Former President Donald Trump is crushing Nikki Haley by a more than 2 to 1 margin in new internal poll of the next major Republican primary state of South Carolina.
Trump leads his sole remaining primary rival by 66% to 31% in her home state, according to the poll that was bankrolled by a pro-Trump political action committee and first reported by The Messenger.
Tony Fabrizio, a respected Republican pollster, said the results suggest Haley will have a very uphill struggle to win her home state, the next big fight on the GOP primary calendar.
“Nikki Haley … is unable to articulate a path to victory in South Carolina — or any other state for that matter,” Fabrizio wrote in a memo summarizing the results for the MAGA Inc. Super PAC.
The poll shows that Haley is viewed mostly favorably by Republican voters and about two-thirds approve of her performance as the state’s governor.
But even among those who gave her the thumbs up, Trump holds a wide lead of 56%-40%, a grim sign for her chances.
Even those voters who have seen a recent Haley ad attacking Trump mostly backed the former president.
Haley’s camp insists she is staying in the race for the long haul and predicts she will close the gap in South Carolina as the campaign heats up ahead of the Feb. 24 primary.
They believe many moderate independents and even Democrats will cast ballots for her in the GOP primary to express opposition to Trump and his turbulent style of politicking.
The poll is the second recent survey of South Carolina’s first-in-the-south Republican race since the New Hampshire primary. It largely mirrors a previous survey by a firm that worked for departed candidate Ron DeSantis that showed Trump leading Haley by 58%-31%
Trump beat Haley by 11% in independent-minded New Hampshire after sweeping to victory in Iowa. The former president called the twin wins a mandate and called on Haley to quit the race.
Haley was set to attend a New York fundraising event hosted by several Wall Street billionaires who plan to bankroll her one-on-one campaign against Trump at least through Super Tuesday primaries in early March.