Nikki Haley will suspend her campaign and leave Donald Trump as the last major Republican candidate

NEW YORK — NEW YORK (AP) — Nikki Haley will suspend her presidential campaign Wednesday after suffering a solid defeat nationwide on Super Tuesday, according to people familiar with her decision, leaving Donald Trump as the last remaining major Republican nominee 2024 nomination.

Three people with direct knowledge who spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly confirmed Haley’s decision ahead of an announcement from her scheduled for Wednesday morning.

Haley, a former South Carolina governor and U.N. ambassador, was Trump’s first major rival when she entered the race in February 2023. She spent the final stages of her campaign aggressively warning the Republican Party against embracing Trump, who she claimed was too consumed by chaos. and personal disagreements over President Joe Biden’s defeat in the general election.

Her departure gives Trump room to focus solely on his likely November rematch with Biden. The former president is on track to reach the 1,215 delegates needed to win the Republican nomination later this month.

Haley’s defeat represents a painful, if predictable, blow to voters, donors and Republican Party officials who opposed Trump and his fiery brand of “Make America Great Again” politics. She was especially popular among moderates and college-educated voters, constituencies likely to play a crucial role in the general election. It is unclear whether Trump, who recently declared that Haley donors would be permanently excluded from his movement, can ultimately unite a deeply divided party.

Haley exits the 2024 presidential election after making history as the first woman to win a Republican primary. She defeated Trump in the District of Columbia on Sunday and Vermont on Tuesday.

She had insisted she would stay in the race through Super Tuesday and had traveled around the country campaigning in states where Republican contests were being held. Ultimately, she failed to deter Trump from his glide path to a third consecutive nomination.

Haley’s allies note that she has exceeded most of the political world’s expectations by making it as far as they have.

She had initially ruled out running against Trump in 2024. But she changed her mind and launched her bid three months after he did, citing, among other things, the country’s economic problems and the need for “generational change.” Haley, 52, later called for competency tests for politicians over 75 — a blow to both Trump, who is 77, and President Joe Biden, who is 81.

Her candidacy slowly attracted donors and support, but she ultimately outlasted all her other Republican rivals, including Florida Governor Ron DeSantis, former Vice President Mike Pence and Senator Tim Scott, her fellow South Carolinian whom she appointed to the Senate. 2012. And the money flowed in until the end. According to her campaign, she raised more than $12 million in February alone.

She became popular with many Republican donors, independent voters and the so-called “Never Trump” crowd, even as she criticized the criminal cases against him as politically motivated and promised that if she became president, she would pardon him if he would be convicted at the federal level. court.

As the field consolidated, she and DeSantis battled through early-voting states to a distant second behind Trump. The two went after each other in debates, ads and interviews, often more directly than they went after Trump.

The campaign’s focus on foreign policy after Hamas’ surprise attack on Israel in October tilted the campaign into Haley’s wheelhouse, giving her a chance to showcase her experiences at the UN, linking the war to her conservative domestic priorities and to argue that both Israel and the US can be made vulnerable by what she called “distractions.”

Haley was slow to directly criticize her former boss.

While campaigning in the early states, Haley often complimented some of Trump’s foreign policy achievements, but gradually added more criticism to her campaign speeches. She argued that Trump’s hyperfocus on trade with China led him to ignore security threats from a major American rival. She warned that weak support for Ukraine would “only embolden” China to invade Taiwan, a view shared by several of her Republican rivals, even as many Republican voters questioned whether the U.S. should send aid to Ukraine.

In November, Haley – an accountant who had consistently touted her lean campaign – won the support of the political arm of the powerful Koch network. AFP Action bombarded early-state voters with mailers and door knockers, deploying its nationwide coalition of activists and virtually unlimited funds to help Haley defeat Trump.

With Trump refusing to participate in the primary debates, Haley took on DeSantis in one debate, displaying a combative style that seemed to sit poorly even with those who wanted to support her in the Iowa caucuses. She would finish third.

Haley’s name emerged as a possible running mate for Trump, with the former president reportedly asking his allies what they thought about adding her to his potential ticket. While Haley appeared to be gaining ground, some Trump supporters tried to undermine the idea.

Although Haley initially notably refused to rule out this possibility, she said during her campaign in New Hampshire in January that serving as “anyone’s vice president” is “off the table.”

After DeSantis left the campaign following Trump’s record victory in the Iowa caucuses, Haley hoped that New Hampshire voters would be so eager to keep the former president away from the White House that they would vote for her in large numbers appear to support.

“America doesn’t do coronations,” Haley said at a VFW hall in Franklin on the eve of the New Hampshire primary. “Let’s show the entire media class and the political class that we have a different plan in mind, and let’s show the country what we can do.”

But she would lose New Hampshire and then declined to participate in the Nevada caucuses, arguing that the state’s rules heavily favored Trump. Instead, she competed in the state’s primaries, which did not count for delegates for the nomination. She still finished well ahead of “none of these candidates,” an option Nevada offers to voters dissatisfied with their choices and used by many Trump supporters to oppose her.

She had long vowed to win South Carolina, but backed away from that promise as the primaries approached. She crisscrossed the state that twice elected its governor on a bus tour, hosting smaller events than Trump’s less frequent rallies and suggesting she was better equipped to defeat Biden than he was.

She lost South Carolina by 20 points and Michigan three days later by 40. The Koch brothers’ AFP Action announced after her South Carolina loss that it would stop organizing for her.

But by staying on the campaign, Haley gained enough support from suburban and college-educated voters to highlight Trump’s apparent weaknesses among those groups.

Haley has made it clear that she does not want to serve as Trump’s vice president or run on a third-party ticket arranged by the group No Labels. She leaves the race with a heightened national profile that could help her in a future presidential run.

In recent days, she withdrew a pledge to support the eventual Republican nominee, which was required of anyone participating in party debates.

“I think I’ll decide what decision I want to make,” she told NBC’s “Meet the Press.”


Nations reported from New York. Meg Kinnard can be reached at and Steve Peoples can be reached at