Trump May Be Considering Nikki Haley as Running Mate

Nikki Haley dropped out of the Republican race for the nomination in early March. But in late April in the GOP primary in Pennsylvania, she pulled a surprising 20-25% in the upper Middle-Class suburbs of Philadelphia and Pittsburgh.

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In last Tuesday’s Indiana primary, she received nearly a quarter of the vote.

The Biden team saw that as proof that Haley voters were gettable. Whether that’s a mirage or not, Trump is rethinking Haley as a running mate. He hasn’t reached out to her yet. But Haley will attend a donor meeting next week where the possibility of Haley endorsing Trump will almost certainly be discussed.

The oil and water relationship between the two would seem to preclude an alliance. But politics has seen stranger bedfellows and the bottom line is, that Trump needs Nikki Haley — in more ways than one.

Those upscale suburban, college-educated voters that Haley continues to attract would make a big difference not only in Pennsylvania but in Michigan, Ohio, and Wisconsin as well. 

Even more importantly, Trump is trailing Joe Biden in fundraising very badly. Given his shaky financial position, he needs those donor dollars from Haley to become competitive with Biden.

But taking Haley as a running mate may not even be necessary.

“A lot of these voters will come home by November, but his future is in his hands,” said former Indiana GOP state Rep. Mike Murphy, a Haley supporter. “If he fu**s up more in court, gets convicted and makes an ass of himself like he continues to do, then these people are going to continue to be disgusted with him.”

Asking Trump to behave himself just to get Haley to a “yes” for vice president isn’t going to work.

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Besides, the two are so far apart on some issues that it would be an uncomfortable marriage if they ever joined forces.

Axios:

Earlier this year, Trump said Haley didn’t have “presidential timber” and Haley said Trump was “not qualified” to be president.

They also have different views on issues such as the war and changing programs such as Social Security and Medicare.

Haley has pushed to send more resources to Ukraine and allow it to become part of NATO; Trump has not.

Trump attacked Haley for her proposed reforms such as raising the retirement age for future generations.

But what’s uncomfortable is Trump’s continued underperformance in the suburbs. Former Haley aides are delighting in pointing that out.

Trump’s growing support among minorities will likely offset some of the suburban drift that Trump is experiencing. But there are a lot more potential Trump votes in the suburbs than there are among Hispanic and black voters.

Politico:

Haley voters are crucial for Trump and Biden in November, especially given how important swing counties and states are to winning the election.

“Trump world should do, in my opinion, everything they can to get them,” said a Republican strategist who supported Haley’s bid, granted anonymity to assess the campaign frankly.

Trump and his team are “denialists” for “not doing anything” to earn Haley supporters’ votes, said the strategist, who also noted that Biden has his own weakness with voters.

Spokesperson Karoline Leavitt said in a statement that the Trump campaign is “building a historic and unified political movement to make America great again,” noting Trump’s high approval rating among Republicans and gains with “longtime Democrat constituencies such as African Americans, Hispanic Americans, and union workers.”

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Trump doesn’t need money for advertising. The news nets are giving him all the exposure he needs. He needs money to build the organization to get out the vote, do opposition research, fund rallies, and hire staff to make a winning campaign.

Haley could help with that chore. But the baggage she carries may be too great to help Trump win the election.

UPDATE:

Trump has dismissed the idea of Haley for VP. At least, for now.

“Nikki Haley is not under consideration for the V.P. slot, but I wish her well!” Trump wrote on his Truth Social platform.

Nothing has changed except Trump has left the door open. “I wish her well” is a long way from mocking her name and questioning her birthplace

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