Former South Carolina Republican Governor Nikki Haley speaks at the Republican Jewish Coalition Annual Leadership Meeting in Las Vegas, Nevada, on November 19, 2022.
Wade Vandervort | AFP | Getty Images
Nikki Haley, a former governor for South Carolina and United Nation’s ambassador, announced she was entering the 2024 presidential race on Tuesday, making her the first Republican to challenge her former boss and ex-President Donald Trump for the Republican nomination.
Haley, 51, dug into the difference in ages between 80-year-old President Joe Biden and her challenger Trump, who’s 76. While Biden hasn’t formally announced his candidacy, he’s expected to do so in the coming weeks.
“Republicans have lost the popular vote in seven out of the last eight presidential elections. That has to change,” Haley said in a video posted to her Twitter account. She called for a new generation of leaders, saying Biden’s record was “abysmal” and that the “Washington establishment has failed us over and over and over again.”
In announcing her run a day before she’s scheduled a formal campaign launch in Charleston, S.C., Haley called for fiscal responsibility and secured borders.
Haley has been assembling a team to explore a potential run for weeks.
She enters the race trailing Trump and other would-be challengers in public polls.
A Morning Consult poll on Tuesday, for instance, shows Trump backed by 47% of Republican primary voters, while just 3% of respondents said they would pick Haley. Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who is widely expected to enter the race, has 31% of the GOP support while Trump’s former Vice President Mike Pence, who’s likewise hinted at a possible run, has 7% of the vote.
One of Trump’s staunchest Republican opponents in the U.S. House, former Rep. Liz Cheney, R-Wyo., is neck-and-neck with Haley at 3% of the vote. None of those potential challenges have formally announced a run.
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