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South Carolina battle is on

The South Carolina Republican Primary is now on, with Trump commanding prohibitive leads – and Haley receiving the darkest of money.

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The South Carolina Republican Primary began today at 7:00 a.m. At this point the race has two participants: Donald J. Trump and Nikki Haley, once the State’s Governor. Any other candidate in Nikki Haley’s position would consider this a do-or-die contest. Candidates who lose primaries in their home States generally do not win nominations or general elections. (Donald Trump’s home is in Florida, not New York.) But Nikki Haley is a special case, because her money – Democrat money – is not likely to dry up. Nevertheless, everyone expects Donald Trump to win today, possibly (though not necessarily) with all the delegates. As for Haley, the real do-or-die date might be March 5 – Super Tuesday.

South Carolina primary rules

According to this schedule, the South Carolina Republican Primary is the fifth Republican delegate-awarding contest, after the:

Donald Trump has won each of these four. His victory in New Hampshire was especially significant because it was an open contest. Most New Hampshire primary voters turned out to be Democrats, and Trump still won.

South Carolina has already held its Democratic Primary – on February 3. Biden won that handily. An independent gadfly asserts – with scant supporting evidence – that “Democratic leaders” instructed their voters to vote in the Democratic Primary to give a big boost to Joe Biden. Any Democrat who cast such a vote, may not vote in the Republican primary today, as Laura Loomer noted:

Nevertheless, she and others (like Rep. Nancy Mace of Charleston) fear Democratic crossovers voting for Haley.

Another user embedded video of Gov. Gavin Newsom (D-Calif.) actually calling Haley “one of our better surrogates.”


South Carolina received fifty delegates, and will award twenty-nine of them State-wide – all twenty-nine to the winner. In addition, each of the State’s seven Congressional districts will award three delegates to the winner in the district. South Carolina currently sends only one Democrat to Congress: Rep. Jim Clyburn of Columbia. The most significant crossover, if any, should come from that district – unless Independent Greg Orman is correct and those Democrats have voted already, thus barring themselves from voting today.

Polls in South Carolina and elsewhere

Trump holds commanding – indeed landslide – leads in ten polls conducted this month. These leads vary from 58% to 65%. Moreover, in some polls, double-digit proportions of the samples said they would vote for “others.”

Comparisons are available of current and prior polls by Emerson College, the Trafalgar Group, Winthrop University, and Monmouth University/Washington Post. In each case, Trump has increased his proportion of support. (In the Monmouth case, he went from plurality to majority support.)

The Center Square reports Trump leading Haley 62% to 37% in South Carolina, per the Real Clear Politics Average.

Haley, trying to turn that around, makes much of a Marquette University poll showing both candidates beating Joe Biden in November, but Haley doing so with more comfortable margins. But that’s a sea change from when she was asserting that Biden would beat Trump, but she would beat Biden.


Yesterday at about noon, Haley’s campaign team confirmed to Bloomberg that they were buying national ads, ahead of Super Tuesday. She already spent eight figures in South Carolina, compared to Trump’s six. That, obviously, hasn’t helped.

Trump made the point at a rally in Rocky Hill, South Carolina, yesterday.

In this Truth, Trump flatly disputed the notion that Nikki Haley could beat Joe Biden. According to this, even the Rasmussen Report shows Haley losing to Biden.

Questionable donations

Byron York, two days ago, summarized the frankly obstinate thinking in the Haley camp. She doesn’t even speak of winning in South Carolina, or even any Super Tuesday contest. But if she doesn’t win somewhere, and soon, everyone will perceive her campaign as hopeless.

But perhaps she hopes to inherit the nomination if by some dark chant Trump cannot accept the nomination. York notes, correctly, that the Republican rank-and-file would never stand for that. They’ll blame Democrats, of course – but also blame her. Still, she’s already booked venues for rallies in Michigan, Minnesota and Colorado.


Rallies like these cost money. So where is the money coming from? Jim Hoft at The Gateway Pundit notes that it’s been coming from Democrats for a long time.

In 2022 Nikki received a $1 million donation from Vivek and Lakshmi Garipalli, members of a New Jersey family that has donated large sums to Democrats.

Then in December 2023 it was revealed that billionaire Reid Hoffman, a mega-donor to Joe Biden and the Democrat Party, is throwing his support behind former United Nations Ambassador Nikki Haley in her bid for the presidency.

But those aren’t the most scandalous sources. The most scandalous source to date is Michael Morrell, former Acting Director of Central Intelligence in the Obama administration. RenewedRight cites “federal campaign finance records” reporting a $1000 donation by him to the Haley campaign in November. Morrell has a nasty reputation. He organized the Gang of Fifty-one who wrote the letter saying the Hunter Biden Laptop was a Russian plant.

With testimonials like that, who needs blackballs?

The drama continues

Unrepentant and defiant, Nikki Haley returned to her theme that Trump had too many legal troubles:

That last part refers to the repeated speculation that the Democrats will push Joe Biden aside. Never mind that polling shows that, among Democrats, the senile dotard polls higher than the drug-addled, or simply raving, maniac.


The X influencer Catturd, quoting the above, gave this warning:

That could be truer than the influencer knows – because Haley clearly takes a tone consistent with assumption of guilt.

In reply, one other user noted the same thing Byron York noted: that the Republicans would never accept her as a replacement for Trump.

Someone else pointed to her participation in the World Economic Forum’s Young Global Leaders program.

South Carolina closes its polls in two hours, and after that, the counting – and the projections – begin.

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Terry A. Hurlbut has been a student of politics, philosophy, and science for more than 35 years. He is a graduate of Yale College and has served as a physician-level laboratory administrator in a 250-bed community hospital. He also is a serious student of the Bible, is conversant in its two primary original languages, and has followed the creation-science movement closely since 1993.


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