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Republican presidential candidate and former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley reacts as her daughter Rena and Rena's husband Joshua stand next to her, at her watch party during the South Carolina Republican presidential primary election in Charleston, South Carolina, U.S. February 24, 2024.

REUTERS/Evelyn Hockstein

Nikki Haley hangs tough

Despite being trounced by Donald Trump in her home state of South Carolina, former governor Nikki Haleyremains in the race to lead the GOP.

Positioning herself as a champion for traditional conservative principles, fiscal responsibility, and democracy, Haley said she would not quit “as a matter of principle”. In an impassioned press conference, she vowed to give Republican supporters "a real choice, not a Soviet-style election with only one candidate,” and cited polls that show her doing better than Trump against Biden.

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A volunteer works at former U.S. President Donald Trump's campaign headquarters in Urbandale, Iowa U.S., January 13, 2024.

Trump wins by a landslide in Iowa

It only took the Associated Press 32 minutes to call the race for the former president. Blizzard conditions didn’t seem to hurt Donald Trump any more than his refusal to debate his opponents or a laundry list of legal troubles. Caucus workers in many precincts had packed up and gone home within an hour of opening as Trump easily cleared 51% of the vote.

The race to No. 2: Much closer was the contest between former South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley and Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, though the latter managed to pull ahead with 21% of the vote to Haley’s 19%. Still, neither secured enough of an advantage to emerge as the clear alternative to Trump.

Vivek Ramaswamy finished a distant fourth, leading the long-shot candidate to hang up his campaign boots and endorse Trump.

Next up: New Hampshire’s primary is next Tuesday, Jan. 23. Haley is polling much more competitively in the Granite State … albeit with a 10 percentage point gap behind Trump.

This paints a rather grim picture of Haley’s best path to the White House, which seems to depend on Trump being rendered ineligible by a court ruling in one of his many ongoing cases. If polling is to be believed, even a conviction is unlikely to bother Republican voters much – as the majority are convinced Trump has done nothing wrong.

And the gate is even narrower for DeSantis, who staked his candidacy’s future on overperforming in Iowa. His polling numbers in New Hampshire and South Carolina have him closer to Ramaswamy than Haley — and miles behind Donald Trump.

Republican Presidential Candidate Donald Trump recites the pledge of allegiance with his wife Melania, back in 2016.


‘I pledge allegiance against AI’

The Washington Post’s technology columnist, Geoffrey Fowler, recently asked 2024 US presidential candidates to take an "AI Pledge" promising to:

  1. Label any communication made with generative AI tools.
  2. Not use AI to misrepresent what a competitor has done or said.
  3. Not use AI to misrepresent what you have done or said.
  4. Not use AI to confuse people about how to vote.”
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Polling numbers of GOP candidates

Paige Fusco

The Graphic Truth: Who's leading the Republican primary?

If you know anything about the state of the Republican presidential race right now, you know that former President Donald Trump is leaps and bounds ahead of the pack. But the race is just getting started.

A lot can change in the first few primary states and debates, so we decided to track the polls in three early primary states to see if Trump holds onto his formidable lead or if another candidate emerges to give him a run for his money. These are where the numbers stood before the first debate. We will report back if the tides begin to turn.

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