions expressed here are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the policy or position of 1819 News. To comment, please send an email with your name and contact information to [email protected]

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