Haley campaign argues she is ‘only viable’ Trump alternative

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Haley campaign argues she is ‘only viable’ Trump alternative

The campaign for GOP presidential candidate Nikki Haley argued in a memo Sunday she is now the “only viable” alternative to former President Trump, who maintains a wide lead in Republican primary polling.

Haley’s campaign manager, Betsy Ankney, wrote Sunday that Haley, a former U.S. ambassador, is the “only candidate” positioned to “do well” in both the Iowa caucuses and New Hampshire primary, both key early voting states.

The memo pointed to a Des Moines Register poll published last week that showed Trump maintaining a strong lead in Iowa, while Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and Haley are tied for second place. Since the same poll in August, Haley gained 10 points, and DeSantis dropped 3 points.

“In Iowa, DeSantis is a sinking ship and Haley is a rising one,” the memo said.

“EVEN IF DeSantis were to do well in Iowa, which is a big ‘if’ given his current decline, he is in such a weak position in New Hampshire and South Carolina that it doesn’t matter,” the memo said. “He has no end game.”

Haley’s strength in New Hampshire and South Carolina is “not disputed,” according to the memo, which referenced polls showing the former South Carolina governor in a “very solid second place,” in both states.

A CNN poll released last week found Trump leading the Republican field in South Carolina with 53 percent support, followed by Haley with 22 percent and DeSantis in third at 11 percent.

In New Hampshire, some polls have shown Haley surpassing DeSantis, while still trailing behind Trump. A poll in New Hampshire from Suffolk University, The Boston Globe and USA Today published last month, showed Haley in second with 19 percent, compared to Trump’s 49 percent support. DeSantis had 10 percent in that poll.

The memo claimed DeSantis is “lying about everything,” including claims about Haley’s records, pointing to a fact-checking report that argued DeSantis’s campaign inaccurately described a comment Haley made about the people of Gaza.

Haley’s campaign also pushed back on the DeSantis’s campaign’s claim that 90 percent of his supporters would vote for Trump should the former president drop out, calling it “complete nonsense.”

The Hill reached out to DeSantis’s and Trump’s campaigns for comment.