Students weigh in on Nikki Haley’s presidential bid

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Nikki Haley takes to the stage to announce her presidential candidacy. Haley served as governor of South Carolina. (AP Photo/Meg Kinnard)

Republican politician Nikki Haley announced her candidacy for the 2024 presidential race in mid-February, making it the second major bid since former president Donald Trump made his announcement on Nov. 15, 2022.

The former governor of South Carolina debuted her announcement through her YouTube channel. The ad focused on America’s great qualities. As a daughter of Indian immigrants, Haley emphasized the importance of not focusing on the divisions in society. Haley quoted her mother saying, “your job is not to focus on the differences, but the similarities.”

Haley wants to win Republicans the popular vote, which they have lost to the Democratic Party in the last seven out of eight elections. Her ad emphasized fiscal responsibility, border security and strengthening the country’s pride.

Following the U.S. foreign policy trends, Haley warned that China and Russia are increasing their aggression.

Haley entered the national stage as a representative in the South Carolina House in 2004. After her tenure as governor for the state from 2011-2017, Haley was appointed by President Trump as the U.S. ambassador to the United Nations. Haley pressed the UN Human Rights Council to increase resolutions on human rights abusers.

However, despite her resume, Haley does not poll high among Republican voters.

According to the survey resource Morning Consult, Trump is the most favorable Republican candidate with 50% of the electorate vote. Trump is followed by Ron DeSantis at 30%, despite not officially announcing a run.

Haley polls alongside former Vice President Mike Pence at 6%. 

Bryce Bullough, a BYU microbiology major and member of BYU College Republicans is undecided about who he would vote for but is not impressed by Haley’s portfolio.

“I think she’s wasting her time, to put it really bluntly. She’s … a bit too ‘establishment republican’ in my opinion, she’s too much selling out to the lobbies.” Bullough, like many Republican voters, is still deciding between Trump and DeSantis.

Isaac Grow, president of BYU College Republicans and business management major also deliberated on Haley’s prospects at being the U.S. President.

“I don’t see Nikki Haley having a shot at winning the Republican nomination, and I probably wouldn’t vote for her myself,” Grow said.

Grow cited her interventionist foreign policy as the major reason.

“I’m still undecided on who to vote for. I’d like Rand Paul but that isn’t realistic, so I am leaning towards DeSantis because of his track record of effective governance” Grow said.

President of BYU College Republicans Isaac Grow gives his take on potential presidential nominees. Grow explains why Haley will not earn his vote. (Joel Leighton)

Vivek Ramaswamy, author of “Woke. Inc,” also announced his candidacy on Feb 21. In his announcement video, Ramaswamy called out shrinking national patriotism, government bureaucracy and censorship.

With few candidates yet to throw their hats into the ring, Trump holds strong as the Republican nominee. Epidemiology major at BYU, and member of BYU College Democrats member Sofia Maia considers the prospects of Donald Trump returning to the presidency.

“I think it’s a really interesting idea, but I feel like at the end of the day … the people did speak, and they didn’t reelect President Trump and there was a reason he’s the first in a very long time to not win the incumbent election,” Maia said.

More Republicans are expected to announce their candidacy approaching the election in 2024.

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