Trump outclassed Nikki Haley in South Carolina

It was a triumph Donald Trump in the South Carolina Republican primary, held Saturday. The former president won 59.8% of the votes, while his rival, Nikki Haley, stopped at 39.5%. An advantage of 20 points, even more significant in light of the fact that it is the country of origin of Haley: a state of which the person concerned was governor from 2011 to 2017. Last night the former president obtained almost 452,000 votes: in 2016, when he had also conquered this state in the face of a greater number of opponents in the field, he had obtained 241,000. The comparison with then is merciless Joe Bidenwho, last February 3, won the South Carolina Democratic primaries with just 127,000 votes.

At this point Trump virtually starts to lock down the nominations republican. And in fact, immediately after the victory, he gave a speech as a presidential candidate. “We will be here on November 5 and watch Joe Biden, and we will look him straight in the eye,” he said. “He's destroying our country and we're going to say 'Joe, you're fired. Go away. Go away, Joe. You're fired,'” he added. Yet the Haley she doesn't seem willing to take a step back. In fact, the former ambassador to the UN aims to remain in the running at least until next March 5, when the Super Tuesday. The point is that for her there no longer seem to be any concrete chances of victory.

First of all, the fact that he lost in his home state is already a bad sign in itself: theoretically he could have settled for second place, coming within a few points of his rival. Instead, as we have seen, Trump he won with a 20% lead, far exceeding the psychological threshold of 50% of the overall votes. Secondly, the States in which the Haley she could reverse the situation: in California and Texas the polls give her at least 30 points behind the former president. With these numbers, Trump could arrive at mathematically locking it nominations already in three weeks.

The question then always remains the same. For what reason the Haley, which so far has not conquered a single state, persists in remaining in the field? One of the hypotheses continues to be the same: that is, that he is secretly negotiating with Trump to get a vice presidential nomination. The point is that the window of opportunity for such a scenario is progressively closing: the more Haley he persists in remaining in the race without a concrete path to victory, the more he antagonizes the Trumpist world. Furthermore, the electoral weakness she showed in South Carolina and Nevada hampers her chances of presenting herself as competitive even in view of a possible presidential ticket. Compared to two weeks ago, today it is more likely that Trump choose the senator from South Carolina as his running mate, Tim Scottthat the Haley.

A second hypothesis is that the former ambassador is betting on the legal troubles of Trump, to present itself as the only alternative if the current frontrunner is declared ineligible. If so, it would be a very risky strategy. Self Trump should be declared ineligible after having mathematically secured the nominationsthe word would pass to Conventions national. It would then be very difficult for the Trumpist delegates, however unconstrained, to opt for the Haley who, nationwide, has just 20% support from Republican voters. Finally, it cannot be excluded that he will enjoy the support of the billionaire's network Charles Kochthe former ambassador wants to stay in the running to split the GOP, cripple Trump and aim for a new candidacy in 2028. Even in this case, the risk for the Haley it would be enormous, because it could alienate the sympathies of increasingly larger sections of a republican base that already has little love for it.

She keeps saying she's the only one who can beat Biden in November. However the campaign of the same Biden has long been relaunching the criticisms expressed by the former ambassador against Trump: a circumstance that irritates many GOP voters. Paradoxically, if you wanted to bet on a debacle of the former president, at Haley it would be better to abandon the electoral campaign and possibly wait, rather than persist in remaining without any mathematical hope of winning. And meanwhile the race of Trump towards the nominations it is becoming more and more unstoppable.