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Wall Street leader calls on Haley to drop out if she loses big in South Carolina

OpinionWall Street leader calls on Haley to drop out if she loses big in South Carolina

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If Vice President Albert Arnold Gore, Jr. had won his home state of Tennessee on November 7, 2000, he would have become president of the United States. His loss in the Volunteer State handed his opponent, George W. Bush, 11 electoral votes, giving him a total of 271 to win the presidency. Gore, like Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley, had previously been a popular local politician before becoming detached from his roots. 
 
It is a powerful signal when a politician’s home state does not back him or her in a national contest. This is the situation in which Haley will likely find herself on the evening of February 24. That she will lose the South Carolina Republican Primary in excess of 20% (more among registered Republicans) is a powerful message from the people of South Carolina: we know you better than any other voters and now is not your time. 
 
As a native small-town South Carolinian who, like Haley, returned home after a successful run in Manhattan, I am calling on her to follow Republican Senator Tim Scott’s lead. She should abandon her campaign on the evening of February 24, when it becomes clear that she has been handily defeated in her home state. Scott, South Carolina’s most popular statewide politician, has become a powerful voice in the Republican effort to replace President Joe Biden. 

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On Tuesday night, February 20, former U.S. Ambassador Ed McMullen and I raised over $7.2 million for Donald Trump, the largest single fundraising event in Palmetto State history, at an event in Greenville, South Carolina.  

Republican presidential candidate Nikki Haley

If Republican Nikki Haley loses badly in South Carolina, where she used to be governor, she should leave the presidential race. (JOSEPH PREZIOSO/AFP via Getty Images)

The Haley fundraiser two nights later in Greenville raised $270,000. Her fundraising base is closer to Wall Street than Main Street, South Carolina. It is time to coalesce both groups to help Republicans take back the White House this November. Her financial supporters should redirect their efforts to the Republican National Committee and Trump Victory. 
 
Americans willing to put themselves forward and serve their state or country in public office deserve our greatest admiration. These same candidates who continue when victory is clearly unattainable only harm themselves and their party, draining valuable time and resources.  

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Haley’s life thus far has been an incredible American story: an immigrant family lands in rural South Carolina and produces a charismatic state leader and United Nations ambassador. My hope is that she will join Scott, who has an equally powerful life story, as a spokesperson for the Republican nominee. 
 
Haley’s best campaign moment to date, in my opinion, was in the Milwaukee debate, which I attended, when she answered a question on abortion, saying that we need a “respectful” approach. “We need to stop demonizing this issue.” 

It is a powerful signal when a politician’s home state does not back him or her in a national contest. This is the situation in which Haley will likely find herself on the evening of February 24. That she will lose the South Carolina Republican Primary in excess of 20% (more among registered Republicans) is a powerful message from the people of South Carolina: we know you better than any other voters and now is not your time. 

She should take a strong unity message to the American people, rather than splitting the party. She brings a perspective and voice that will be valuable, speaking to constituents who will be important voting groups in November. 

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Haley wanted a two-person race, and she got it. She said that she had to do better in South Carolina than New Hampshire to continue to Super Tuesday. She won’t. Haley should end her campaign when the results come in the evening of February 24. 

She can help lead the Republican Party to victory from the top of the ticket to the state and local levels in November and look forward to 2028. As Norman Vincent Peale said, “A masterly retreat is in itself a victory.” 

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