Will the Haley Voters Come Back in November?

Nikki Haley holds a baby for a photo at a campaign event on February 27, 2024 in Centennial, Colorado. The Republican presidential primary in Colorado is on Super Tuesday, March 5. (Photo by Chet Strange/Getty Images)

It’s entirely possible that Nikki Haley could not only lose badly on Super Tuesday, but that in one scenario she gets shut out of delegates completely.

In states like California, Virginia, Vermont, and Utah, where there are plenty of Haley-leaning voters, rules dictate that if one candidate gets 50 percent of the vote, that candidate sweeps every delegate. Proportional becomes winner-take-all. 

Some of this is because of Republicans’ long-standing preference for fast, decisive primaries that protect the frontrunner. In a parallel universe, that frontrunner might have been someone like Haley: The best candidate for the general election who has serious problems with the party’s populists and culture warriors. When it was Mitt Romney or John McCain, that’s exactly how it worked. Once the well-funded mainstream pick had momentum, they could blow away the competition as the map widened beyond the boutique electorates of the early states.

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